For most of my life before my 23rd summer, I believed that I would get married at the age of 24. I vividly remember lying in the bath when I was about 11 years old, calculating that I would probably meet my husband at university, graduate aged 21, then spend a few years working and settling down, therefore 24 would be a logical age to get married. The innocence of young minds, of course, is rarely realistic, but as it turned out I did meet someone at university and up until the summer of 2005, I thought that this was the person I would marry. It seemed that 24 was in fact the ideal age to get married, and that my childish predictions would turn out for once to be bang on target.
A few days ago, a quite startling thought suddenly hit me right between the eyes. It's June. I'm 24. I always thought that I would get married in June due to the (supposedly) great weather at this time of year. Therefore, in the dream world of my former life, I would have quite likely have been getting married tomorrow, and if not tomorrow then in eight or 15 days' time. The thought absolutely knocked me sideways. I could be getting married tomorrow. The dream that I thought would come true for so many years means that I could be getting married. Tomorrow. Floating down the aisle, in a big white dress, drinking champagne - the works. Tomorrow.
So, do I wish that I was sliding into that perfect gown in twelve hours' time? Do I wish that I was about to embark on a life with someone instead of planning for the Antipodes, dreaming about what might follow and generally not having a clue where I'm going to end up or what's going to happen in my life? Do I secretly wish that my childhood dream was actually coming true?
Like hell I do. It may not have been my choice and it may not have been my plan, but getting married tomorrow would have been the biggest mistake I ever made. Give me the excitement, the uncertainty and the Any Dream Will Do final any day. I'm not getting married tomorrow - and it feels...fantastic.