In July, Jessica Simpson married her longtime love Eric Johnson. Below, she shares her five vows for happily-ever-after in this exclusive guest post.
Now that I’ve planned a wedding, gotten married, gone on my honeymoon, and come back to life again, I’ve had some time to reflect on how life’s challenges and accomplishments have brought me to where I am right now. I am married to the love of my life and am constantly trying to be the best mom I can be for Maxwell and Ace. Today, I feel truly comfortable in my own skin. Better exercise habits, food choices, and lifestyle changes have contributed to this, but ultimately, my confidence comes from my state of mind. Every step I’ve taken up until this point has taught me something. Every decision I’ve made has brought me here. When I reflect on my life, my beliefs, and my experiences, I gain a perspective that connects me more deeply to myself, my friends, and my family. Here are just a few things I’ve learned in the past few years that I will take with me into the next chapter of my life:
1. Remember who you are—and honor her. When I was younger and starting out in the music business, I always felt like I was being defined by other people—industry executives, fans, the media, and so on. It took a while, but now that I’m in my 30s, I’ve grown into myself and established my identity on my terms. I embrace my strengths and celebrate even the small victories. I’m certainly not perfect, but when I look in the mirror, I’m proud of the woman I see. I’m not only someone’s mother, wife, and daughter—I’m me.
2. Let him love all of you. Eric has seen me at every size, and he loves me no matter what. When I got pregnant with Ace four months after having Maxwell, I was nervous about starting over again. I had come so far in learning how to balance my career, family life, and hormones, and starting over again felt overwhelming. Eric was so supportive and challenged me to accept my insecurities and focus on what truly matters. I feel stronger than ever, and Eric’s unconditional love has been a reminder of the love I should give myself.
3. Invest in “me time.” We all have busy lives, but once the big day is over, it’s important to have something that you really love to do for yourself. That’s what building my business has been about for me. Whether it’s your career or a passion, find something that makes YOU happy. I sometimes second-guess spending time working—I want to be with my kids as much as possible! Then I remember how satisfying work is for me, and because I am fulfilled, I can offer the best version of myself to my family.
4. Small indulgences can make a big difference. There were so many fun and special occasions leading up to the wedding that I wanted to enjoy with family and friends. I didn’t want to deprive myself or give up the foods (and cocktails!) I love in order to feel beautiful on my wedding day. And, because of what I learned from Weight Watchers, I didn’t have to. I gave myself plenty of time to get my body where I wanted it to be, and I learned to make balanced choices during the process. The moment I put on my gown, I was proud that I had let myself celebrate along the way.
5. Honor your support system. I’m lucky to have a great group of friends, some of whom I’ve known since we were kids. They are all unique, and their individuality inspires me daily to reach inside and learn more about my authentic self. The older I get, the more I value these friendships. My family has been by my side in every way imaginable—through the highest highs and the lowest lows. The loving support of my friends and family has been the magic behind how amazing I felt on my wedding day. I believe that because I’ve nurtured and cherished these relationships, my marriage and the relationship I have with myself are strengthened daily.
The walk down the aisle is the beginning of one of the happiest days of your life, and the love you are walking toward is most rewarding when you have that love coming first from within. It’s a time to celebrate with family and friends as you vow to build a life with your soulmate. These are the vows that I’ve made toward a loving marriage. Hopefully they bring you closer to yourself and your happily-ever-after.