As a wedding planner, though, not a writer. Although, I did write the copy for the layouts of the style shoots that are featured in this season’s issue of The Bride’s Book.
You can check out my work here: http://raleigh.thebridesbook.com/e-zine.php on pages 29-31, 47-49, 71-73. I styled and organized the photo shoot, but worked with some really amazing event professionals to make it happen. I’m just really proud, so even though there aren’t a lot of people reading this blog, and even though the people who do probably don’t care at all about weddings, I wanted to share it. Enjoy!
Days keep passing. My life moves on every moment. And I feel like I’m missing out. I feel like I’m missing out on THE fundamental experiences of life.
I’ll turn 28 years old in three months. It sounds young, but it doesn’t feel young- especially not for a woman. Think about it- the potential for pregnancy complications and birth defects increases dramatically at age 35, which means I need to have children in the next seven years. And even though that sounds like a fairly decent amount of time, you have to consider the time necessary to meeting, dating, and marrying the man who would be the father of my children. Because, I’m sorry, but I’m not a person who would be strong enough to raise a child on my own. Suddenly, seven years doesn’t feel like that much time, does it? I think about my sister and her husband. They started dating in high school and got married when they were 21. He turned 30 this past November and she’ll turn 30 in four days. They are expecting their first child in June. Nine years of marriage, and almost 12 years together- that’s what they got before they had children. And they still have plenty of time to have more kids if they want to.
But I’ll never have that. It’s impossible. I know not all relationships are the same. Every person is different- no one has the same path in life. I don’t know exactly how to put it, but it makes me sad – that kind of relationship was NEVER a possibility for me. It’s unfair.
I’m turning 28 in three months and I’m not just upset that I haven’t had kids or a long term relationship. What bothers me the most is never loving at all. And never being loved. In Twenty-Five, Abigail told Ben that no one had ever made her feel pretty, that no one had ever cared about her, or even liked her. That’s me. It’s a true for me now as it was three years ago when I wrote it. I can’t figure out why. It seems so incredibly unfair to me. I can’t understand what I’ve done to deserve going through life completely alone. Unless you’ve gone 28 (or more) years completely single- you have no idea, no idea whatsoever how it feels. I can’t even describe it really. Some days I’m fine. It doesn’t even register on my radar that I’m a single person. Other days, everything reminds me that no one loves me, and at this point, the likelihood that anyone ever will seems to be steadily decreasing. You can’t imagine how that kind of thing affects your self-worth and overall happiness.
The absolute worst part of it is that I have no one I can really talk to about it. The few people I have in my life who do genuinely care about me don’t understand, no matter how much they try to. Comments like, “It’s better to be with nobody than with the wrong person,” are not helpful. Getting advice on dealing with being single from a person who hasn’t been single since they hit puberty is not helpful. I appreciate the thought, but it doesn’t make me feel any better.
So many instances have happened recently to bring on this onslaught of self-pity. I’ll mention the two that are most prominent in my mind. I was at a meeting a couple of days ago with a couple and their officiant, planning their wedding ceremony. The officiant asked them to share something personal about themselves to be included in the address and they mentioned their belief that one of the great things about marriage is having someone who is always your fan: someone who cheers you on and supports you no matter what. The officiant likened it to being each other’s # 1 fan. I teared up a little during the meeting, it was so sweet. Then later, thinking back on it, I teared up again, realizing that I had no one who could claim to be my biggest fan, and no one I could claim to be their biggest fan.
The second instance happened during the St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl I went on with my (other) sister and her husband. At some point in the evening, my brother-in-law told a story about how he once almost punched a guy my sister hugged while they were out at a bar. Apparently, she used to date the guy, and my bro-in-law was drunk and jealous. I know girls aren’t supposed to want their men to be jealous, but a little bit of envy shows passion. And once again, no one has ever felt that kind of passion for me (nor have I felt it for anyone else).
This post probably makes me sound crazy. At least, if you are a guy, you are jumping to that conclusion. I don’t know- maybe I am a little insane, but I don’t think I am in a bad way, and truth be told, I think guys like to use the “crazy woman” explanation any time a woman behaves in ways they can’t (or won’t try to) understand.
I don’t expect to accomplish anything by writing this, except maybe a little relief. I know it’s not the first time I’ve indulged my sadness and bemoaned singledom via the blog, so for those of you who have read through it more than once, thank you and I’m sorry.
If my life were a movie, here’s how last weekend would have gone:
I would have dreaded going to the 3-day conference about the unique technology we use at the office where I work in a job I’m way over-qualified for. Because the conference really had nothing to offer me- I’d be leaving this job I’m way over-qualified for soon. But I’d put a smile on my face and cheer in my voice and go along with the seemingly pointless classes and group activities. At the end of the first day, I’d carefully curl my hair, apply fresh makeup, and slip into my brand new dress to attend the opening night welcome reception along with my co-workers. While saving a table in the over-crowded hotel restaurant, I’d spot two very cute young men at the next table over, and being bold, would walk over and introduce myself. We’d laugh, flirt a little, then I’d rejoin my party and the cute boys would have spent the rest of the evening thinking what a cool chick they’d just met.
