A few weeks ago, I stood by my best friend’s side as she said “I do” to her husband.
This was an enlightening experience on many levels. Of course, the most obvious being that I am unimaginably thrilled for her to begin this new and exciting chapter of her life. It also made me realize that this was just a part of the inevitable tsunami of weddings and babies that accompanies someone in their mid-to-late twenties.
Every where someone in my “age-box” looks, there’s a couple getting engaged, walking down the aisle or procreating. It’s a bit unnerving, to say the least. Weddings are one of those things “grown ups” do, so coming to the conclusion, as a spectator, that I am no where near that phase of my life was a bit of a check and balance moment. The usual laundry list of questions floods your brain:
- Am I where I thought I would be at [X] years old?
- Is marriage something I want to do?
- Would I be good and nurturing as a parent?
- What about everything I wanted to do BEFORE all of this grown up stuff had to happen?
- Does this mean I have to start thinking about mortgages, gift registry listings, and retirement residences?
- Oh good God, do I really have to get those people a wedding gift?
- Wait, a blender costs how much?
- The bride gets whatever she wants, right?
- Are these guests silently (or not so silently in some cases) judging the single-me in attendance?
- Those baby “necessities” are how much?
- Pay rent, or show face at an acquaintances wedding and great a free meal/open bar?
Some, if not all, of these questions have flooded through my absent minded brain in the last twelve to eighteen months. To varying levels of intensity, I’ve tried my best to answer them. That’s when I came to the conclusion that some times, not having an answer is OK. (In other times, yes, you do have to give them a wedding gift, and yes that blender’s price tag is $300.)
These life milestones come in waves, some people are just more comfortable to dive in sooner. I am firmly in the second wave, the group that holds out for a while. It’s a realization that was not easy to come to grips with, especially given my last year. But having faced it, I know it to be true. Things will happen when they do for my friends and I in our time. Just because we’re not on the fast track doesn’t make it any less worthwhile or fulfilling.
In the mean time, we collectively wish those diving in sooner the best in their new adventures, while relishing the time we have left to experience life on our own terms, for just a little bit longer. I have a few more things to cross off my checklist before diving forward too!