Becca Kufrin vied for Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s heart on Season 8 of The Bachelor. Now she's on her own journey to find love in the latest season of The Bachelorette – and she's blogging exclusively for PEOPLE about it! Follow Becca on Twitter at @thebkoof .
Well, here we are. Season 14 of The Bachelorette and trust me, I was just as shocked as you when I was announced as the next happy lady. I think I'm still in shock as this was really the most surreal experience of my life. As most of you already know, I was never originally meant for that position because of the (not so easy) fact that I was recently engaged to the final bachelor, Arie Luyendyk Jr. Usually the title of Bachelorette goes to the runner or a beloved girl who lived through most of the season just to be sent home a bit early, and usually heartbroken. Instead, I did it. I got this beautiful rose every week. I was suggested and accepted an engagement from a man for whom I wanted to spend my life with for a fleeting moment.
I came to The Bachelor who seeks the love of my life and I am glad to say that I have done it. I am dedicated and in love and excited for the future, but the way there is not what I expected (understatement of the century). If you had told me last year when I got out of the limo for the first time, I would probably have laughed in your face and asked if you were looking at anything. Because of everything I've experienced, nobody was in my position before, so this time I started with a lot of fear. The last time I did that, I was completely blind and had a broken heart, while mascara was smeared over my forehead and snot ran down my face. Note to all who read this: Stay with water-resistant mascara ̵
The beginning of this journey was intoxicating and overwhelming, and I knew I would be constantly asked if I was really ready. To dispel this concern, before the whole season runs out, let me say on the record that yes, I'm ready. I would not go through that crazy, unconventional journey again if I did not really think I was ready to do anything for a lifelong partner. I want a relationship like my mother's and my dad's, like any strong relationship around me, and I would not let that past heartache stop me from finding that.
Officially, My Journey Begins as a Bachelorette I met three independent, hard-hitting women who knew better than anyone else what I intended to do: behind the bachelorettes Rachel, JoJo, and Kaitlyn. These are women I admire so much, and some of the strongest, most inspiring bachelorettes I've ever seen. Everyone had a very different love story, but each of these girls ended up in a loving, loyal and committed partnership – something I also wanted to imitate. The girls were kind enough to chat with me for the afternoon and give all sorts of insights on what to expect during the long first night, and advice to be in that position.
What a great time I have heard their stories experiences; the good dates, the bad kisses and the sometimes ugly truth of the breaking heart. With what started to talk bad Juju out of the mansion and hold a fictitious ceremony so that I did not look like an idiot when I finally stood in front of all men and found three new friends that first night I felt so ready as always for this first night. The best advice they gave me was to trust and listen to me throughout the journey, because only I will know what I really want and need in the end. They also sent me with the knowledge that all three had their first impression on the man with whom they had come in the end. No pressure, right ?!
When I moved into the mansion in the evening, the past hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt the same nerves as on the first night of last year. Would someone stumble? Would I trip? Would anyone take a look at me and jump back into the limousine and scream? Would I accidentally rip the top strap of my 30-lb dress and give everyone a half rate show? The menu for possible disasters was endless, and I had no idea what was coming. I could only imagine what the boys felt.
I remember what it was like to step out of that limousine and see what my potential PIC (Partner in Crime) might be. Nervous with anticipation is the best way to describe it, so I could really empathize with all those people who would do the same. When I came up the driveway last year, I was shocked to see how real everything was when I saw Arie. I thought to myself: "Oh man, what have I just got into?" It happened so much around me and I was honestly dimmed because "let's do the damn thing" should never come out of my mouth – it just slipped away and now it's stuck. Side note: I definitely have time to withdraw these five words in favor of all ears. Besides, I did the damn thing at this point.
When the limousines drove up and the boys were streaming, I was overwhelmed by how sincere (and handsome) everyone seemed. Yes, I could definitely feel the nerves and resume the fearful energy, but each guy really did something to stand out in my head and put a smile on my face. And as nervous as I was, I just wanted them to feel comfortable in the Chaos Sea. And it was chaos! I have the feeling that I have experienced everything in these introductions. Blake, whom I met on After the Final Rose rode an ox! Then Connor pulled a "Becca" and got down on one knee (for the material, Connor), and a brave soul jumped out of a hearse! I mean, Trent suggests he's ready to get in this thing! But really, since a season is not complete without a costume, a chicken cackled, aka David. Every man laughed or intrigued me, but one of my favorite entries was Chris R.'s gospel choir. Music is a big part of my life and Sister Act 2 is just the best movie ever, so it was the perfect combination of my favorites in one. Also – am I the only person who wonders how this whole choir fits in a sedan ?!
