I love weddings. The flowers, the music, the food, the beauty of the white dress and how it perfectly fits a woman’s silhouette, the delicacy of the veil, the quiet moment when the bride takes a breath and begins walking down the aisle. I love it all, but for some reason, as I was preparing my mind for a friend’s wedding, I could not find that old joy.
What’s the deal? I’ll get to see college friends. I get to dress up and look pretty. I get to eat free food and shake my tail feather on the dance floor. Then, it hit me. I am 23 years old. Before when I went to friends’ weddings, I felt so young and childlike. Not that 23 isn’t still young, but it is older. I am getting older, and now, when I go to friends’ weddings without a date, it is going to start to be more noticeable. Whenever everyone else is holding hands or sharing a dance with their partner, I will be on my own.
Jenny and I on her wedding day
I’m not going to lie. This realization stung. It also confused me. See, I am a very independent person. I bet you are rolling your eyes, thinking, “Yea, sure another one of those independent women speeches.” Truthfully, since childhood, I have been the kind of person who enjoys doing things on her own. So fear of being alone at a friend’s wedding was perplexing.
I haven’t dated in three years. In those three years I have had my moments of loneliness. Sometimes I see my friends with their significant others on social media, and I want that too. There are times when I am stressed out or sick, and I think how nice it would be to have someone to comfort me. A prime time when I feel the absence of a significant other is while grocery shopping! Can anyone relate? Once you carry 50 pounds of groceries on one arm, you start to wonder when Mr. Prince Charming will come riding in.
I had to take some time to myself to get perspective. I realized that while I have had my moments of loneliness, they don’t last very long. In the three years that I have been single, I have grown tremendously. I wouldn’t trade that time for anything. I have gotten to know myself better, my likes and dislikes, my quirks, my pet peeves, things that I can improve on and my deal breakers for a future relationship. I have gotten to travel to new cities. I got my nose pierced. I ran a 5k, and am working on a 10k. I rock climbed for the first time. I moved 12 hours from home. I road-tripped cross country on my own. I joined a growing magazine’s staff. I grew.
Twenty Something Advice (for Anybody):
“Be patient: Take a lesson from chess. Sometimes when you are young everything seems so immediate and emergent. It’s usually not. It’s one thing to see a move you want to take. It’s another to be able to wait until the right time to take it.”
Sarah Hall, CEO of Harley & Co.
My hope for you is that you will grow too. Yes, we will have our days when loneliness starts to creep in, but don’t let it get you down. Be too busy relentlessly chasing your passions to entertain the thought of loneliness. I encourage you to live a full life now. Don’t look for wholeness or purpose in the arms of another person. The right person will find you when you least expect it, when you are busy living. When your friends start dating and marrying, don’t seek out relationship just because you are feeling antsy. Instead, patiently wait. Live with intention, even if it means having to stand alone at yet another friend’s wedding. Your time will come.
P.S. There is always cute, single people at weddings. Enjoy the free food and the potential eye candy! 😉