IMGP5634 A few short years ago when I was around forty years old I thought I knew what happiness was: I called it peace of mind.

Basically in those days I sought calm between my ears: a clear conscience born of both doing my best to be good and being grateful for what I had; no major money worries; life ordered and under control. Occasionally I’d allow my soul to speak on the page – and judging by the poems that it penned, it was very angry and rather sad. Funnily enough I called the style of my poetry ‘my voice’, but I didn’t listen to it at all – just carried on writing anger from the inside, kept life on the outside in the pretty English countryside as untroubled as possible, and believed that on the days when my mind was without too much anxiety, I was happy.

Thank God I had it all wrong.

These days peace of mind can come along for the ride if it wants, but I’m settling for nothing less than pure, unadulterated joy! And last Saturday, in a community centre in the Shropshire town where I was born, people who have known me since I first walked on this earth, saw with their own eyes that I have at last claimed it for myself. Indeed I was brimming over with it… shining eyes occasionally welling up; a grin that did not care about showing every one of my crooked teeth; an open heart that wanted to chat to strangers and friends alike all night long.

The circumstances? Pretty bloody brilliant as it happens…

P1070346 On Saturday morning, in the kitchen of my childhood home, the love of my life, mi amor C. asked my parents (in the most adorable Spanglish you can possibly imagine) for my hand… and my Mum hugged him tight and said, Yes! A thousand times, Yes!

On Saturday night, in the auspicious glow of his own joyous Golden Wedding celebrations, my Dad announced to the assembled guests that to his delight, Me and C. would be tying the knot as soon as Argentine bureaucracy allows. Later we danced for all 111 friends and family present – Café Dominguez (D’Agostino, tango) and Pobre Flor (De Angelis, vals): it felt like I was floating on a cloud with an angel. Afterwards people sought us out to congratulate us, tell us how we’d conjured magic and tears as we’d danced, shake C.’s hand, welcome him into the family that I love beyond words.

So joyful circumstances? Oh God yes!

And at last, at the grand old age of forty six I finally know I’m ready for them.

How do I know it? Because for the past three years I’ve left the quest for finding peace of mind in my wake and have instead been following my heart in pursuit of joy. My journey so far has led me from Hampshire, England to Mongolia to Argentine Tango to Buenos Aires to Carlos to this moment back in Shropshire. As I’ve travelled I’ve learned that joy isn’t about circumstances or places or other people, though of course they can be beautiful bonuses along the way, it’s about being true to myself and saying yes to the longings of my soul… if I do that, then of course I’ll feel joy: my soul will be connected with what it needs to thrive. Plus, in reply to my own efforts, the universe will respond by putting in my path the stuff that can help me in my quest, even when it’s stuff that I might never have imagined (or thought I wanted) in my wildest dreams for myself.

When I look back to the days before I’d heard of Argentine Tango, I’d have considered it utterly ridiculous even to fantasise that in 2009 I might be living in Argentina, marrying a darling of an Argentine, receiving warm and rapturous applause for my dancing from an English audience, standing on the verge of publishing a book for tango tourists… ridiculous, impossible, dreamland type stuff. But it wasn’t was it?

A few sweet and delighted people have lovingly used the words fairytale ending (referring to my bit of a climb from less joyful places) to describe my forthcoming marriage to C., but of course both they and we know it’s really just the beginning of a whole new Sallycat’s Adventure isn’t it? Or at least it’s simply a moment on the way that marks the start of the next chapter in the tale you’ve been reading on this blog since my very first entry in January 2007. I reckon it’s a damn happy moment though, whichever way you look at it.

So by way of recording this latest step on my path of the heart, here are a couple of photos of me celebrating the story so far, dancing with C. for my family and friends last Saturday night.

I don’t know if you can see it. Carlos felt it. I felt it. The audience saw it. Somewhere in there, at the very heart of what it’s possible to capture on camera, is love.

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sal y c 1 

Tango will change your life, my teacher said to me at my first tango lesson. It sure as hell has hasn’t it? And to every single change it has brought me, I am shouting loud and clear across the world to you all today, Yes, yes, yes!

And guys, I will be absolutely over the moon if you join in.

 

Sallycat

 

Photo credits for the black and white close ups go to a lovely lady called Anne, who managed both to capture our expressions in the exact moment that my dad told the world our news on Saturday night, and to take the first ever decent pic of me dancing tango with C. where I am not wearing a coat. Thank you Anne.

(I know some of you asked for a video, and I’m working on it. Alas my little sis didn’t make it to the camera in time to get a whole dance… but if I can salvage something from somewhere, I will.)

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38 comments

  1. Heidi Fischbach’s avatar

    Sweet JOY. Dearest congratulations. Wonderous rapturous applause all around. So happy for you and Carlos!
    .-= Heidi Fischbach´s last blog ..Away =-.

  2. Modern Tanguera’s avatar

    OOOOHHHHHHH, Congratulations!! You both look fabulous and fabulously happy in the photos!

