For me, 2014 is going to be the year of the bridesmaid. The year of the right-hand woman. The year of the Pinterest-obsessed, checklist-wielding, overprotective best friend. 2014 is the year of everyone else's wedding.
As I move into my mid-twenties, my calendar is filling up with dress fittings, bachelorette parties, and baby showers. My Facebook News Feed is replete with photos of babies, engagement rings, and keys to new homes.
None of them are mine. And I'm not sad about it. And I'm not sarcastically self-satisfied about it. Actually, I'm pretty thrilled. And nobody seems to believe or accept this.
I am continually being asked these questions:
"Are you starting to feel the pressure? Isn't it difficult seeing everyone else fly past you?"
No. (Nope, not even a little.)
"When is he going to put a ring on your finger?"
Someday. Maybe soon. Maybe not. We'll see. No hurry.
"What are you waiting for?"
Nothing in particular. And yet, something. Until, eventually, it will be neither.
My answers are always met with unbelieving winks and elbow-to-rib motions, as if to say "We know you're just saying that to sound nonchalant. Everybody feels the pressure."
You see, if you are between 25 and 30, you have a few socially acceptable behaviors:
1. Marriage, procreation, or both.
2. Self deprecation for not having achieved #1.
3. Smug disdain for those partaking in either #1 or #2. (Who would want to be married before they're 30 anyway?! Yuck!)
What is unacceptable? Contentment with being single (or unmarried, or apartment-dwelling, or childless) paired with joy for all the people you love who are going through crazy, beautiful, life-altering new experiences. I am taking a stand for that camp, and I hope more people will join me.
I am here to make these declarations. It is okay to still be figuring it out. It is fine if you're not ready. You are allowed to hold out for the perfect partner. You are permitted to be in love with someone and not hearing wedding bells just yet. Just be happy. Be hopeful. Be deliberate. Be the best bridesmaid you can be.
My time will come. I will be ready when I'm ready.
Until then, I will snap the photos, drive the miles, hold the veils, cry the happy tears, and Pin all the Pins with all the enthusiasm these tasks deserve. I will love, let love, and root for love. And I will wait my turn.
Always a Bridesmaid, Someday a Bride