Last Monday, Neil made a crazy good dinner that I am still thinking about! He made salmon cakes, couscous with olive oil, and spinach sauteed in salt, pepper, and olive oil. It was simple, but so good that I couldn’t wait to have left overs for lunch the next day. Having this simple dinner got me thinking about how uncomplicated food can be just as good as complicated food. Neil brings this to my life: simplicity. I bring a lot of drama and complications and adventure and entertainment, but he keeps me grounded in simplicity.
As my wedding approaches and my apartment gets further ready to move away from Boston and teaching, I have had a day or two that are filled with reflection and uncertainty which inevitably means thinking about my friendships. When I think of my friends’ weddings, I think of bridal showers, bachelorette parties, haldhis, and mendhi parties. I have had this expectation that when my wedding rolled around, I would have these same friends to walk beside me through it all. However, being the one who is getting married 5-6 years after everyone else and the one that moved around, my relationships have changed. I don’t have the same girl friends standing by me the way I did for their weddings. Everyone is in a different place and has different priorities. Accepting this is very difficult for me.
My relationships used to be about drama, venting, overreactions, insecurities, and escape. It used to be that I created intimacy by sharing my mini dramas with my friends and getting validation about my feelings. I was so manipulative that I would call the person that I knew would support me through what ever it was without forcing me to see the truth. It was unhealthy and left me feeling bad about myself and unsure of my relationships because they were not based on truths.
As I get ready for marriage, it saddens me to not have this intimacy with my girlfriends. However, I live in my truth more now than ever before. The truth is whether it is kids, families, husbands, work, or hobbies that are keeping my friends from being at every one of my pre-wedding ceremonies, they are in my life in some way. Maybe not the exact dramatic way that they were before, but in a more truthful, healthy way.
Once more I ask the same question I have ask myself throughout this year: What is a wedding really? With my girl friends, it was a time when we had moments of genuine time together. I remember getting my nails done with L the day before her wedding and loving the moment: just being there picking out nail polish. I remember calling P the day before her wedding to tell her I am happy for her and hope she has a lovely day. I remember dancing with E at her bachelorrette party and supporting her first-time stripper. I remember spending the night together with K the night before her wedding in the trundle twin bed. I had made up all these expectations for my own wedding, but didn’t once stop to think that these same relationships would be very different by the time my wedding came around. So this is me in a nutshell: over complicating relationships and expectations for these relationships.
There are some times when complicated is good. My cooking is an excellent example of when it’s good. However, my relationships are not going to work for me if I continue to complicate things by having unrealistic expectations. I have always done this: expect others around me to be me. Chasing false realities was my specialty. However, even though I have moments of relapse during which I go back to these false realities, the truth is most of the time I accept myself for who I am and my friends for who they are today.
It is true that we are all in different places literally and figuratively, but I still want this closeness. There’s something really special about having your girl friends walk with you in life. This is part of what life’s about though…navigating evolving relationships. Though I don’t have the closeness that I once had with some of these ladies, I do have simple relationships that don’t include extreme drama. This is worth looking forward to everyday. I am grateful for this reminder in a delicious meal made by the one who walks beside me everyday no matter what.