The Last One

By Shani Petroff

Years ago I attended my cousin’s wedding. When it came time for one of those traditions where single people are called up, someone shouted out my name. The silent room filled with laughter, and I turned red. I put on a smile, but I was fighting back tears. I was so embarrassed.

Now, many moons later, I am gearing up for another cousin’s wedding: My youngest cousin, the one I am old enough to have given birth to (even though I would have been an extremely young mom), and the one who is the last of my aunt’s kids to get married. My cousins from the other side of the family are all married too. So is my brother.

I am last.

My single-dom has been the topic of conversation by numerous people. Some worry about me. Some pray for me. And some — this is the worst — pity me.

But here’s the thing: I’m okay. I’m more than okay.

At the wedding years ago, I didn’t tear up because I was jealous. I teared up because I was struck with this overwhelming feeling that everyone was judging me, feeling sorry for me, thinking that I didn’t measure up.

The truth is, most of them, probably weren’t even thinking about me. Even so, while I shouldn’t have, I let the feeling get to me.

Would I like to be in love and married to the right guy? Yes. But I don’t want just anyone, and I’m not going to settle. My journey, my path, is my own, and I’m having a great time traveling it.

It makes me think about my weight-loss progress. I’m not perfect. Not even close. I have moments where I make excuses. Days where I go way over my SmartPoints® budget. Weeks where I mean to, but don’t, exercise. If I were better, I’d be at goal by now. But I’m not. I’ve seen people who’ve started the Weight Watchers program after me shed the weight, while I’m still at the back of the train, picking up the rear.

However, while I might be in the caboose, I’m still on the train. I’m chugging along. I’m not getting off; I’m determined. And when I slip, I hang on and keep going. It may take me a little longer, but I’ll get where I want to be.

Whether it’s romance or weight loss, my journey is teaching me what’s healthy and what’s not, better habits, how to make smart choices, what makes me happy, and how to love myself and everything I have in the process.

After all, you can learn a lot about yourself on the scenic route — and I know when I get to my destination, I’ll appreciate everything that went into getting me there.

Life isn’t a race. It doesn’t matter what place we finish. We each have our own paths, and we only get one life, so whatever road you’re taking, I hope you enjoy the trip.

You can find me on Connect @shani!

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