2020 started with a bang. There was an excitement in the air for all of us. The beginning of a new decade; or the end of one, depending on your personal perception. Predictions were that it was going to be a great year for all.
Then, out of nowhere, the coronavirus invaded our universe, and our lives were transformed and turned upside down.
Life as we knew it became very different. We had to rapidly make changes to literally every aspect of our lives, in order to just thrive and survive. Something, as humans, we are not necessarily wired to do.
As humans, we are quick to resist any change or disruption in our lives, but with the coronavirus invasion, we had no choice. We had to conform, or else....our very lives we’ve been trying to preserve would be gone.
I had a wedding coming up. This very year. 2020. On May 31st. In Suffolk, England. A smaller wedding planned for Atlanta. On April 18th. A honeymoon. Planned for July or August. My 50th birthday was coming up. Also in 2020. April 27th. A 50th birthday dinner planned for May 2nd. At a Thai restaurant in my neighborhood in Buckhead, Atlanta. Deposits had been paid. For many of these events. All was lined up. We were super excited. We had started counting down the days.
Then, out of nowhere, in March 2020, we suddenly realized none of these events would happen as we had planned. We started to scurry to cancel everything and inform our guests, many of whom had bought their plane tickets for England, and paid for hotel accommodation. We began calling all the vendors to cancel, with a confidence that, because coronavirus was a force of nature, an act of God, “force majeure”, that they would all have the moral judgement to refund all our money.....nope, we were shocked! 99% of the vendors refused to pay us a dime back. We had to come to the realization that we were losing all that money!
But, we still had a wedding to do. We did not want to postpone our special day. Postpone till when? Who, on earth knows when the virus will finally be gone? So, we regrouped, despite all the chaos that was happening around us, and we planned a wedding with our 4 kids and our pastor in our home. As the days went by, we decided we’d include our neighbors, since we live in a compact townhome community. We sent out an email to all our neighbors, inviting them to our wedding, and asking them to celebrate with us from their doorsteps and patios. Then, we started to explore the idea of including all our invited guests as well....to join us virtually. How best to do that? ZOOM!
We pulled it off! We had the perfect Zoom wedding on April 17th. A day earlier than what we had planned, because the weather was predicted to be much better on the 17th. And it was! A beautiful day indeed. Sunny with low humidity. No clouds in the sky.
The wedding exceeded our expectations, and the interest and reaction it has garnered on social media has been shocking to us. We just didn’t expect such a positive response....especially to a 50 and 57 yr old couple getting married on Zoom! Lol!
I’m now Dr Mrs. Iyabo Webzell, and I now have a wonderful husband, and 4 beautiful children-my 2 daughters, and 2 stepsons. I’m so grateful to the coronavirus situation for helping me and my family realize the best outcome can come out of the worst circumstances.
So, what have I learnt in the past few weeks?
- Someone out there needs to hear your life story....that’s why your life story is happening to you the way it is.
- Some people will remain ignorant, foolish and misinformed; no matter what. (Those on social media who assume, because I’m a black woman marrying a white man...it MUST be because of $$$....because a successful black woman can’t just fall in love with a successful white man?). Ignorance sure is a disease.
- Some negative responses are a compliment and a blessing! Lol (those who assumed I was in my 20s or 30s, and marrying a sugar daddy). Thanks for telling me I look 20-30 years younger than I am!! Yippee!! It’s much better not to respond to negative comments on social media.....or even in real life. Just smile, shake it off and keep it moving.
- Stereotypes are dangerous! Not everything or everyone is what you think. Be careful of false judgment.
- Those who are most envious or jealous of you are those who really want what you have, and can’t have it. (the 2 groups of people who’ve always given me and my husband the evil eye; even while we were still dating, and out and about, and now on social media with nasty comments are...1) middle aged white women....or about mid 30s onwards, and 2) black men in their 30s onwards). Figure out why? Because these are the two groups wondering why they weren’t the chosen ones! Get over it, people.
- People are really hurting out there. Please be kind to everyone you meet or encounter. I’ve received so many sad messages from women in the past weeks since my wedding asking me for guidance on so many different unfortunate life situations.....please be kind to all!
- God is still God even in the midst of this pandemic. Pray, pray and pray without ceasing. He is still the master Comforter and Prince of Peace!
That’s it, folks.... I could think of many many more lessons I’ve learnt in the past few weeks, but I’ll stop here! Please share the lessons you have learnt here on the blog or comment on one of my social media posts—on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn.
And please share this BLOG with your friends and family who need to read it.
Oh.......one more lesson I’ve learnt in the past few weeks. I can walk 5 miles just pacing up and down my living room, or walking up and down my stairs at home. Get up and move, folks!!! Social distancing should not mean inactivity!
May we all be permanently happy by gathering wisdom in all of life’s happenings!
See you in June on the blog!
If there’s any topic you’d like me to write about in June or beyond, please let me know.
Lots of love,