Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Start of the Year of Weddings

Growing up, I knew intellectually that life wouldn’t end up the way I expected it—that the world wouldn’t change to fit my whims. My life experiences growing up sort of confirmed and denied that. Anything I expected to happen and wanted to happen academically did happen. I always got what I wanted and earned the position I desired. Anything I expected to happen or wanted to happen relationship-wise never happened.

This trend has continued on through college and graduate school. Mandy says she wants to go to France? Mandy studies abroad. Mandy says she want to work for NASA? Guess who offers her a job. Mandy says she wants to go to Grad School? Bam. Doors open.

But Mandy says she wants a boyfriend. Uh…not quite happening.

However, this post is not about me lamenting about not having a boyfriend, because honestly, I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I had one. This post is about another relationship-type life expectation that got completely shot down.

Growing up I never expected to get married right out of college. I expected to live by myself and live the cool singles life with all my awesome cool singles friends. Imagine How I Met Your Mother with less bars, less sex, but same amounts of good times.

So in less than a year I will be graduating from college and I will still be single and able to live this life I imagined with one exception. By this time next year, I will only have the barest handful of singles friends left. And I don’t just mean all my friends are dating someone. I mean that by this time next year, I will only have two female friends left who are unmarried.

This weekend starts the year of weddings. I have seven weddings this year, to be exact.

I’m glad my friends are marrying the men and women of their dreams. I’m glad they’ve found someone to be with, to share the rest of their life with. I wouldn’t take that away from them for the world. It’s just that this isn’t how I thought life was supposed to be. I didn’t think that my friends would be moving on to a stage of life earlier than I expected and thus leave me behind.

And I hate being left behind. Who doesn’t? I was always the girl who was moving on ahead. I was the one who moved away every couple of years, leaving everyone else behind. I was the one who studied hard and took summer classes every summer in high school in order to get ahead. I was the one who went off to an out of state school in order to better my career. But suddenly it’s all my friends who are moving on to a new life, and who are leaving me standing behind, waving goodbye as they drive away from their wedding reception.

Somewhere along the line I forgot that marriage after college is expected and yearned for in Southern Christian circles. At some point on the road, my path completely diverged. And it’s ok being on a different path. I just don’t like being on that different path alone.

Where are my friends to walk with me? Where are my friends who understand what it’s like to be single in this crazy mixed up world?

I’m sure those friends are coming. I’m sure in a year, when I’m out of grad school (fingers crossed) and have a real job I’ll meet these awesome likeminded people who will travel with me. But for now, it can be a little lonely.

Ah well, that’s life. And now I have to go figure out what I’m wearing to wedding number 1. I hope the weather stays nice, because I have absolutely no decent clothes to wear to a cold weather wedding.


  1. You sound depressed. :( I hope a boy finds you because love is the greatest thing life has to offer. Everything else is meaningless in comparison, in my opinion...but this comes from someone who has also been unsuccessful in that area. People may think that writing a book, graduating with big degrees etc. are what life is all about...but at the end of it, the world could care less. Just look at Elizabeth Edwards--she accomplished a ton in her life and she's still dead and she still had no one that loved her romantically when she died. She just had a bunch of family and friends standing around saying, "Sucks to be you" in their heads.

  2. Michael, I'm not depressed. Sure, sometimes I get melancholy, but most of the time I'm pretty happy. And luckily for me, I guess, I don't think romantic love is the end all be all of life. I completely agree that money, fame, publication (ok...that's what I'm really going for, publication) won't fulfill me in life or make my life meaningful. But then again, I don't think a boy can fulfill me and give me a meaningful life either (and that's a lot of pressure to put on a boy). I think it takes God to put meaning in my life.

    And in the end, I don't think it matters if people at my funeral are thinking "sucks to be you" as long as right before I die I'm not thinking "sucks to be me."