Everything Must Change

In six days, my best friend is getting married. She’s dreamed of this day for many, many years and it’s finally here. And though I’ve been aware of and involved in this dream, it’s still a bit of a shock that it’s happening so quickly. Her fiance is a great man, with a good job and a better heart, but there’s still this teeny, tiny, selfish part of me that doesn’t want her to get married, solely because I am fully aware that everything will change.

I dislike change. I don’t discriminate between significant vs insignificant or big vs small: they are all equally frightening to me. It also doesn’t matter that I’ve had more positive experiences with change than negative, the simple truth that homeostasis will be disrupted is enough for me. And Mary getting married is a big, significant change, though not abrupt. Over the last year, her priorities have changed, as they should, towards Damien and the life they’re building together. Free evenings slowly become occupied and conversations shift. In fact, pretty much the only thing that will change is at the end of the day, they’ll say “good night” instead of “goodbye,” and yet it still feels like something bigger will happen.

Maybe it’s because I’ve seen it happen to countless people. They get married and spend less and less time with their single friends, because they have less in common with them. Now they’re worried about balancing work and marriage and bank accounts instead of just themselves. It is a shift from selfishness to selflessness, and it’s got to be difficult. Their problems become different so who they turn to also changes. When you’re having problems communicating with your husband, your first instinct isn’t (and probably shouldn’t be) to run to your single gal pals for sage wisdom. Your life has changed, so you change with it in order to avoid being swallowed up. And we, who are not yet there, get left behind.

I’ve been assured that this will not happen to Mary and me, first with a few vague words about our worth to each other, and more recently with a pact to spend good, quality time with each other a minimum of once a month. But it’s going to change and it’s supposed to. I think what matters more is how we react to it, whether we just passively accept it or we become intentional about sharing parts of our lives with each other.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to end this post. If you’ve read anything I’ve written before (or if you’ve met me), you know that I’m better at beginnings than endings. But maybe this doesn’t have to have a definitive conclusion, as this Saturday will mark the beginning of both Mary and Damien’s marriage and the new friendship we, Mary’s single friends, will be entering into. Maybe that’s enough for this, to leave it like that, with hope.

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