Nothing like a cold to make you feel like you've been run over by a truck. Repeatedly. I've put in a day and a half at the office this week, and tomorrow I'm off to drive down to NJ. Tomorrow, G-pa turns 86, and Saturday, a good friend from high school is getting married.
She's not the first friend my age to get married, but for some reason, this feels more like the beginning of a new chapter in my life than previous marriages. There've been a lot of articles written about my generation and how we're taking our sweet time growing up (combination of bad job market and too much pressure in high school and college are the usual reasons given) and creating a new life-stage, between adolescence and adult-hood. I'm entirely too lazy to look up any of these articles, but I've read several over the last 3 years--had to do something while I was looking for jobs and living in my mom's basement (wait a minute…that's what all those articles were about...)--and I'm also too lazy to look up and see what they were proposing to call this new life stage. The first time I read one, it said "tweens," meaning between teenager and adult, but that’s since been co-opted by the pre-teen set.
So anyway. I don't really feel like an adult yet. I have a steady, 9-5 job (in my desired career path, no less). I pay rent and bills. But I still feel like I'm playing at being a grown-up. My friends have jobs, or they’re grad students, or off in Japan teaching English. Yet a lot of them feel similarly—that we’re just play-acting, like pre-schoolers playing “house” or “school.”
And now I've got this good friend from my past who is getting married. Sure, she's still a grad student, so if not for the impending ceremonies, she'd still be in this quasi-state with the rest of us. But she's going off into this new stage of life and that's absolutely crazy to me. Even if I walked out of my apartment tomorrow and bumped into the person who I want to spend the rest of my life with...I'm not there yet.
The other, really jarring thing about this is that it made me realize something that actually happened months, if not a couple of years ago. I'm still good friends with several of my friends from high school, and there are more who I don't talk to as often, but I am still friendly with. And they are "my friends from home." But one by one, we've moved on. The friend who is getting married is still based where we grew up, but that's not going to last long. I'm not saying that we're suddenly going to stop talking to one another, or going to visit one another, or fall completely out of touch. But it did make me realize that not only is that "chapter of my life" over, but the one after that is over, too. (I'm going to blame the cliché on being fever-addled most of the week.)