I’ve been spending a lot of time on Pinterest lately.
It started in the “Quotes” section, where I’d pin inspirational messages on a board aptly titled, “Inspiration.”
Then I maneuvered over to the “Food & Drink” section. There, I convinced myself I was the next Rachael Ray, pinning away everything that looked somewhat delectable and as my mom pointed out, a lot of cookie recipes.
From there, my Pinterest sessions took me to places most other women probably frequent on the social media site: “DIY & Crafts,” “Holidays & Events” and “Weddings.”
In each of these sections, I saw things that I fancied. Beautiful chandeliers. Candle lit celebrations. Gold, sparkly adornments.
As a single woman, or someone who is in the early stages of a relationship, society warns you of not coming on too strong. You are told not to discuss marriage or children too soon for fear of running a man off. You are taught to let him pursue you and to put your desires on the back burner until he decides that he is ready to make a move. You are encouraged to let him make the move related to one of the biggest moments of your life, and propose marriage. As women, we are taught to wait.
I must admit in embarrassment that I subscribe to all of these notions. I’ve never wanted to come on too strong in a relationship for fear of being seen as pushy. I’ve held back stating what I want in a relationship for fear that I wouldn’t be seen as feminine. I’ve waited. Time and time again.
It’s for these reasons that when I poke around on Pinterest and see things I’d like to be present at the wedding I someday hope to have, I don’t pin them to a board excitedly called, “My Wedding!” Rather, they get stuck to one vaguely called, “Event Planning.” The dreams held on that board are disguised by more than the board’s name. I’ve gone far enough to ensure that it’s vague by adding pumpkin decorating ideas and birthday cakes. Society has taught me that I need to be secretive when it comes to one of the greatest desires of my heart, that yes, indeed, someday I hope to get married. And at my wedding, I want to have twinkly lights and hanging chandeliers and long tables filled with friends clinking champagne glasses.
So, I guess now the secret is out. The cat is out of the bag. And hopefully I can land a date in 2014.
In mid-December, with the lull of finals and the excitement of the holidays around me, I found that I had a lot of time to spend on Pinterest. During that time, I kept coming back to these beautiful parties with glitter and gold and sparkles and happy friends. And I kept wishing and dreaming that someday I’d meet my Prince Charming and that someday, we’d get to have a party just like that.
In the midst of all of this dreaming, though, a little voice began to whisper to me. And that little voice said, “Don’t wait.”
Don’t wait to have fun. Don’t wait to celebrate friendships. Don’t wait for happiness. Don’t wait to drink champagne in a room filled with glitter. Just don’t.
So, I got to planning. I created a new Pinterest board, appropriately called “Sparkle.” And onto it, I began pinning every sparkly, glittery, festive thing I could find. I began pulling up recipes and researching champagne cocktail ideas. I worked on putting together a guest list and finding the perfect date. I called my friend Megan, and asked if we could throw a “Sparkle Party” at her house in Denver the first weekend I got home for the holiday break. She said, “Yes!” And we didn’t wait.
In the days leading up to the Sparkle Party, I collected every vase I could find. I sprayed adhesive on them and then proceeded to glitter the living daylights out of them.
I was taken back by beautiful, golden tables that served as champagne bars. So, on the day of the Sparkle Party, we filled Megan’s table with glittered vases holding perfectly pink roses…
and festive mini balloons.
And we lined up bottles and bottles and bottles of champagne accompanied by perfect mixers and petite fruits next to sparkly pom-pom swizzle sticks that I spent an afternoon making.
I used Pinterest to find inspiration for how to decorate for a Sparkle Party. We lined one wall of Megan’s house with a golden sparkle backdrop surrounded by gold and black balloons.
And as Megan and I scurried to get everything set up, the best thing happened: Friends started arriving. And chatter began. And laughter. And music was playing. And we were all so happy. We didn’t wait.
Most people would tell you that when it comes to life, I’m a go-getter. There are some very clear areas in my life, though, where I’ve been waiting. I believe in being patient in finding “the one” and being hopeful in the possibility that that kind of love really can and will find its way into my life.
At this age, though, when I’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid eight times, it becomes very easy to begin to want to quit waiting. It begins to become very attractive to succumb to the idea of, “Well, maybe that’s just not for me; maybe I’ll never get to have my fairytale day.” It becomes too easy to build Pinterest boards called, “Event Planning.”
While the man of my dreams and that wedding day still awaits me, what I’ve learned, is that life doesn’t. You don’t have to wait for the perfect relationship to find happiness. You do not have to wait for a wedding day to have a celebration–sparkles, glitter, champagne and all.
Life–and happiness–awaits you right now. And in this New Year, it is my resolution to cherish that notion and to believe in it with all of my heart. And perhaps, to throw some more really, really awesome parties as a celebration of it.
So, my friends, cheers to a New Year! May you find it to be your happiest yet.