Dress? Check. Flower bouquets? Check. Chicken dance? Check. Cake? Double (chocolate) check.
All of these things can only mean one thing: It’s wedding season my friends.
It seems as though this has been the summer of weddings for me. It has been a little over 8 years since I’ve received an RSVP invitation dressed in lace, asking if I want the chicken or the fish, but this year, I’ve been hit with one after the next after the next. It’s funny how that usually happens. Not only have I attended many a wedding this year, but I have also gotten news of friends who have become engaged and are starting to plan for their ‘big day’. I couldn’t be more happy and excited for everyone who is about to embark on such a wonderful and exciting new chapter in their lives.
I love wedding season (and not just because of all of the free consumable cake that is available). I love the feeling of love in the air, the happiness, the vows and the promises. I love the way the groom looks when he sees his bride walk down the aisle towards him for the first time. I love the way the father looks as he gives away his baby girl for the last time. Call me a hopeless romantic, but in an age when the survival rates for marriage are at an all-time low, I still want to believe in the happy ending, the fairy tale, the ever-after. I want to believe that after 60 years, a husband and wife will still look at each other with that same spark and passion they first had oh so many years ago, just two best friends who shared (and are sharing) an amazing love and life together.
All of this talk of marriage and love got me to think about a lot of things about my own life. Now that sooo many friends of mine (most of which I have known since our days on the playground) are getting ready to or already have walked down the aisle, I am beginning to feel kind of old. In the grand scheme of things, 24 is still quite young for sure; I don’t feel that old (and most definitely don’t look that old, seeing as I was carded just the other night at the theater when I went to see an ‘R’ rated movie–if I had a dollar for every time that happened…). I always laughed at my parents and grandparents when they would tell me to enjoy my youth because the older you get, the faster time passes. I didn’t understand what they meant until now; I can’t help but feel the years just slipping by on me, a day here, a month there. I sometimes worry that if I don’t hit pause on the proverbial remote control of life every once in a while, I will miss out on some of the most important experiences that can happen in a person’s life. It made me realize that yes, my job and career are important, but there is SO much more to life than that, so much more.
I know it’s not fair for me to compare myself to others, after all, everyone’s life course has many different roads and paths, each uniquely and specially carved for them, but sometimes I can’t help but look at my life and those of my friends who are about to start this next chapter in their lives and wonder if maybe I am missing out on something, if maybe I am not doing something right or ‘normal’. I know for a fact that marriage for me right now would be way too soon; I still have so much to learn about myself, things to do and see and experience, before taking that next big step. Even though I am a bit jealous that they have found ‘the one’, that the days of bad dates and even worse blind dates are over, that they will come home to someone to walk the dog and go to Brewers games with, that they have their best friend at their side after suffering through an “Office Space” kind of day, I still am having too much fun being on my own and single in the city. I am no Carrie Bradshaw by any means fashion is simply not a word that exhists in my vocab), but I am enjoying my independence just as she did in the big NYC. I like knowing that the next time I am in the Starbucks or at the beach, I might just meet my Mr. Big. Or not. But it’s the freedom and thrill of now knowing which makes it exciting.
I have most certainly loved before, but I am not sure if I have ever been in love; to have that feeling of constant butterflies in your stomach, to wake up and go to bed with the first and last thing on your mind being that special person, to feel comfortable enough to share anything with (including that award-winning belch you let go right after downing a Coke and pepperoni pizza). I look forward to the day, whenever that may be, and whoever that may be with, when I too will be able to do those things.
I guess what I have come to realize is that though many of my friends are starting the next chapter of their lives (which is great), I still have a lot more to write in my current one. I want to make sure that this is the best book ever written, every detail and experience and event included, which may involve some serious description and page-writting. There may be a few broken hearts along the road, but you know what, those are the things that make life interesting, that help you to learn and grow and which make you a stronger person in the end. It’s all a part of growing up, which at 24, I am doing.
So bad dates? Bring ‘em on!
Fun afternoons kicking back with friends (even though I might be the third wheel) at the park? Count me in!
Doing and trying new things, whether I am alone or with someone, just…because? Sign me up!
Afterall, I have got some serious writing to do!
P.S. Congratulations to Brandon and Amanada Black who I was lucky enough to see become husband and wife this past weekend and a future congrats to Ben and Chelsie Tilkens who are doing the very same this upoming weekend! I am sooooo happy for both of these amazing couples, wishing a lifetime of love, laughter and happiness :)
Take it away Train
Question of the day: Are there certain times or moments in your life which make you question where you are heading?