What I Learned at my Best Friend's Engagement Party
Being in your early twenties means exploration, growth, making decisions, AND adding on to your list of "firsts." (you know that list right? First graduation, first piercing, first kiss...).
Last weekend I added "first engagement party" to my list-- my best friend's engagement party. After being a social hermit (total paradox?) for a few months, and after not having seen my best friend in over a few months, her engagement party was all I looked forward to in October. Not even my birthday was that high on my list.
That Saturday morning on October 28th, I woke up with self care in mind, also with the added benefit of looking my best for the engagement party. After getting that much needed mani-pedi, I threw on the super cute Forever21 outfit that arrived the day before, did my usual curly hair style and make-up, and got on a taxi to Brooklyn with my friend, Angel.
On our cab ride to the party Angel broke some really exciting news to me. Not only does he work at a Japanese Bank and is taking a trip to Thailand this week, he is also starting a business and it's already a few months into the works!! I can't reveal what the business plan is but I know that in the grand scheme of things it will sell something that young adults will love, many people will need to make their lives easier, and millennials will appreciate. While listening to him I couldn't keep myself from thinking several things: 1. "Wow! Look at this Dominican dude from the South Bronx doing big things!" 2. "I never thought I'd be having these types of conversations with my friends, or with anyone for the matter," and of course, 3. "Girl, WTH you doin' with your life?" Have you ever had that feeling? Like everyone around you has it together and you're like, "Did I remember to lock the door before I left?"
30 minutes later when we got to the party I saw my best friend and her fiancee together and they just looked SO happy and magical! Throughout the night, while celebrating their union, the question inevitably crept into my mind again! Like, "Girl, WTH you doin' with your life?" This thinking was and still remains very toxic and I had to make the conscious effort of flipping those thoughts. Instead of wondering when my time would come, I thought about my future and how much I've accomplished so far. Literally, in the midst of the drinks, the dancing, the pictures, I felt a high and a rush that caused an excitement from knowing all that will come. And by the end of the night, I felt sole empowerment from being surrounded by beautiful, joyous, and goal-oriented friends.
I indulged in conversations with friends from college and I even embraced those friendships I thought had fallen through the cracks long ago. I mean, the theme of the night was union, and there was union and reunion all around.
So what did I learn during this night of celebration of love and union? I learned that I am driven by the success of those around me, and I realized that most of those successes come from the friends I made in high school and in college. Being the first in the family to graduate college means more than just breaking a cycle and it means more than just, "Wow, you did it!"
In addition to those great accomplishments, it means that upon graduation you are returning home to what may or may not be a well-meaning family who loves you and cares for you but cannot relate to your college or professional experiences and goals-- that was my experience. My family, which I am very grateful for, did the best that they could given their life circumstances. They did more than enough by merely having high expectations of me as a kid, encouraging me to be a lawyer one day (yep, that was a career goal at one point!), and by simply reminding me to "become friends with the smartest kids in class." What continues to drive me now along with my family's words of encouragement is witnessing my friends break the cycles in their families, defeat the odds, continue to grow and push themselves to succeed, and live life by surpassing the boundaries in front of them.
Witnessing this magic simply feeds my soul.
I learned, at my best friend's engagement party, that I'm excited for the greatness that will come in all of our futures
What keeps you going?? What feeds your soul??