This is the year. The year when all my friends are getting engaged, married, having kids, moving to new cities, starting new jobs, starting new lives. This is the year when a lot of things change.
Two weekends ago, I was in the wedding of one of my best friends. I hadn’t yet met her fiance until the day before the wedding, but I had nothing to fear – he was perfect for her. A perfect balance of silliness, practicality, faith, and chivalry for my gal – it was clear that they were a perfect match, and I know that her parents and friends who lived closer and had seen them grow together had watched over her in this choice – this so perfect of a choice.
As I danced with my friend and her new husband on the dance floor, and watched them gaze at each other and giggle together, I thought about how just a few years ago, she was single and thinking she’d be an old maid, and I was about to start a long distance relationship as college ended and I moved to DC and my boyfriend went off to law school. I thought about how so much had changed in that time, but how my friend never had. She was the same, true to heart, heart of gold girl who would do anything for those she loved, and put a lot of thought into her life choices. With her, you know that she’ll always give you the truth, and she’ll never let you stray from who you are at heart.
A few days later, I was helping my parents pull weeds in their yard. It was like the old days again, squatting around pulling the darned things out of the ground in the heat and humidity. This time I wasn’t muttering about how I could be inside – it was actually ok, because I was spending time with my parents, which I always treasure, especially now that I no longer live with them. More importantly, it was almost a metaphor for their situation – they are about to make their next big move – and by big, I mean literally across the country. New state, new “stuff,” new start to their life. Of course, they want me to come with, and I’m not afraid to admit that I want it just a little bit too. They’re weeding out the things in their life they don’t want or need, and I have been learning to do the same in the last couple of years. Weeding out relationships that are harmful, feeding my interests and passion, cleaning out my past.
Just a few days ago, I was at another wedding. Another friend from college, a Miami Merger coupling. I was with all the guys I had hung out with since freshman year, except for my boyfriend, who was slaving away studying for the bar. It was another moment where I sat there thinking about seven years ago, when we were all young(er), more naive, more reckless, more cautious, less burdened, less responsible, less jaded. I watched my friend dance with his new wife, watched my other friends joke and jostle and drink too much like they used to do, and humored them as they placed bets on when I would get the question that would put me on that floor dancing my first wedding dance.
As I think about my friends who have moved in with boyfriends, divorced their husbands, had their first baby, found their true love, left a job they hated to take a job they loved, I think about my own path. I think about how far I’ve come, how far I have to go. I think about what’s important to me, and what I need and want to be happy. Some days it’s hard to know. But as the weddings march on, and I do the weeding and wondering, I know it will all be figured out just the way it should be.