A summer of weddings. Everyone’s permanence fades into my backdrop. I dance, float, smile and laugh, light as a feather to the world but harboring a heart that hits the ground like dead weight at the end of night. “Why not me?” I hear myself whisper as I crawl into bed underneath a sky that feels bigger each night.
I am continually putting a large amount of pressure on myself to find the right person at the right place at the right time. There’s a naive longing inside me to live my life as a movie full of those right times with an overall comforting feeling of knowing that it will work out in the end because that’s what people want to see. However, my real life is filled with confusion, unexplainable feelings, and no safety net to ensure a happy ending will in fact happen.
Dating in my 20s feels more like a twisted game of musical chairs than an actual journey for the right person to join me for the grand production that will be the rest of my life. I feel I’m not the only one living with that unspoken fear that any minute the music will stop, and I will be knocked to the ground with nothing to show for myself. Or. What If I find out the chair I’m sitting in is a completely wrong fit? As people pair up around me, I start to feel the loneliness inside ache like a pinched nerve.
I hear that voice in my head laughing, “You are so young. What’s the rush?” After all, I’m still figuring it all out. Or at least that’s the blanket statement I use for my life lately. However, there’s also the worry I’ll be the little, lonely elderly woman squinting over her TV tray in her recliner thinking, “Hey, what’s the rush?” Time can quickly slip away from under us while we make excuses and false promises to ourselves that each situation or experience will be different and better than the last.
I must remind myself that life is surprising. Surprising in ways that can hurt but also in ways that can powerfully uplift, uproot, and transform a person.
If I step back and observe the world around me for what it actually is rather than what it is portrayed to be, I see love is not some predictable formula that happens at a certain time or rate. Our hearts could never be tied to such a measurable, rational rhythm. People fall in love at 16, 25, 38, 56, 89 and every age in between. Relationships flourish beautifully, but they may also fall apart tragically. There is not one right time in our lives where we will be perfectly open and ready. People are continually evolving, thus love must be continually evolving.
Everyone is making their own timelines, writing their own agendas. There is no rational reason for me to constantly compare notes with the person next to me. It’s tempting to get caught in the fanfare of weddings, the sound of glasses tinkling to new beginnings with that surreal promise of forever. However, after the honeymoon suitcase hits the floor, life will unfold into a reality that may not be at all what he had in mind. You just look beside you and make sure you believe in the person who is there to tough it out and laugh it out with you. Not this checklist idea of a dream bachelor or bachelorette. But a human being that made a commitment because they saw something in someone else that they simply could not forget or imagine living without.
For now, I resist the urge to feel hopeless, impatient, and a slave to the “Why Not Me?” philosophy. I choose to keep forging my own timeline, to keep digging inside each moment to find the person that I’m meant to be and the person I’m meant to be with. It may be tomorrow or it may be years from now. Love is no longer a light at the end of the tunnel or some cloud that hangs over me ready to drop. I see it as a journey of highs and lows that perhaps I am meant to appreciate rather than attempt to fully understand or question. Hope and faith are what I carry. I’m a lucky girl with the life that has been dealt to me. I need to remind myself of that at every turn.
Can’t help but think of this song “Love Like The Movies” by the Avett Brothers.
For now, I’m thankful for some of the loves already in my life pictured below. And these are just a few of them! 🙂