The next day, I’d go to more classes, say fabulously witty things to all the conference presenters, and get an email from one of the graduate schools I’d applied to saying they’d made a decision regarding my application. I’d bite the nails for the rest of the day, just waiting until we had a long enough break for me to check the school’s graduate website to see if I’d been accepted. Finally, finally! the classes would be over for the day- I’d rush up to my room, log into the site and Yes! I got in! They wanted me! Armed with new confidence and excitement for the future- I’d get ready for the huge sports-themed party the conference was throwing. Hair curled again, makeup re-applied again, and skinny jeans plus totally awesome black and pink Bowling shirt. I’d enter the party with my co-workers, head held high, wondering when it would be appropriate to tell my boss that I’d be leaving for school in August. The first person I see is one of the cute boys from the night before. He’s dressed as an old-timey football player, complete with leather helmet, and he looks adorable. He slyly makes his way over, looks at me with that “Hey, I recognize you,” look, and slowly says, “Rachel?” I grin, and say back, “Joshua?”
Somehow, Joshua and I end up talking away from my group. He offers to get me a drink. We spend most of the party talking and dancing and as things are winding down, he walks me to my room and kisses me goodnight. I can’t believe this is happening- the best news of my life on the same day as the best kiss of my life.
The next day, we spend as much time talking together as conference demands will allow. He’s working, I’m attending. I tell him about getting into school, and he’s impressed by my intelligence. When the conference ends later that day, he insists on getting my number and email address- the long distance doesn’t matter, he wants to keep getting to know me. A few days later, he’d show up unexpectedly in North Carolina at my office with a bouquet of flowers and the insistence that he knew we had a once-in-a-lifetime connection.
My life is not a movie.
What actually happened:
I was kinda looking forward to the conference. I’d never been to Dallas (where it was being held), and hey, anything is better than answering the phone all day long. And for the record- I didn’t have to answer the phone a single time while I was at the conference. Also for the record- we didn’t leave the hotel once while we were in Dallas. So I might as well have been in North Carolina.
At the end of the first day, I did indeed curl my hair, re-apply my makeup, and put on a brand new dress I actually bought for a rehearsal dinner for my friend’s wedding, but wanted to test out somewhere not as important to make sure I actually liked the way it looked and was comfortable enough to wear all night. When we got to the reception, I did hold a table for our group, and I did introduce myself to the two cute guys at the table behind ours. We talked for a few minutes, the other guy, Jason, was the one I was initially attracted to, but the next night, he seemed kinda douche-baggy. But anyways. After a few minutes of (probably badly-executed on my part) flirting, I returned to my group and the boys returned to theirs. I wondered for the rest of the evening if I’d get to talk to them again, they joined a table of “Woohoo” drunk girls who insisted on shouting and singing random songs for the remainder of the reception. Joshua did shake my hand again and say it was nice meeting me as we (my group and I) were leaving.
The next day, as I sat waiting for the first class of the day to start, I checked my email and saw a new message from one of the schools I applied to: a decision had been made about my application and could be found on their website. I couldn’t check the website on my phone because the password I needed was upstairs in my hotel room. So, I had to sit through 6 or 7 hours of classes just waiting, waiting, waiting. When I was finally dismissed, I went straight to my room, located the password in my red notebook, logged on and… Found rejection. A form letter. I didn’t get in. I figured I should check the other schools’ websites while I was at it, even though they hadn’t sent me any kind of notification. Another rejection from the second school. I didn’t get in. And the third school hadn’t posted anything. I started crying while my roommate showered. I laid down on my bed and cried and cried. When I heard the water shut off, I sat up, wiped my face, and tried to compose myself. I started ironing my awesome bowling shirt, then offered to iron hers. I curled my hair. She left to help one of our co-workers with makeup. I cried some more. Then re-applied my makeup and changed into my outfit. By the time I went downstairs to meet the rest of my group, I managed to pull myself together and my eyes weren’t nearly as bloodshot as they could have been.
Joshua did approach me when we entered the party. He was an adorable old-time football player with adorable leather helmet. But he never offered to get me a drink, and while we did talk away from my group for a few minutes and we did dance for a few minutes, he spent just as much time with me as he did with everyone else there. He certainly didn’t walk me to my hotel room and he most definitely didn’t kiss me goodnight.
The next morning, he was moderating the very first class I walked into. I did not know he’d be there- I didn’t choose that class because I thought he’d be there. He greeted me by name again, but then he had to work and I had to listen. We kept running into each other throughout the day and it felt flirty and nice and I thought, maybe- maybe he likes me. I also thought, maybe he’s just really good at networking. At the end of the conference, we shook hands, said it was nice to meet each other, and “hey, maybe I’ll see you at next year’s conference.” We didn’t exchange any contact information.
When I arrived back in North Carolina, my bag did not. It decided to stay in Dallas.
I tried to find Joshua on facebook, but couldn’t.
I still haven’t heard back from school # 3, but I’m not keeping my hopes up.