love letters from the (still) single bridesmaid who is now (proudly) 30-years-young
There is a lot of polarity in the world, but I think one thing we can ALL agree on is that 2020 is a WILD RIDE. I was looking back through my photos and blog and completely forgot that I wrote these letters back in January! I thought that this year would be so full of hope and promise… and while it’s different than I imagined… I DO still believe that 2020 is STILL full of hope and promise. We’re over 6 months deep into COVID/quarantine, and boy-oh-boy has it given me some perspective on life. This period of time has highlighted, sometimes painfully, what TRULY is and what is NOT important to me. I wanted to write an updated series of letters. I miss going to Vegas with my cousins and I miss my solo camping adventures – so I’m using a photo from the beginning of that chapter in my life. We’re far from it being “after” COVID, and my old letters series was “before” – so here’s a little piece of “during” for me to look back on decades from now. This was a fun piece to write, and I can feel that I’ll want to write a new set of letters from time to time!
To All The Boys (slash Men) I Have Loved (slash Liked slash Dated slash “Talked To”):
I know. You’re just as frustrated and resentful and TIRED of all this bullshit as we women are. You treat us poorly… we raise our standards… you think we’re impossible… we stand even more firmly in what we will and will not tolerate… you think we’re the enemy… we think you’re the enemy. It’s a toxic cycle – and the bottomline is that hurt people are hurting people. We’re BOTH equally to blame. We aren’t elevating each other. We aren’t supporting each other. I’ve said it before and I still stand by it – I’m ALL for womens’ empowerment – but/and – we CANNOT rise if we do not rise TOGETHER. We cannot just leave men behind in our dust. We need each other. The Divine Feminine needs the Mature Masculine to fully radiate! And the Mature Masculine would be nothing without the Divine Feminine. The dating apps have cracked me up and made me sad – the energy on there feels very shallow, cheap, and like everything is just a transaction. Everyone feels horny, frustrated, and non-committal. While that did have a place in my growth over the years, it no longer does. I can’t do it anymore. I’m taking a break to examine myself, and if you think you’d benefit from it too, I hope you’ll join me. We have the rest of our lives to relate to each other. Let’s take care of OURSELVES for a moment, so that we can more fully show up FOR EACH OTHER when the time is right.
That one girl from that one time,
To My Single Friends:
Wheeeew, GUUURL, what a year it has been!!! You’re still fierce as fuck. I know you’re holding space for yourself, for your single friends, and for your coupled/parent friends. Isn’t it WILD to compare and contrast everyone’s dilemma? No one has it easy or perfect all the time – literally every situation has its positives and negatives. I know you still want love, and it might feel utterly IMPOSSIBLE right now – we’re wearing masks everywhere and can’t see anyone’s face, maybe you’ve put on a few pounds like I have, the apps (see above letter LOL) are a shit show, you won’t date anyone at work, and it’s not like you can travel right now. I’m not saying this to negate or erase your completely valid thoughts and feelings, but to highlight something that we may someday look back upon and miss with a delicious, sweet ache in our hearts – and I’m saying this to myself as much as I’m saying it to you! – you are single right now. You GET to be single right now. You may live alone, but you get to reach out to people if you need. You don’t have to feed anyone else. You don’t have to entertain anyone else. You can wash your laundry today, or you can let it pile up for weeks and handle it in one massive batch when you feel like it. That eerie quiet you sometimes feel when you’re bored out of your mind? It’s delicious PEACE AND QUIET. If you’re like me and you someday want a partner and kiddos – if you hang out with you friends/family who have kids – you KNOW how quickly things get LOUD and CHAOTIC. It’s not a bad thing, it’s actually a really beautiful season with its own triumphs and tribulations, too! But someday when your future daughter is crying about single life, when your niece/nephew is unsure about how her/his life will unfold – you have these stories to tell. You are LIVING your story, right now. This is the magic. This is the reference point. This is the meat and potatoes, the nitty gritty, the important stuff. This is the time to watch “Friends” as many times as you want, to read all the personal development books you can get your hands on, to educate yourself about racial injustice, to plan your future adventures. Or, don’t do any of that! This is the time to NAP for AS LONG AS YOU WANT, to order EXACTLY what food you want without considering anyone else, to treat yo’ damn self to little gifts without thinking about anyone else’s financial goals, to splurge on a ridiculously priced massage. This is the time to cultivate and create SPACE for all the magical things that are ALREADY in your life, and the things EN ROUTE to you. This chapter isn’t IN YOUR WAY – this chapter IS your way. This IS your path to getting to where you will eventually go. And ooooh, my darling – the places you will go! It is an honor to know you.
(Again, don’t have many male friends, but I imagine a lot of this would be relatable to my brothers, too!)
