i'm in a wedding in may of this year. it's a girl i've known since 6th grade and these days a friendship that has lasted going on 13 years is quite the accomplishment. way too often girls are catty and get defense over dumb shit and forget why they've stuck together for so long. but not this friend. taylor and i have stuck together since i had headgear and an awkward way of talking to people and since she had bleach blonde hair and a dorky way of connecting with me.
the reason i'm bringing this up is quite funny. about a few months ago, all the bridesmaids and her family threw her and her fiance an engagement party. i live the furthest away in charlotte, north carolina, so showing up slightly fashionably late wasn't a surprise as the drive was 3 hours plus and charlotte traffic is literally second craziest to atlanta. i walked up to the party filled with mason jars, flower arrangements and the cutest sign with an arrow pointing left for parking and an arrow pointing right for the party. i'm from roxboro, north carolina. never heard of it? not surprised. we had one high school and finally got a taco bell like 5 years ago. that town doesn't even have chick fil a! gasp; what horror. the setup was nothing short of country which was only highlighted by the vast fields across the distance at her house and the chilled keg for the attendees, cowboy boots and white tablecloths. it was precious and soooo taylor. after catching up with everyone, i shifted my eyes around the dinner tables seeing every other bridesmaid was there with either a husband or a long-term boyfriend. at first thought, most girls would be all coooooooooool. i'm the only single bridesmaid. but if the thought even existed for a second in my mind, it left as quickly as it had came because everyone's journey is different. and because i didn't have some dude linked beside me, following me around because he knew no one at the party doesn't mean i'm still not the bomb, like tick tick.
kidding, of course because all the boys there were great. winky & shoutout to the men who attended an engagement party with all these lovely ladies!
anyway, taylor's mom made a comment that i laughed at because it's true, but it really set off an emotion in me that i wasn't expecting, in the best way possible. we were all sitting around the cornhole boards laughing with red solo cups filled with beer as the crisp evening air set in and the sun painted an orange canvas for us to enjoy. someone made a casual comment that i was the only single bridesmaid. years ago, this would've embarassed this hell out of me and i would have hidden behind the nearest rosebush because single is sometimes depicted as omg, you poor little ugly child, no one loves you! something has to be wrong with you because you're 24 and not in a relationship. honey, come here, we can hug it out. you're gonna be just fine.
but we all know i think that's bs and i believe in being an independent betch and you all know being single isn't some disease with no cure. girls, being single is exhilarating - the time of your life. you can spend the rest of your years with the best love, not one you have to settle for, knowing you want so much more out of it.
so, taylor's mom is one of the sweetest ladies and in her sweet little voice she looked across the yard and said "amanda, oh my gosh! you are the only single one! i swear back when you graduated high school, we all voted you to be the one to drop out of college to get married." everyone starting laughing but we alllllllllll knew she was serious, including myself.
i used to not be this kinda cool chick i am now who doesn't need a boyfriend. i used to be one of those girls who relied on a guy to make her feel special and thought something was wrong with me if i didn't have one. so it's no surprise that taylor's family, the bridesmaids and three fourths of my graduating class probably thought i'd beat everyone to the alter and start poppin' out kids by age 21.
we all couldn't have been more wrong.
i think no woman should ever sacrifice her dreams, career goals, or ambitions for a guy. i am no where near saying taylor nor the lovely bridesmaids in the picture above are doing that. i say this 1. because they have found that special love thus far in their life. and it's beautiful. and 2. because their other halves are awesome and seem to be supporting of career driven thoughts or traveling the world to explore what life has to offer or staying in watching sappy lifetime movies on pajamas on saturday nights; supportive of whatever makes their woman happy. my point then? i'm telling this story because at some point we all have and i have fallen short to the feeling that i had to hold back, even though i didn't have the independence at the time to pursue dreams i thought would just stay dreams. i didn't have the confidence either, or really even the drive. i was content then, settling. it's a lesson you don't realize the importance of until after you experience it. never settle with or choose a guy over friends or a dream or a career offer. because those things will never wake up one morning, look at you and tell you they don't love you anymore.
don't be like Lauren. go to paris.
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