One day, when I was very young, I heard a beautiful song on the radio and I was mesmerised. A man with a deep, husky voice promising to fight for my honour, to be the hero that I had been dreaming of, that we would live together knowing that we did it all for the glory of love. Oh Peter, how did you know who and what I’d been dreaming of? How did you know that the lyrics to this beautiful song were exactly what I wanted? Did you write the song for me?… Ahhh swoon!
Yes, I was, still am and always will be a dreamer, a hopeless romantic, a fantasist and a girl with her head in the clouds. “What a lovely song” I said to my mum, “That’s the kind of man I am going to marry one day. Someone who will love me, protect me and always look after me, be my knight in shining armour and when I meet him, everything will be perfect!”. “It’s just a song” she said, “Men like that don’t exist outside of fairy tales.”
Growing up, I was what you could call ‘a wallflower.’ I was painfully shy and introverted, I lacked many social skills and was too frightened of life to try and change. Daydreams were what kept me going… kept me sane maybe, if that makes any sense? I would sit and think about meeting my ideal man, falling in love, my first kiss, getting dressed up for a date and getting flip flops in my tummy every time I saw him. I imagined it all, down to my wedding day on a beach with no shoes and only a few guests. We would look into each others eyes as we both read the wedding vows we had written and personalised for each other. After the ceremony, he would carry me off into the sunset where we would live happily ever after.
The thing is, it was very easy for me to imagine it all, to get lost in my daydreams and fantasies and swoon over meeting ‘him’… because I never, for one moment, thought it would happen. Not really, not in my heart of hearts. I thought I was destined to walk the world alone.
So when I met a man who literally swept me off my dancing feet back in 2009, I tried my best to hold back. I played it cool. It was love at first sight – I was the only one who couldn’t see it. I had been told over and over that these men didn’t exist and that I needed to stop fantasising and get my feet back on the ground. This guy was sweet, really sweet. I didn’t want to scare him away or for him to know that I was a hopeless romantic. I’d been dreaming about him all my life and wanted to meet my hero; my Prince Charming, a man who would make my dream world a reality…..was I still dreaming though?
I may have been playing it cool, but he wasn’t. Within weeks of meeting he told me that he loved me… Woah! How could he? He’d only just met me! I have issues, I am a wallflower, I am a dreamer, I am shy, I am complicated, I am naive, I am …… I am running out of excuses. I am scared, this man was amazing and gave me flip flops just like I’d imagined. That couldn’t be real though surely, not so soon and anyway, these men didn’t exist, right? My head was telling me to steer clear and stay happy with the ones in my mind – that was the safer, more sensible option, right? It was an ongoing battle between my head and my heart.
Well, whilst I was trying to decide what to do about this man who was professing his love for me and trying so desperately to push him away, other things happened, big things. Suddenly, I had to make the biggest decision of my life – to stay somewhere I was unhappy and unsafe or to run away to the man who loved me. I knew he would help me figure out what to do for the best, whether that meant being with him or not, as he was my friend. That bit I was sure of.
I ran… That was 6 years ago and the beginning of the rest of my life. He was and is still is my hero, they really do exist! He saved me, from myself, from my life and from my dream world. I met the guy that I was always told, didn’t exist. A real life Prince Charming who filled me with hope the very first time I met him. “You keep me standing tall, you help me through it all, I’m always strong when you’re beside me”. Six weeks later we were engaged to be married!
For so many years, it suited me to live in my dream world, I was happy there. Even though, as I got older and was surrounded by people who were, in hindsight, rather bitter about relationships. I kept faith, belief and hope in my childhood dreams about the man I would marry. I found love, which I never thought I would and with it came everything I had ever imagined and more.
This August will mark our fifth wedding anniversary, five years since the day that we stood on the beach in California and spoke our personalised vows promising to love and cherish each other for the rest of our lives. A fairytale wedding, just like I’d always dreamt it would be.
I became a dreamer after hearing that beautiful song by Peter Cetera. I never forgot it. Believe in your dreams. as far fetched and child like as they may seem, because dreams really can come true if you have the courage and faith to pursue them. When you face challenges in life, think of your dreams and how close you are to achieving them. Dreams are the foundation on which you build your future. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that your dreams are out of reach… every day is another chance to make your dreams come true; I am living my dream every day!
I would like to dedicate this article to my husband, Kevin, who through all my faults and insecurities, loved me. He loved me without question and still does. We have been through some incredibly tough times together but every hurdle we have faced has bought us closer still. I truly believe that “hearts will break, stars will fall but in the end, true love conquers all”. We have proven it. As Peter sang, “we did it for love, we did it for the glory of love.”
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” Dr Seuss.