To My Coupled Friends:
Stop. Take a breath. Relax your shoulders. Unclench your jaw. Release that squiggly line in between your eyebrows. The kids will be fine for 5 minutes. You can read this. Theeeere you are. HI! I’m not going to pretend that I can ever fully understand what you’re going through right now… but I want you to know that I see you and I so admire everything you’re doing and WANT to be doing. I know you love your partner and that you are lucky and grateful for them… AND I can imagine the hardship of being with the same person (especially if you’re both working from home!) day.in.and.day.out. I know you love your kids and that you are lucky and grateful for them… AND I can imagine feeling at your absolute WIT’S END when they ask you the umpteenth time for a snack, and then don’t like the one you offer, and then ask for a different one. None of us signed up for this version of 2020. Of course you want the best for your partner and your kids – and yourself! – and it’s OKAY if you don’t always know what “best” exactly means. Someday I will be bitching and moaning to you about how hard motherhood is, and I know that you will be there for me. So today, while I have the perspective that I have (and hopefully I never lose sight of this, but in case I do, here it is in writing) – I want to be here for you and say – you’re still YOU. Being a partner and parent may be a large part of who you are – but it’s not ALL that you are! You’re more than just the snack-get-er, the YouTube-put-on-er, the dinner-planner. You’re more than the parent worrying about whether or not to send your kid to school. You’re more than the partner aggravated at your Other Half (naaah, you’re both Two Whole Ass Individuals!) for talking to you too much/not enough – giving you too much/not enough space – paying too much/not enough attention – wanting too much/too little sex – AGAIN. I wish I could promise you that the end is in sight, that the vaccine will fix all of this, that the world will rebalance and actively define a new normal. I can’t promise any of that. But what I DO know with every fiber in my being – is that you can handle this. It may not feel like it, but you have handled every single meltdown, temper tantrum, argument, and heated discussion that has ever come your way. All those adversities have made you who you are today. And this, however long this may last, is shaping you into the beautiful being that you will be tomorrow. Yesterday, today, tomorrow – I’m here for ya. You are not alone.
Your forever friend,
To My Future Husband:
HAHAHA. Are there really any words I need to tell you? I feel like we’ll just look at each other and LAUGH and delight in each other’s company. I’m sure I’ll tell you the story someday, but I was supposed to be a bridesmaid in freaking THREE weddings this year! (I have to tell you about all these Zoom bachelorettes and weddings! And the epic “Friends” video I helped create! I’m kind of down to just elope or go to city hall… or if we do it big, all I ask for is sunflowers, twinkle lights, and a solid photographer.) When all those couples got engaged last year, I did have hope that I’d “meet you” by then and we’d dance the night away at all these celebrations. Welp, 2020 happened. Maybe we’ll have our dance at the re-weddings in 2021. I have no idea how we’re going to meet, and I honestly feel hopeless sometimes… I’d imagine you feel the same waves, too. And yet – I can’t articulate it, which drives me ABSOLUTELY INSANE that I cannot argue this with Logic – I Know with my Heart, my Body, my Yoni – I know that you exist. I know that our magical story will have an unbelievably magical beginning. Hell, it may have already begun, and it just isn’t on my radar yet! I can’t wait to hear what your transformative 2020 was like, and I 100% am going to judge you based on your quarantine etiquette/mask-wearing/not-travelling behavior! But you already know how honest and blunt I can be. I know this isn’t the 2020 we had planned, but I also trust that this is getting us exactly, perfectly, amazingly, to where we need to be. I’m unleashing all of myself to get to you, and I can feel that you’re unleashing yourself to get to me, too. We are so worthy and deserving of each other, babe! Until that moment… it annoys me when my parents say it, but I kind of understand the love/sentiment behind it now that I’m saying it to you… stay safe! But I wish more for you than mere safety. Be bold and be true, my babe.
The last time we wrote these letters, we were scared of turning 30. What an epic birthday trip that was! And turns out, there was nothing to fear – your 30s are AMAZING so far, even with all the shit going on. You’re rising to the occasion. You’re letting yourself feel your feelings. You’re using that sharp mind to create some kind of meaningful impact in the world, just by walking your path. You’re healing and listening to your powerful body. I know this year has been tough and infinitely different than you imagined it to be… but iron sharpens iron. You loved yourself before – but oh buddy, you REALLY love yourself now. You’ve made it through some new lowest lows, and you’ve reached some new highest highs. You’re present during all the moments in between. This year is testing your mettle, and you’re showing up as YOUR FULL SELF. You continue to gain so much perspective and look at the world in a unique, beautiful, fierce way. You are still a force with which to be reckoned – maybe even moreso now, because you’re somehow MORE YOU with each passing day. I could not be more proud of you! I have no idea what the rest of the year, of this lifetime holds – but I do know that the trust you have in yourself will carry you wherever you want and need to go. You are deepening and expanding in ways that you can’t even fully understand. You’re growing up, kid! And like that silly math you figured out one delirious night shift (you’re 30 now, if you live to 60-90 then you have >=50-67% of this lifetime still to go; even if you only make it to 40, you still have 25% of this lifetime to go)… you can’t know what % of this life you have left. But whatever time is remaining, I know that you will live it as aligned, as creatively, and as unleashed as only YOU can.