I’ve been thinking about love a LOT in recent weeks, and while I am the first to admit that I LOOOVE love (#WEDDINGS! is a frequent part of my vocabulaire de Twitter), it is berserk the number of engagements and/or weddings I have (happily and excitedly) born witness to at this point in my life.
Just out of fun (boredom? loneliness? awe?) today, I tallied up the numbers of friends (read: not just acquaintances) who have pledged to or who have tied the knot in the past 12 months. Ready for this? FORTY SIX. That’s right…46 of my friends from one stage of my life or another have opted to wed another human being.
I hope this post isn’t coming off as bitter, because it really isn’t meant to be. I am AMAZED and inspired by the number of people who are finding it in themselves to not only commit a fulfilling lifetime to themselves but also to another person; I am nowhere near that point in my life. Heck, I can’t even take care of myself and my cat the way I want to– nevermind a husband! But seeing so many people ready for that transition has recently made me cast doubt on myself and question my own relationship status.
My marvelous roomie and I were talking about this on Sunday, and she said something really great that scattered my romance-related paranoia and brought me back to the basics– the naked, important, totally feel-good truth that was being masked by the perceived societal standards I’d begun to hold myself to. She pointed out that I choose to (and, perhaps moreso, have been empowered to) surround myself with people who are loving, caring, selfless, mature, and always willing to make extra efforts to see the good that other people bring to the world. When I am part of a cast of people described THAT way, how can I help but feel anything other than pure appreciation and hope?
So though I (shallowly and materialistically) may want a pretty diamond on my left hand to match the many betrothed friends in my life, I am at peace knowing that I am not yet at a point where the most powerful part– the SYMBOLISM of the ring– will be the main pillar of my life. Keeping my roommate’s observation at the forefront of my mind during this wave of weddings will allow me to put my urgency aside and be grateful for the incredible models of partnership I see in those who give of themselves so freely.
I am truly so, so happy for all of you and so blessed to have your example to live and love by. And until I am in a place to enter into my own lifelong commitment, I’ll be thankful to be part of all of yours as a forever friend and supporter.
What’s the secret to a great marriage, I ask [Jeff Bridges]. “‘It’s like that question, how do you get to Carnegie Hall?’ Bridges says. ‘Practice, practice, practice. In marriage, what that means is when those tight times happen, when you feel, Oh, shit, this is terrible, I’m outta here, you take it as an opportunity to learn more about each other, get closer, and enlarge your love. Then that precious feeling kind of pulls you together and encourages you in the next tough time.'”
–Newsweek, August 22 & 29, 2011