I wrote this post on Christmas Eve as I was giving up on the idea that Carl would ever propose to me. (Little did I know he was going to propose the next day, but that’s a different story altogether).
December, 24 2013
I’m wrapping Christmas presents and thinking about all the people wishing they had someone to share this holiday with. I know men and women alike who just want to know the person they’ll spend their life with—just wanting to know that there IS a person, and that they’ll like them quite a lot.
I’m not waiting on a person. I’m waiting to get engaged.
My phone has buzzed more times than I can keep track of with news of sparkling new engagements. And as I wrapped gift after gift, it happened again. Two sweet friends of mine are getting married.
And I couldn’t be happier.
Or could I?
A slow hurt began to grow in my chest as I saw pictures and heard details. And as I texted back, I began to feel really heavy and really tired.
Because along with waiting comes hope. We have to hope in order to wait. It’s nearly impossible to do one without the other. And hope can be exhausting.
I’m waiting to get married, not because I want a ring, but because I want to marry Carl.
He’s wonderful, and amazing, and all of the things that they write love ballads about. But here I am, still waiting, and my heart is getting tired.
On most days it’s ok. On most days I’m too busy to think about what I’m waiting for, what I am so hoping will happen. On most days it doesn’t bother me, and I really do trust his timing, and God’s.
But on some days, the waiting hurts more than usual, and it’s usually as I get news of someone’s sparkling new engagement.
Last night, as I was about to fall asleep I was scrolling through Facebook. Yes, I know, that’s not the best sleep practice, but it’s what I was doing.
I came upon a video that people had shared. It was a proposal and a wedding all squished into one 30-minute video. The caption insisted that I take the time to watch it.
My thumb hovered over the play button, ready to settle in for a half hour of someone else’s love story. And then something in me snapped.
With the world as it is, we are inundated with images from other people’s lives. We scroll through our Instagrams only to see engagement photos, and snapshots from a romantic Friday night. We get to see wedding preparations, and the infamous honeymoon selfie.
We’re shown over and over again, as we scroll through our feeds, how great everyone else’s life is.
And looking at the still video of someone else’s happy beginning, I realized something important: I don’t have to watch it.
I don’t have to fill my brain with photos of engagements, and parties, and weddings, and honeymoons. I don’t have to watch everyone else’s proposal story, forming crazy expectations of what mine should look like. Watching their story hasn’t made mine any easier.
Yes, I’m waiting, and some days it’s hard, but I’m waiting on something wonderful and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I want my story, not someone else’s, and not the 30-minute YouTube story that has gone so viral.
And so this is the decision I’m making, right here and now:
I’m going to keep my eyes on my story instead of looking at others’. Waiting is hard enough. Comparison makes it unbearable.
So to friends and strangers alike, I’m so happy for your lovely wedding and wish you an even better marriage. I’m sure your photos will be beautiful; I just don’t need to see them. It’s nothing personal.
Because even in the midst of the waiting, I want to live my life, not be a spectator to yours.
Does social media ever make you feel small? Have you ever considered a fast from certain kinds of photos/social media platforms?