And then I got married.
When I got married, that's when.
Well, not immediately upon saying I do, but shortly thereafter for sure. I slowly started recognizing people I know in commercials - like, literally recognizing people (I did go to a theatre school, after all) and seeing people I knew "back when" who were now playing wives and mothers and husbands and fathers and all those roles "older" actors used to be cast in. And then I realized, I recognized the people in those commercials metaphorically, too. They were my friends, my colleagues, my clients. Me.
At first, it was strange to notice. I mean, they're commercials. Why the eff am I paying that much attention to commercials? The fact that I even noticed I was noticing was weird, too. But then, it really sunk in. I've entered a new phase in life. A new chapter. My life isn't just about me anymore. I am not number one anymore. We are. 'We' are the priority now. Not 'I'.
If you'd asked 22-year old Stephanie -the girl who most definitely did not identify with the people in the commercials- what she thought about making someone else priority numero uno, she would've laughed in your face. And with good reason. That girl had just somehow managed to fully support herself while also paying for college full time. That girl was just doing her best to balance multiple jobs and remain independent in the Windy City. That girl had no patience for anyone or anything and had a hard time softening the edges, if you know what I mean.
And then, that girl grew up. And she got married.
But a funny thing happens when you get married. What I failed to realize before was that when you get married, you promise to put 'we' before 'I', it's true, but you're not the only one. Someone else is standing right there beside you promising to do the very same thing, day after day for the rest of your life. And it's not just any Joe Shmoe off the street telling you this. We all know anyone can say just about anything - words are wind. But, no. That's not the deal here. The someone telling you this is someone you love and trust like none other and with all your heart, so you know they mean it. It's like this awesome magical safety net that appears out of nowhere. And guess what? Because you've promised to do this for each other, you're both free to let go of all that selfishness and make room for all the awesomeness that awaits you in your life together.
And before you know it, even commercials have a new meaning.
(PS - Linking up with Nicole.)