A few hours after crying while my brother's fiancée walked down the aisle at our church, I parked my grandpa's beat up blue Buick at Wal-Mart and started sobbing. Shoulders shaking, breaths heaving, and tears pouring, I let it all out in the middle of a grocery store parking lot, releasing the feelings I hadn't even known I'd had.
I cried during Josh's wedding because of the look on his face as his bride walked down the aisle. There was my big brother, looking as vulnerable and in love as I'd ever seen. There was the girl who was going to make him happy. And I was ecstatic for him. Really.
I cried at Wal-Mart because it had dawned on me that I didn't have that. The happy couple had driven off for their honeymoon and suddenly my gorgeous dress and sky-high heels felt empty. All of a sudden, my perfectly curled hair and meticulously applied makeup seemed superfluous.
Because I was alone.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want to be married right now. It's right for Josh and he's happy with his wife, two dogs, and full-time job. I'm not in a place to settle down right now. I like the freedom to choose to go to grad school, move to New York City and pursue my writing career as I see fit, but that doesn't mean I don't want somebody to love me.
It was the look on my brother's face that killed me over and over again. My brother was a typical older sibling (meaning he gave me hell). We loved each other and had really great moments of connection, but we also fought and teased and did the metaphoric pulling-of-the-hair, wrestling-on-the-floor, driving-each-other-crazy type things. My favorite insult used to be "no one will ever marry you!"
But here was someone who wanted to marry him, someone who loved him probably more unconditionally than I ever could, and someone who had stolen his heart as well. The way he acted around her was so different than the way he acted around me. He teased her, but it was gentle, and he was always careful not to go too far.
I wanted that.
More than anything, I wanted somebody to love me unconditionally. Someone to see my weaknesses and not provoke them. I wanted someone to hold me when I was sad, laugh with me when I was happy, and hold my hand when it was cold. I wanted someone who thought my intense emotions during movies were cute, who would read everything I wrote and love it, who would tear up and whose face would break as I walked down the aisle at our wedding.
I didn't have it then. Nearly three years later, I still don't have it. But I'm no longer crying in Wal-Mart parking lots. No, now I'm crying in my bed while chowing down ice cream and watching Friends. It's not every night, just occasionally. Most nights, I'm happy because I know this is where I'm meant to be. Alone, for now. I'm happy for my brother that he's happy with his wife, and I still hope that I'll have that someday.
Now, when I see my brother and his wife having a private conversation to the side, I'll make a crack about "hating it," and maybe feel a twinge of jealousy, but how can I not be happy for them? They have what I hope to have someday. They have love, they have each other, and that is incredible. I'm happy for both of them.
I'm getting over my jealousy. I'm moving on from the sobbing girl in the pretty dress and the high heels. I'm going to be a power-walking journalist in New York City who will occasionally cry and eat super sugary ice cream because why ever shouldn't I? I'm going to be happy for my brother and his wife.
Right now, I'm not meant to be married. I'm not meant to have another person relying on me because I can barely rely on myself. It's hard enough to get out of bed for work, go grocery shopping, and shower. How on earth could I ever be in a marriage where putting the other person first is the number one thing you need to do? I couldn't.
I'm probably not even ready for a real relationship. But it's only been recently that I've realized that it's okay to be single. There's nothing wrong with not being in a relationship. It means that I can make whatever plans I want every weekend. I can even choose to spend the whole time in my pajamas editing a book. It means that I can write whatever I want and publish whatever I want without worrying how it will affect someone else. It means that I don't have to think about how my actions reverberate in someone else's life.
Josh and Kali deserve each other and all the happiness they bring each other. I can't wait to see where life takes them together and what they accomplish.
I'm going to accomplish more on my own for now. I still hope someday I'll have my own partner in this race, but I'm not crying anymore.