Friday, July 20, 2007

The Muse: Lost in Transition

Being married is not difficult. In fact, I think it comes quite naturally to me because I need to have someone besides myself to take care of and do things for. It makes me feel useful. I remember people saying that the first year of marriage is difficult, but after that everything seems to even out. I'm still wondering when the difficulty comes. And there was always this talk of transition and adjustment. I don't think the adjustment was that hard, but maybe that's because not much changed except my address and the fact that Cameron is with me forever. I still go to work every day. I still run and ride my bike. I still cook dinner and clean the house. All things I did before. But it occurred to me the other day, that I really am still in a transition phase...and I feel a little lost in it.

It doesn't have much to do with Cameron so much as it does with just this particular phase in life. It's kind of like that phase from college to the real world where you don't quite feel like a student but you don't feel like a working adult either. And it kind of feels like that phase when you are dating or engaged where you don't fit in with the single people anymore and you don't really fit in with the married people. Now that I am married, I find I am still in this phase only to discover that there is another one on the horizon of being married and then married with children. Because everything else in our lives is essentially the same but better, I assumed that it applied to everything and I would still be connected to my friends. I have been holding on for dear life afraid that they might slip away.

After spending the weekend with Mala, I suddenly realized that things are very different. Our friendship is the same if not better and I don't forsee that changing, but our situations are very different. That inevitably changes the nature of our friendship. When we were roommates, we talked about how we would be friends when we got married. We would hang out and go on trips together. Eventually our kids would play together. All these things are possible, but the reality of life has settled in. She married a man in the Navy, which means they have a lot of travel and adventure in their future. The chances of them ever living in New York are slim to none. They will probably end up on the West Coast on the beach somewhere. We visited them in DC this past weekend as it was the last weekend they are going to be around for the next 6 months. I didn't know how much I was going to miss her until now.

So as I move from my single life to married life and I am faced with this new challenge of "couples dating," I kind of just wish Mala and Mason lived closer so I wouldn't have to worry about it. Sure, we have lots of married friends whom we love and whom we enjoy spending time with, but it's hard coordinating schedules with four people. It's hard enough coordinating with two. I don't know if I am really ready for the world of "couples dating." It's like dating but worse because you have to get to know 2 people as a unit as well as individuals and there is always the risk of one or more of the party not clicking with the others. I thought all the anxiety and weirdness of dating was over when I got married, but that is false. It's a whole different ball game. And I wonder what happens with the friends who have been my family here. How often will we really get to see Mala and Mason? I don't see it being too frequent, however, I imagine we will have lots of adventures together.

I guess this is really a life transition. I seem to face this often... it's called growing up. I just feel like me - the way I have always felt. I don't feel like I am old or young. I don't necessarily feel like an adult or super responsible or like I am old enough to have kids. But then I look in the mirror, and although some are surprised I have even had my 21st birthday, I am nearing 30, which means I am too old not to be having kids. That's a shocker. I hate seeing friends go. I hate being a slave to THE MAN and not having enough vacation time. I hate that I all of a sudden find myself where I saw my mother so many times... sitting at the table with the check book (although I am usually at the computer) paying the bills and making lists wondering how I am going to get it all done.

Judging by how discursive this is, you can tell that I really am lost. But that is no different from any other time of my life. I just take a deep breath and keep living. Perhaps someday it will all come together and life will make sense, but I doubt it. I think I wouldn't like it so much if it did anyway. Perhaps I need to reread that book "Who Moved My Cheese." Change is good. It's always happening. And the best part about it is the opportunities that present themselves amidst the wacky chaos. Accepting that means sanity and comfort with being lost in transition.

3 comments:

Nicole Cave said...

Maybe your friend needs to start a blog, if she hasnt already.

Ann said...

Nikki,

I enjoyed reading your thoughts about these transitions that come with marriage. It is interesting how some things do change naturally when you get married, and they are most often necessary changes--but still hard at the same time. The friendship issue has been especially interesting for Brian and I living here in Florence, because up until just recently, there have been no other young LDS couples. So for quite a long time, we found ourselves becoming friends with couples who were many years older than us--couples with whom we never would have been close except that we had no other options. It really helped us appreciate and relate to a new group of people. Now, new young couples have started to filter into our town (and we've now had the chance to get to know several non-member couples) and we find that we pretty much like them all because we are so excited just to be able to again associate with people our own age. Anyway, I'm rambling...My point is--you may find that now that you are married, you and Cameron may start to build new meaningful friendships with those that you may not have been able to predict before you were married. Do you know what I mean?

Nikki said...

Ann, I absolutely know what you mean. It's always fun and exciting to get to know people that you would not have expected to associate with. Most people are interesting if you give them a chance to open up. I'm glad you have some new young people to hang out with :) I wish we were there to hang with you guys.