despite my complaining, which, believe me, is as irritating to me as to anyone, i had a really wonderful weekend in baltimore. i say weekend, but i left right after work on wednesday and didn't return until late last night. i went for a wedding and went early to help with weddingy things and to spend time with my dear friends and college roommates. there were four of us and as of saturday at about 4:30pm, i am the only unmarried one left. i'm very happy for all of them. i'm genuinely happy that each of them have found wonderful men who love them. at each wedding, my eyes teared as i watched my beautiful friend walk in white down the aisle. i can't really pretend, though, that everyone of the tears came from joy. for every few joyful tears, there was one, a small one, that was the only external evidence of a small part inside of me that was mourning. for every dear friend that gets married, i seem to feel less and less understood by the world.
i think that sounds strange, but i can't really think of another way to say it. oh wait, i just thought of an analogy. (who's surprised?) it's like when someone moves away. you're still friends, best friends, even. but, they can't really understand your life because theirs is so different, even though it was once the same. we both are growing and moving, but where we were once growing and moving in the same direction, we've now separated slightly. the distance between and the rate at which it grows depends on many things: how close you were to begin with, how many things you still have in common, etc.
i still love all of my married friends dearly, value our relationships greatly, am inspired by them and learn a lot by watching them; things that i know will come in handy one day. but, that doesn't really stop me from sometimes wishing that we were all young, single professionals, living in the same place, sharing the same joys and fighting the same fights. i sometimes even wish we were still in college. eh, maybe not really. i think i would just like to re-live some of our fondest memories. that would be nice.
all of this brings me to my next topic: singleness. i've decided that singleness is a skill and, like other skills, some people are naturally good at it, some have to work at it, some never even try it, and others, though they are forced to practice it, have such a bad attitude that they never really reap its benefits - like a little kid who's mother forces him to take piano lessons, but who hates it so much that he never improves.
i will be honest and say that i'm pretty great at it - singleness, that is, though i did take piano lessons. i don't know if it's a natural thing, or if it's only because i've had so much practice that i am such an expert, but now it is merely second-nature. it does seem, however, that for people who have not had as much practice as i, that singleness can be pretty tough, or even impossible to get the hang of. for some, this means that they're perpetually in relationships, which is fine, as long as they're healthy and functional, of course. i used to think/hear that it was important to be comfortable on your own before you can be comfortable in a relationship. while this might be "ideal," and probably good advice for teenagers, it no longer seems practical for adults. then again, i'm an expert at being single, not at being a serial-adult-dater, so i could be wrong.
the ones that i really feel bad for are those who despise singleness, but can't seem to get into a relationship. this seems to always end in a kind of irritating misery (like the little kid, sitting at the piano, not picturing an egg under each of his poised hands, but picturing an egg on the head of his teacher). i don't really have any sort of advice for these people, except "be happier; you can have lots of fun on your own and with other people that you love, or at least like," but i have my doubts that that's helpful. in my experience, nothing soothes the lonely heart other than companionship.
ice cream might work, too. not that i've tried that.
in the end, i never want to look back on a time in my life and wish that i would have appreciated it more. (after all, no one ever says "i wish i would have gotten married younger," right?) therefore, i try to appreciate every season that comes my way. singleness has been pretty good to me, and i think that our break-up might be a tough one, but i'm certainly willing to see (other) people if and when the occasion calls for it. ; )