Within the last nine months, my three closest friends have all gotten engaged. One is already married, the other two will be saying “I do” by the end of March, and in the two weddings to come, I am the Maid of Honor. This means chiffon is all over my closet, save-the-dates are covering my fridge, and everything else is on my Pinterest boards. I’m seriously thinking about taking notes the next time I watch J.Lo in “The Wedding Planner.”
I’ve watched my friends pick out their white dress, book their honeymoon and just sit and stare at the sparkling ring on their finger. And I honestly couldn’t be happier to walk beside them as they plan what’s going to be one of the best days of their life.
But every now and then, in the midst of all the planning, prepping and primping, there is a twinge of bittersweetness that tries to settle in. Because as fun as it is to watch this dream become a reality for them, it’s not as fun to realize that in my case, the dream is still a dream. When that realization hits, it can be so tempting to let my mind go down the path of self-pity. I start to think:
“When is it going to be my turn?”
“What’s taking so long?”
“What’s wrong with me?”
“Why does she get this and I don’t?”
Maybe you’ve asked some of the same questions. And maybe, if you’re like me, you start to try to answer those questions. But let me warn you, if you let yourself go down that road, this gross feeling called insecurity will show up. And before you know it, that insecurity will end up being your plus one to every single wedding you scored an invite to.
You may have experienced that type of insecurity before, or you may have even been on the other side of someone dealing with insecurity. That’s what happened to me.
I was a freshman in college. During my second semester, I started dating this guy. Naturally, I couldn’t wait to tell my friends all about him. He was by far the best prospect I’d had (I didn’t have the best track record in high school), so I called one of my friends one afternoon to tell her about him. I was beyond giddy, and considering the fact that she was one of my best friends, I thought she’d be happy for me.
But she wasn’t.
She was critical, unexcited and almost cold. I remember hanging up the phone and feeling like I had just been punched in the gut. There I was, with some big news that should have instigated some much desired giggling and girl talk, but instead, all I felt was disappointment. She had let that feeling of insecurity get the best of her and had unknowingly, hurt her best friend in the process.
I will never, ever forget what that felt like.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that insecurity is easy to handle. It’s so hard to watch someone else get the one thing you want most. I’m not denying that for a second. But let me encourage you, friend. Don’t ever let your insecurity take away an opportunity for you to be excited for other people. There is no greater feeling than to watch someone you love and care for have their dreams become a reality. Don’t let the temptation of insecurity ruin that feeling for you.
My dad has always taught me to live by the Golden Rule. He paraphrased it as, “Treat people the way you want to be treated.” Think about that. Don’t you want your friends to be overjoyed for you when something amazing happens? Don’t you want them to be your biggest fan, always cheering you on? Don’t you want them to stand next to you, giddy with excitement as your dreams finally come true? Of course you do! We all do. And as the Maid of Honor, that’s exactly what I get to do for my friends over the next few months.
So through every shower, every dress fitting, every bachelorette weekend and every first dance, I will never forget what an honor it is to stand next to my best friends as they each marry the man of their dreams. Not to mention, I get to tell embarrassing stories about them in my speeches. I get to eat my weight in wedding cupcakes. I get to hold their dress up while they pee. And I get the best view in the house to watch them walk down the aisle.
I’ve helped them deal with their frogs, and now, I get to watch them secure their prince. And that’s what puts the “honor” in Maid of Honor.