  3. Kate’s avatar

    Oh Sally, I’m so happy for you! And how wonderful to be able to share the moment with your parents’ joy at their golden wedding.

    Clearly the Romans were right – fortune does favour the brave. Hurrah!
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..Working with Change =-.

  4. Simba’s avatar

    Congratulations! This post is really transmitting the joy you must be feeling! Suerte!

  5. n a n c y’s avatar

    Felicitaciones a los novios.

  6. Tanguera’s avatar

    These are just fantastic news, Sally!!!!! The best, the best to you and Carlos!!!! Many hugs!
    .-= Tanguera´s last blog ..Tango People =-.

  7. Fred’s avatar

    Congratulations Sally and Carlos!
    That is so fantastic, and see you soon for your luxury ride back in!

    Yours,
    Fred

  8. Emily’s avatar

    Congratulations to both of you! That is wonderful news.

  9. elizabeth’s avatar

    Sally, I don’t have words, and I am typing through tears of happiness for you. Wow…you and Carlos are so beautiful. Congratulations!
    xoxoxo
    E
    .-= elizabeth´s last blog ..Changes of Direction =-.

  10. tangobob’s avatar

    Muchas felicidades. I wish you all the happiness you deserve.
    Can I appologise here to those of your readers for whome I let the cat out of the bag, but hey the news was just too good to keep to myself.
    Is there to be a tango wedding? or am I too out of favour now.
    Anyway be happy and don’t let the beuracracy drag you down too much, love is the most important thing in your life, closely followed, of course by Tango.
    Muchas besos Bob
    .-= tangobob´s last blog ..Sally and Carlos Wow them =-.

  11. Arlene’s avatar

    I send you and C my warmest congratulations and wish you both copious amounts of joy and happiness. And Love, of course. I am so glad you have finally let the ‘cat’ out of the bag! :-)
    .-= Arlene´s last blog ..Ask Arlene…Who Turned Out the Lights? =-.

  12. Christian’s avatar

    Wow… Congratulations! I don’t know what else to say… All the best to you two!

  13. Tina’s avatar

    Congratulations beautiful one!
    .-= Tina´s last blog ..End of Summer =-.

  14. sallycat’s avatar

    Oh wow guys… how totally brilliant to read all your joyful comments today!

    I don’t think Me and C. could be surrounded by more love: here in Shrewsbury, throughout the UK, in Buenos Aires and indeed all around the world… and that you support us, cheer us on, spill our beans on your own blogs (that’s you dear Bob) -oh hell, it’s all bloody wonderful!

    To be honest I’ve sort of been leaking this precious news to my friends in BsAs for a while (just kind of as it cropped up in conversation rather than anything planned), I just wanted to wait until Carlos had spoken to my parents and we’d talked to one or two folk here until I wrote about it.
    Anyway now he has, and now we have, and now I have, and so we can all celebrate together!

    And C.’s celebrating extra hard because his brother-in-law to be has just shown him how to watch Boca Juniors play later on live streaming tv via the internet ;)

    So joy all round tonight! And warm hugs to each one of you from me,

    SC

  15. Debbi’s avatar

    :-D
    I now have perma-grin from reading your post.
    .-= Debbi´s last blog ..Re-Integration =-.

  16. cindy’s avatar

    :))))))))
    dear sally, very very best wishes !

  17. Surf Flower’s avatar

    Mis amores, el baile del corazon continua, no? Estoy feliz con tu felicidad. Abrazos tan fuertes llena de energia del amor cosmico. Nos vemos pronto. SF

  18. Mari’s avatar

    Oh goodness I’m crying all over myself! Congratulations!! Best wishes to you both!!
    .-= Mari´s last blog ..under the weather =-.

  19. Eli’s avatar

    Hooray!! This is wonderful news!!! Felicidades a los dos!!! Xxx
    .-= Eli´s last blog ..En el ojo de la tormenta… =-.

  20. Mel Driver’s avatar

    Sally – Im so happy for you both
    Love and hugs
    Mel xx

  21. sallycat’s avatar

    And for all your grins, smiles, hugs, congratulations and love added here in your comments today, we both thank you from the bottom of our hearts…

    Huge smile back, SC :)

  22. Rachel’s avatar

    Felicitaciones grandes dear Sally y C. Now I just have to mop up the tears off my keyboard! Loved the photos and your wonderful writing (as usual) and soooo glad to see you both so happy. I am looking forward to the wedding milonga, which you just might have to stage at La Rural so many people will want to come. Big hugs to both of you.
    Love, Rachel

  23. Greg’s avatar

    Oh Sal I’m so happy for you both, I have tears of joy in my eyes as I write this.

    And for once, words fail me, it’s just so much wonderful news.

    Much love to you both

    Greg xx

  24. Amanda’s avatar

    Sally, I´m so thrilled for you and Carlos.
    Wonderful!!!!

