Every once in a while we find ourselves playing the role of the handmaiden, while the prince herself is getting ready for the big day. As excited I was for one of my best friends, my inner villainess still whispered a few nasty thoughts leading up to the wedding day. One of life’s biggest struggles is putting away your own desires.
Why is this so hard?! Seriously, why can’t I be legitimately happy for a good friend right before her wedding? Why can’t we be sincerely happy for the good fortune of those around us all the time? Why did I need to force down feelings of jealousy, envy, and abandonment? I played the perfect doting friend/ potential future sister-in-law but, several times during wedding prep I had to pull my focus from deep sadness and remember why I was happy for the couple. It seems that I ultimately struggle with comparing myself with everyone else. One of my besties, Jess, has a favorite quote: “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken”. We should all take that quote to heart!
Yes, it is no secret. I would LOVE to be engaged. Yup, what girl wouldn’t?! When my man was originally enlisted in the Navy and received his special ops contract, I was sure that a proposal was on the horizon. He even mentioned that if he’d had the funds, he might have proposed on my birthday in August (five months ago, not that I am counting). Around every corner I keep thinking it might happen. I do not want to spoil it for myself or put any more pressure on him, but, I am starting to panic! What is wrong with me?!
When You’re Not The Princess: Sharing Happiness with the Bride.
I think this pressure is for a few reasons.
1) I feel like everyone and their mum is getting engaged. Not true, I know. But, it makes me think about it frequently when I see tons of “I just got engaged!” posts/ photos. I know I should feel lucky because I have someone who I have known for five years and dated for over three. Instead, seeing those posts makes me even more impatient. Like I am behind schedule. When will I learn that I cannot be behind schedule with my own life?! I am the leading lady of my fairytale after all, just as you are!
2) As the planner that you know that I am, it is driving me nuts that I cannot control, or plan this one at all. Since I am not in grad school, I feel I have lost or wasted a year somehow. I am rather impatient and like to have hard proof of things I have accomplished. I think subconsciously I worry that if I am not in school, not working the perfect job, and not engaged before this year is over, that I will be a failure. Again, all of this is poppycock but, sometimes we feel things that may not have merit. Clearly I have some fundamentals that I need to mull over while sipping a nice cup of tea. A “good” year or life should not at all be measured by the diplomas on the wall. I keep trying to race to the finish but, if I cannot find a way to slow down, one day I will look up and realize that I missed the journey.
3) When I was a toddler I began to dream of the day when I could wear a big white dress. I already have the gown! I purchased it when I was 17 after looking at over 30,000 gowns online. It was during a 3 year stint which was very unhealthy and obsessive. I finally found the perfect dress. So naturally, I went out to purchase it!
I have dreamed of my big day for a long time and I cannot help but think: if we love each other, why not make it official? We already took a break and did some soul-searching. Now that we have decided on forever, why the wait? I am just so excited to share the rest of my life with my favorite person! Patience is a virtue I have yet to learn. I am continually working on this one.
4) Outside pressure is also not helping. Extra pressure and lack there of. The wedding this weekend was for my close friend, who is also my boyfriend’s sister. Many close family and friends came up to me asking when we will get engaged?! I told them to talk to my man because it is all up to him at this point.
As I eluded to before, it was a tough week for me for many reasons, particularly with my potential future mother in law. She was very stressed with her daughter’s wedding which is understandable! I tried to help in any way that I could. I actually went to the venue early with her to help her start the ceremony set up/ keep her nerves calm. The bride gave me the designated duty to help keep her mom at ease. I gladly accepted because I love to help! In the end, this task was nearly impossible. Despite how supportive I was, I ended up feeling a bit like a punching bag. The mother of the bride had just turned into one huge stress ball that was starting to slowly implode taking out those closest to her. Ironically, my man had trouble seeing stress/ pressure that was on me from his mom. I was hard-core struggling because I wanted to stand up for myself but not make anyone upset. Long story short, I didn’t say anything and bit my tongue.
This is a good lesson for me. Not saying anything was actually destructive. I became quite, agitated, and secretive because I didn’t want to share my feelings. It is always better to talk things out! His mom and I are now in this weird uncomfortable no-mans land because I left my thoughts unvoiced. Hopefully we work through this soon because I love her and want to be as close as we once were. Lately, she has just been a totally different human than the person I met and became good friends with five years ago! I wonder how we can get back there? I will work on this!
My man’s sister and her new husband got engaged last year and a little more than a year later they tied the knot! This whole process excited me because I hope to be there soon with my fella. His family (dad in particular) does not think we will get engaged/ married anytime soon. This really hurts me for some reason. Their oldest daughter got engaged at our age, why should things vary with their son and me? My boyfriends parents got married (and pregnant!) at our age, so I do not think it would be weird at all! For some reason their passiveness to the subject makes me sensitive. I wonder if there are concerns that they are not telling me? Or, are they being indifferent for no reason? Why does their extended family love me and want my man to propose yet his immediate family is on the fence? The pressure from certain people and then absence of pressure from others is very confusing. After writing all this out I have realized that I am focusing on other people’s opinions again. I should just focus on my feelings for my boyfriend. He makes me feel like royalty everyday and I know how much he loves me! If I focus on this, those other concerns don’t really seem like a big deal.
Perhaps if I had focused on my feelings for my man, and on less about what other people think, I would have been less distracted last weekend before the wedding. I am so happy that these two love birds found one another and that they are starting their own “Happy Ever After”! With a bit of patience, we will all get there one day!
LOVE YOURSELF! This will help you share happiness with those around you when they have big life moments. This will also help you stay in the moment. You will have plenty of moments where you will shine! I promise you. Remember that focusing on other’s accomplishments/ opinions will only derail your own confidence. Focus on everything you have worked for and how that makes you a smart, independent, and beautiful human being. Princesses are never late, their actions are always right on time just as you are in your own fairytale! Have faith, a pinch of patience and you will find that you love the journey you are on! Comment below with where you are in your own journey!