I grew up watching a lot of TV. Like...a LOT. Movies, too. Books weren't a real big part of my life until later on. Anyway, despite the fact that my life was a far cry from being anything like that of the well-to-do functional families on the screen, I seemed to develop a sub-conscious belief that, at some point, it would be. I didn't just dream of a happy ending, I expected it. That probably helps explain why I was such a mess during my younger years. It just didn't make sense to me that no one said the perfect thing at the perfect time, solved problems by hugging it out, and wanted nothing more than to be my best friend.
As I grew up, I started to realize the difference between fantasy and reality. It definitely took me longer than it should have, and it didn't even set in completely until fairly recently. When I finally realized that my ex-husband wasn't my Prince Charming, my entire world was shattered. I realized that, in the words of Taylor Swift, "I'm not a princess. This ain't a fairy tale." There was no script that would end any show with a heartfelt apology and a cheesy joke before the credits rolled.
Because I'm Mormon and I'm "supposed" to marry young and have a million babies, this was especially hard to accept. I've spent most of the time since my marriage being depressed and bitter. I'm constantly facing women who have wonderful husbands and beautiful children and comparing myself to them. How am I different? What is it that makes it so they can get a good husband and I can't? I've whined about my wasted time and wondered if I'll ever get married again, or if it will at least be before my eggs dry up. To twist the knife a little further, even most of my non-Mormon friends are married with children or on their way there.
I started dealing with this problem by praying that someone would come along. I still wanted my happy ending and I wanted it pronto. Then President Uchtdorf gave his "Forget Me Not" talk at General Conference. He said that we should "forget not to be happy now," and he told the story of the woman who wasted her life being angry and bitter because she was never able to have a family of her own. I didn't want to be that woman, so I started praying for patience instead of a person. I have gained so much. Not only am I no longer counting every second that I'm not in a relationship, but I finally love myself. I'm immensely happy with who I am, the friends I have, and the accomplishments I've made. I've been blessed with a loving family and so many other things. Yes, I still want to get married and have babies, but it will happen when it's supposed to. Until then, I am okay by myself.