Once in the villa I greeted the boys, and trust me, there's nothing better than going into a room full of men with men all focused on you. I felt so out of my element, but secretly loved it. I lived my best life at that moment because I feel deep down, that I only knew that I would stand there – that this whole thing would work this time.
RELATED VIDEO: Becca Kufrin Sends Home Candidate Jake to the Rose Ceremony
When the night really started, I felt like running like a chicken and cutting my head (no offense, David). But with every conversation I felt open and hopeful about what the future would bring. Everyone gave me a quick look at who they are and why they came on this journey. What was my favorite part? The fact that I was able to meet 28 guys from all over the country that I would probably never meet in my "normal" life, and that was something so special and exciting.
I had some of the most interesting interactions in the whole world night. Christon had really raced my heart as he dove over me. I mean, I'm 5 & 7; and with heels, I can be 6 feet tall, this guy can really breathe! Nick made me laugh as he tried to relax with his back massager, though I do not know if relaxation is the best way to describe it. Clay was so adorable when he pulled me aside to make clay figures to help me remember his name. Blake was so easy at home and made me feel like I was really on my wavelength. And I had to get to the bottom of the true mystery: Where did he get all these animals from?
Although the evening had a lot of highs, there were also some unexpected lows. I did not expect much drama on the first night, but apparently it seemed like a shadow to follow.
First there was Jake from Minneapolis. Now, unlike what Jake remembers, he and I have met several times and we run in the same circles (Minneapolis is not the largest city). But at least I would like to think that he would even remember me a bit! And if I was so imperceptible in a small group of people, why now? Is it because I'm the bachelorette? These are the questions that I can not ask myself, but I have to …
Because I did not want to begin the first night with questioning the motives of a man, I decided to take him home early in the morning before the Rosary ceremony Send. While I'm 100 percent sure that I made the right decision to do it here and there, it was harder than I originally thought to send someone home, especially early. I knew it would only get harder as the night and weeks went by.
The drama continued with Chase and Chris R. Well, to be perfectly honest, I still do not know the full extent of the problem, but it's a lot of him said he continued. I was dizzy to hear Chase try to explain himself, and I do not know the whole story, but she had the distinctive rhythm and rhythm of BS. In my opinion, I had a great group of guys that I wanted to have here to really get to know each other, so I did not feel the need to hold around someone who was already steeped in drama. To be honest, I wanted to shed the fat as fast as possible.
After all this crazy drama, I knew that the first impression of a happy guy was on the table. Making that decision was not as easy as I thought, I had just met so many great candidates. A majority of the boys could have got this rose for themselves, but I really wanted them to go to someone special and not just make the night fun, but that I might be able to see a growing relationship. After Garrett's clever and charming appearance, fly-fishing and light conversation, I knew he would be someone whom I hoped would be there for a while. I understand that Garrett could have a small target on his back with this rose. But I figured he would be chatty enough with the boys to handle any jealousy. And besides, I wanted to see his big smile again.
When I went to my very first Rose Ceremony, I was more anxious than I ever expected. Aside from the fact that all I could think of was, "Do not trip, Becca. Do not stumble!" I realized that being on this side of the ceremony is much harder than being on the receiving end. Especially on this first night, when I made my decision based solely on the first impressions, the Bachelorette is under pressure. This decision had a lot of weight and I wanted to make sure that I could find my partner in the group with whom I wanted to continue my journey.
It was not easy to send six men home, and I felt terrible for the men who left that first night because I know how scary it is to move away from your everyday life to those crazy ones Travel to go and try to find your person. Grant, Christian, Darius, Joe, Chase, Kamil and Jake – thank you for putting your heart on the line and jumping headfirst into this journey with me.
That first night was long, but a rewarding whirlwind and then a long night left the villa in my joggers and slippers under my dress (and of course my main need, the robe) and awaited a long-awaited nap. With the night one in the books, I eagerly await you when you see what the first week of data brings. On my first group date, you'll see some familiar faces that may make you feel nostalgic. There is a lot of drama involved that quickly made me wonder if this trip would work for me. I also have my absolute favorite date of all time, which has unfortunately shattered something. Is it my heart? You have to turn on next week to find out. As for the rest of the journey, let's just say that I can identify more with Aria than I ever expected. When it comes to matters of the heart, love is not always that easy. And when I talk about Aria, he comes back to my life in unexpected ways, changing our lives forever.
I know the five words are retired, but maybe again and a little bit different for the way – I did the damn thing.
The Bachelorette airs on ABC on Monday at 8 pm ET.