  25. OwenMc’s avatar

    Congrats to the pair of ye!
    Lots of joy in the future too – brimming all the way :-)

  26. Christine in LA’s avatar

    Hello Sally

    I’ve only been checking in sporadically because I know you are on vacation so imagine how surprised and happy I was to check in today and read this beautiful post. I’m so very happy for the both of you and thank you for continuing to share your story with all of us. You make smile:)

    BIG HUGS from California
    Christine

  27. Sharon’s avatar

    Hola Sally… well… I join the others who post this comment with tears of happiness streaming down my cheeks. I am so very happy for you!!

    When I learned to dance tango my teacher told me “if you conquer tango you will conquer your life”… and he’s right, and I’m working on it.

    You are an inspiration… thank you for sharing your journey on your blog…

    Sincerly,
    Sharon

  28. Lia’s avatar

    Love happy endings…that are actually happy beginnings! Congratulations.

  29. K’s avatar

    Hello,

    I’ve read through your entire blog in the last month or two and haven’t said anything yet, but I just had to pipe in. Congratulations! What a journey you’ve been on and what a wonderful outcome. Besos a los dos!

    -K

  30. sallycat’s avatar

    Oh gosh, it is bringing a huge smile to my face here in Shrewsbury to receive your latest messages of support and joy! It’s gorgeous to see familiar names (you fabulous loyal readers and commenters) popping up with smiles, and it’s lovely to welcome new commenters too… it’s always brilliant when someone who’s been reading the blog comments and says hi for the first time!

    Thank you to you all. These last few days have been very happy ones. I’ve been helping sort out my parents’ computers (being such an IT whizz, ha!), seeking out the little things like Totes Isotoner slippers in the Debenhams sale that will keep my feet cosy in Buenos Aires for the next two years, printing photos of happy times in the UK… on Sunday night we fly back to Argentina.

    Between now and then there will be mucho emotion. But I wouldn’t have it any other way… I will cry many tears to leave those I love, but at least I’ll have the man I love at my side as I do…

    Warm hugs to you all for now, SC

  31. Mike in Van’s avatar

    Dear dear Sal
    OH MY GOD…OMG… I go away to the wilds of British Columbia for a couple of weeks and all Heaven breaks lose. I’m reading this wonderful post for the third time and I still have tears filling my eyes. (we’ve talked of my crying before) I must say it’s a little embarrassing as I am sitting in a little store on an island using their internet connection.

    Even though your cat was let halfway out of the bag, it is so wonderful to actually see your words here, announcing to the world the JOYOUS news of your and Carlos’s engagement. And so, to the long list of well wishes. I too add my congratulations and best wishes to you and Carlos. May you both enjoy the Tango of your lives both on the dance floor and off.

    I so love the photos of you and C dancing. You look marvelous and yes the LOVE does show through, or is that just my imagination… I do hope you are able to salvage something from somewhere in terms of a video, but I do understand if it is a ways down the list of priorities.

    My love to you both,
    and thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful life with us all.

    Mike

  32. b’s avatar

    Good one, Sal. :)

    love

    b

  33. Becky’s avatar

    A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU FROM TOKYO, SALLY! The past couple of months, I have been checking your blog from my tiny mobile phone screen due to some computer issues with my laptop. Even on the small, small screen, the photos from this post of you and C. radiate warmth and love. I am so happy for you guys and want to thank you so much for continuing to share your story with us. Barbie is clearly taking over your life.

    Muchos Besos de Tokyo,

    Becky

  34. sallycat’s avatar

    Thank you guys again, again, again for your lovely words of joy and support. We leave UK for BsAs tonight and the next phase of exploration and discovery… when I write here again it will be from Argentina – mixed emotions today of course, but all will be well. Forgive the brief comment but mucho to do. More soon…

    Hasta Argentina chicos!

    SC

  35. Helen’s avatar

    That’s a lovely lovely post Sally! Massive congratulations to you and Carlos once again. I cannot wait to see you both dancing at your wedding.
    And welcome back to Buenos Aires to you both, too. It’s wonderful to have friends like you here as I get settled in to my own adventure. You know how much you have helped over the last few months… I’m hugely grateful to know you and I wish you and Carlos all the joy in the world.
    Love
    Hxx

  36. sallycat’s avatar

    H.

    So cool to see you back in BsAs, hug you, hear how you your own great life adventure unfolds… amazing isn’t it how we met through this blog, in part because of tango, in part because of writing, in part because the universe made it so. You commented here and generously offered to help me with my writing journey, and the next minute my own tango teacher Ariel was introducing us in Canning… remember? ‘Oh so you’re H…’ (and all that!) – the rest (as they say) is history!

    Thank you universe! And thanks for taking a moment out of what I know is a hectic time to comment here… it means mucho. Mucho.

    SC

  37. Allison’s avatar

    Felicitaciones Sally!!! What great news! Very happy for you…

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