February 8th, March 16th, early May, June 28th, October 4th. What do these dates have in common? They are my friend’s wedding dates. How exciting! Wouldn’t miss it! As each new Save the Date rolls in I am thrilled to be a part of such a significant day in the life of someone I love. But when I also sit and am quiet, there is a part of me that comes out that I don’t quite love about myself. Beauty in self acceptance – right? Beauty in where you are at? Because when I admit it, with each new Save the Date that shows up in my inbox, or is posted on my fridge, I also get pretty jealous and my competitive nature roars its ugly head. I was supposed to be first – that was supposed to be me. I am still, at times – ok right now, struggling with the reality that I chose to postpone my wedding. As we are getting back on the horse, so to speak, with the wedding planning I secretly hate parts of the decision that I chose to put things on pause. And while I love my friends dearly, and can not be happier for where they are at – a part of me wishes I was there too with the showers, and the dress, and the cake tasting too.
I am reminded about a post Jon Acuff wrote in his blog “Stuff Christians Like” (which is a hilarious blog by the way) called The Soft X. In it, Jon addresses how God speaks to us in times of disappointment, struggle, and unmet expectations. ” I know, my son, I know”, he says of God, and at times like this in my life it is hard for me to remember that God cares about the way I am feeling. There is beauty in the suffering. Perhaps suffering is a strong word here, as I know I am learning SO much about myself when expectations are unmet, or rather, life takes a detour you really could not anticipate. I have pretty high expectations for myself – Lighten up Katie, Lighten up! I, however,would like a little break from what my mom and I affectionately call a good ol’ FGO – Fucking Growth Opportunity – excuse the language.
And so, for this week, I am choosing to turn my attention towards the beauty in walking along side others through life – through the ups and downs, from the ouch that’s tough, to the celebrations and the Hooray look at you! This weekend, Dylan’s cousin got married, and it was a beautiful wedding, methodically planned out and a great expression of a wonderful couple I hope to get to spend more time with. I hope they become better friends, and our go-to Fort Collins buddies! They are both so neat, passionate, funny, and committed people!
While there were some moments in the weekend where I caught myself thinking, “I wish that was us”, I tried instead to focus my energy on what a blessing it is to be included in something so significant. To be a part of a large, wonderful extended family that I SO look forward to making my official “in-laws” and my friends and to walk through their joyous moment as I know they will walk through mine. My time will come and in the meantime it is helpful to remember that God is up there saying, “I know Katie, I know.” Too, their is so much beauty in the opportunity to learn about yourself in the midst of unanticipated life changes. I am learning that it is ok to say, “Hey, this is where I’m at – all the pretty, all the ugly, all the unsure, all the confident for 5 minutes until something makes me tip just a little bit in a direction I didn’t even know was possible.” But I hope you will continue to walk with me through all of those questions. Maybe Brene Brown @BreneBrown would be proud. Maybe beauty doesn’t always need to be masked in optimism, maybe beauty is accepting exactly where you are – a mix of dark and light, of joy and jealousy, and of me and of you.