Weddings, Weeding, & Wonderings

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.

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For someone who is very routine, very organized and very detailed down to a fault at times, I’ve had to think a lot more about being open-ended. I used to arrange my books and CDs not only by genre, but alphabetically by author or artist. I have to do lists on top of to do lists, and I like putting dates on the calendar years out. Although there are times when I say, sure let’s go grab a drink after work today, there are also times when I think, eehhhh, I need to go home and work out and make a healthy dinner.

All that aside, now is when I’m having to be more open-ended and open-minded about my life and the path it’s taking. Having a long-distance boyfriend about to start his third and final year of law school is a big part of this – it basically means that exactly a year from now, I have no idea where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to just follow him to wherever he gets a job – it’s a joint decision – know that now. But, there is a very real possibility that I could be moving to a place that isn’t near the top of my list, or taking on a job that I didn’t think about a year ago or even now.

At one point – that would have scared me to a ridiculous degree. I would have been making pros and cons lists of every factor going into this arrangement, and trying to pinpoint a date when my life would change and all the things I’d have to do between now and then. But now, I’m slowly settling into a different approach. I’m realizing that things may not be as I originally planned, and that’s okay. I’m realizing that I may not go where I thought I would, but that it may turn out for the best. I realize that when you choose to share your life with someone else, there are so many other things that come into play than just yourself – and I think that’s the thing that I struggle with the most. Me vs. us. Yes I might have always thought there would be an “us” in my life, but it doesn’t really hit home until you start getting to that moment.

I spoke to a close friend from college tonight who is getting married in a year. A year ago, before she met her fiancee, she didn’t want to live more than hour from home, she was nervous about traveling abroad, and thought she was a long way off from finding the love of her life. Tonight, she was glowing about living in her new apartment in a new city, looking for another new job, and preparing for a trip to Italy with a friend in coming weeks. She reminded me of a conversation we’d had soon after we left college, when I urged her to take risks, to not be afraid of change, to embrace change. Now, I see myself having the same conversation with my boyfriend – and honestly, I could listen to myself sometimes. I am no stranger to moving, to trying new things and putting myself on the line for something I want, but I’m realizing that a big risk is also going to be figuring out how to balance my needs and wants with that of the person I marry.

Anyway – many of you know that I’m a couple years off from marrying anyway, but again, as the person I am, I think about this stuff. I’m just working towards not thinking so much and just being and doing, and letting it be more of an open, dirt road than a paved one with mile markers and dotted lines.