Well let’s see. For now I’m going to glaze over that whole ”getting married” thing until I have the time to catch my thoughts and accompany them with pretty photos from the day. The photographer has teased me with a few and suddenly I’ve become overly excited to look at photos of myself. The wait is killing me.
In the midst of this year, the planning and prepping and routine of things, I’ve been thinking about one main thing and since the abrupt end of wedding mode, have been thinking about another thing that corresponds to a third thing that ties in with the first thing.
Number 1: Life does not feel the way it looks like it will feel when you watch other people do it. Standing in the midst of a beautiful sunset doesn’t mean that your life feels lovely, the way an onlooker assumes it does if you are currently possessing the inner-peace to stand and watch a sunset. Being surprised with a new car or special vacation is very exciting and in that moment it’s a thrill but shortly after, you carry on with your normal routine except in a new car or with the knowledge of a pending trip. Getting engaged didn’t make my life feel prettier. Buying my “dream” home didn’t mean I was given heaps of free time to sit and relish in the great house the way you think people who live in dream homes do.
Pictures and movies depict the good things in life in such a way that makes you think you’ll be different in the moment: more peaceful or graceful…just less of your normal, pimply, conscious self. I’ll be whisked to a place of weightlessness, gratitude, and never-ending joy. The reality is that you almost always feel like yourself no matter what happens to you and feeling like yourself is a lot different from how you think people feel when envy-worthy things happen to them.
So what I’m saying is, you’re going to be your same awkward, annoying, imperfect self no matter what happens to you in life.
Post-wedding I realized that I haven’t been thinking outside of myself. I’ve been so focused and tied down by the things going on in my life that I lost sight of my dreamy brooding and haven’t had many thoughts that didn’t relate to my present or very near future. I haven’t thought about the year 2019 once this year. That’s saying a lot for a girl who dreams 3-5 years in advance. I haven’t thought about what I want to be doing in three years, what's going on over Bangladesh or New Zealand, where I want to live someday, what's the latest with endangered species, what sorts of things Brett and I will do over our lifetimes, the future of American politics (vaguely anyways), etc and I would normally have a gaggle of suggestions on hand. Since coming out of that bubble, I’ve looked to my non-planned future and realized that lots of people live in this kind of "bubble-of-self" and that their worlds must feel very small. I’ve just been reopened to what a grand, busy place the world outside of my life is. I didn’t like living like that.
I did have a big internal realization recently about sociable friendship things and this is my third thought that related to that first one about things feeling like other things. I think this is true for everyone but since I’m in charge of this blog I’ll make it about me. Ahem, through the years, my friendship groups have come and gone. Though I keep in touch with a few stragglers from each group of people I sat with through various life stages, time carried on and people move or start new adventures and scheduling phone-calls to catch up on lives we’re not living falls very low on one’s list of priorities. My SCAD friends were perfect for me while I was as SCAD but our real lives are very different and very far apart and I don’t think any of us really understand what makes the other’s life very meaty. I found my way to musical Julie and funny Omar and all those guys at the peak of my waywardness and they were the perfect group of sunny, lighthearted people for me to be around during a time of so much brooding. Ahh the Surfbar days. I didn’t imagine that I would adopt the lifestyle of my Surf Bar friends. I knew I would be too critical of myself if I became a beach bum, but I learned a lot from these place-holder friendships and I’m keenly thankful for just about every friend that smiled at me when I needed a smile. In many cases, befriending people who are different from you can offer the beset selection of qualities that you don't want to possess and that helps you become even more of a person that you do want to be.
To get to my friendship revelation (that was all build up back there), for the first time I’m feeing a sense of real integration in regards to my friendships. I’ve always felt like a fly on the wall in my friend groups. Of course they like me, but even I wasn’t sure what I brought to the table besides snarky comments and occasionally a fruit pie during the right season. I knew I didn’t fully belong in a group of artists or musicians or surfers. They all had this common ground that brought them together. Where was the group of introverted homebodies with a fondness for memoirs and houseplants?
(They’re at home, hiding and updating their blogs.)
I feel right at home now with my Charleston friends. I’ve relaxed into a group of people that haven’t left town. They’ve consistently been happy to see me because I make them laugh – even if they’re laughing at me. Now that all my friends have paired off with great girlfriends and boyfriends and everyone has moved in and out together and started new ventures, well I feel like part of a team of people. We like each other simply for being kind and optimistic. I think our common ground is that we are healthy, reasonable people that are aging and trying new things and that sort of stuff is full of surprises. One of which is this: having couple-friends is a whole new friendship ballgame. Brett and I sharing dinner with another couple is a totally new kind of warm camaraderie that I’ve never felt before. I haven’t figured out why yet. I think it has something to do with diffusing the pressure to be liked or understood within that group. Even if that couple thinks I’m weird, I know Brett gets me and loves me and seeing him like me, makes that other couple more confident that I am in fact likeable. And Vise Versa. We hung out recently with a couple where I love her but am on the fence about him but Brett things he’s fine and the girl is obnoxious. We enjoy watching them interact with each other, listening to what they think is fun and interesting, and then later, we discuss why we’re a way better couple which only ends a good day on a great note.