There are times in life where you are able to see that other people are more invested in your discomfort than you are. And the thing is – people don’t necessarily mean to be.
When this year started, I was tapped to be the Maid of Honor in one wedding. By February, I was tapped to be Maid of Honor in another wedding…this year. #MOHof2017. On Saturday, the last of those two weddings occurred and I can happily say that I have two married best friends now (s/o to #TeamTwixForever and #ForTheLoveOfLewis). What came along with these momentous and happy occasions was an influx of interest in my personal life regarding relationships and what may be next for me.
I’ve written about the #singlelife before and what I have desired for myself. I’ve written before about the emotional struggles of being unmarried, especially since I was that one who always wanted to be married. But for the past two years, I’ve been deeply invested in giving myself the room to be OK with where I am, with what may or may not happen, and with being realistically hopeful about my life. So when people have found themselves needing to “encourage” me by telling me that my wedding is next or that 2018 is my year, my response has not been what people have expected. My response has been some variation of “nah” and “I’m good”. And the reactions I’ve gotten have been some version of…
Let me be clear – I’m not against the possibility of marriage for myself. I’m not “writing myself off”. I’m not “not claiming marriage”. I’m living my life as it comes and doing the work to be OK with however life happens. When you’re 30 and your friends are getting married, it’s natural for people to inquire more into your single life. They will give opinions, they will give ideas, and they will give you advice. They will also try to give you their discomfort.
People are going to be invested in what happens in your life for one reason or another. And because of that, they will assume that you should be handling things a certain way and when you don’t, they will lay their discomfort on to you like a blanket. I don’t even think they identify their reactions as such but the ways people lay their insecurities about your life on you can be frustrating.
So all I really came to say is that I think that we all should be mindful about how we engage others about what is occurring or not occurring in their own lives. Everyone is out here trying to work with what they have been given and some of us are working to change what we don’t rock with in our lives. However, some things just get filed in the “it is what it is” category. It’s been a work to reconcile life now with what I had planned for it to be and it’s a work that I am constantly engaging in because it’s necessary. This work doesn’t mean I don’t have moments nor does it mean that I have erroneously resolved myself to believe that certain things won’t ever happen for me; this work means that I am resolving to love myself and accept myself, regardless of the life season. For those of us who are engaging in that work, support is important. It means you can pray for us and encourage us through letting us know how dope we are in that moment. It means that when we find ourselves in multiple weddings and quickly becoming the “single one” in the bunch, that you find more than an empty hope statement to fill the air. It means that you don’t lay your discomfort with our lives at our feet for us to reckon with; we’ve got enough of job keeping our own insecurities at bay.
I’m Ashley and I’m OK with where I am right now. Whether I make it down the aisle in 2018, 2021, or never, I’m going to be OK because that is a goal I work towards daily. Walk with me in that comfort.
(#TeamTwixForever Wedding 7.15.17 and #ForTheLoveOfLewis Wedding 10.7.2017)