Before My Best Friend’s Wedding

I’m about to fly home tomorrow, land, get on another plane, and go see my best friend from high school get married.

I’m 23 and have only had one relationship thus far. That’s okay, I’m not sensitive about it, but it does still strike me as a little odd to be in this position. I’m growing up. I’m at the age where people get married…

I’m not entirely sure I want to get married. I used to be sure. Growing up, I never questioned whether or not I would get married. Recently, however, I’ve started to think a little differently. I still like the idea of it, mostly. I like the idea of love, of having someone who knows you better than you know yourself. I like the idea of having someone to come home to. I like the idea of support.

I don’t like the idea of dependency. And I hate the idea that my life needs to revolve around another person, that for some reason I have to give up the things I want in life to make a relationship ‘work.’ I loathe that in many eyes my work would be put second to my spouse’s, that I would have a role people expected me to fill. I’d detest my partner if they felt that way about me, if they expected me to be domestic and a caregiver above a woman, because those words are not synonymous.

But this isn’t about me, this is about my friend.

My friend is getting married.

She’s the same age as me, but her fiancé is a few years older than us. I don’t know if that changes things much in terms of his internal clock, but I know he’s been engaged before. Those aren’t really the reasons they’re getting married right now, though.

They’ve been together for over three years now, but a lot of that has been long distance. They met when my friend was on exchange, and continued the relationship after she came back home. Now they’re tired of living so far apart, and, as they’re both from different countries, the only way to fix that is to get married.

I was on exchange at the same time as her in a nearby country, so I met him a couple times. He’s nice, I like him. They go well together.

It’s just weird, really, that I’m at this age. The age where people get married. Not just married, but some people have kids already. My eldest brother, at the age of 20, was already married and a dad. I’m not even sure I’m a “young adult” anymore…I think I might just be an adult.

Most of us go through a similar trajectory as kids – we go to school, maybe play a sport, develop a solid friend group, have a somewhat messy home life, then hopefully graduate high school. After high school, though, it’s a toss up. Anything can happen. My closest friends all went to university, so we still had similar milestones, but now we’re out and everything’s changing.

We’re growing up.

And as people grow up, they have different experiences and different priorities. While I only ever think about my career and the best ways to enrich my life by myself, my best friend met the love of her life a few years ago and is ready to start a life with him. She also has more of a career than anyone else our age I know, mind you. Like a real career, related to her major. Really, she’s more adult than most people I know at this age, with or without kids.

As we continue to grow, we’re going to continue having more and more different experiences. Some of us will start families. Some of us will move. Some of us will fall short and start again. Some of us will float. There’s a chance we’ll grow closer together, but there’s a bigger chance we’ll grow apart.

As Smash Mouth said, “the years start coming and they don’t stop coming.” From here on out I’m only getting older. More of my friends will get married. Maybe I’ll get married. Maybe not. I don’t know.

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