I’m currently feeling pre-wedding blues and friendship blues.
I’m going to get married the earliest among my college friends. Rather than receiving a big congratulation, I was honestly in pain from sensing the panic and jealousy of those around me. Indeed, I didn't desire to be a bride, that I wasn’t a homemaker, or that I hadn’t been dating someone since my school days. I was rather said to be the last to get married, so their reaction isn’t incomprehensible. It's not that I don't understand it; I wanted them to congratulate me wholeheartedly.I just wanted to hear a sincere “Congratulations,” and not some harsh and sarcastic words.
Since I got married and decided to move far away, I have a partner who’s a transferee who travels across countries, and I’ve decided that my life won’t be a normal lifetime employment. So I wonder if everyone will no longer need me, who’s going to a different world. That's what I thought.
I've been worrying about this for three weeks, so my mother says it seems that I'm feeling marriage blues. "Am I really okay with this person?" I thought marriage blues was only about worrying about her marriage partner and myself, but I wonder if there’s such a pattern. If I had to name it myself, it would be Tomodachi Blues. I'm not going to stop getting married even if I think it's painful, and it doesn't change what I love about him.
But I couldn’t stand the agony, so I ranted to another college friend.
“Our life stages may have shifted now, but we might be able to become friends with them again in 5 years, or even 30 years! Many of our generation, including myself, still can't imagine how you feel because they haven't experienced it.Still, I'm sure it's painful that we can't get along like we did before, but it doesn't necessarily mean that we're no longer friends; it just means that the time to become friends may or may not come. We've been friends since college, but neither of us ever expected that we would get along so well that we would meet up and talk about important things after graduation. I guess that's what friendship is all about. It’s not your fault.”
I was relieved.
I’ve been worried that I might lose good friends since I just moved to Tokyo.
I thought it was because we all had different backgrounds: I was the only one to go to the United States; I was the only one to get married; I was the only one who changed jobs; and I was different from everyone. It should’ve been a happy choice for me, but I became afraid of walking in a different world, at a different pace than those around me. To be honest, I thought I wanted a child, but I tried not to think that I wanted a child for various reasons. Even at the graduate school I wanted to go to, I was afraid to do something different from everyone else, so I was about to quit.
I was the one who looked negatively at the differences, not the commonalities that made us friends.
What a wimp!
Just like my mother said, if I live outside the country where I grew up, I have to become extra tough. Why am I crying because I'm so affected by the reactions of those around me? As my friend said, right now it's just that the timing is off. It's not like I'm the only one who's moved forward, it's just that I've taken a step in a slightly different direction. Everyone’s different and interesting, so it's fun to meet and talk.
And my friend continues.
“And there's no need for everyone to meet, right? Just like how you got married in the first place, everyone's lives will change from now on. It's not just about you, so you don't need to worry. Just like I have things to tell only you, I think they have things to talk to only you, rather than talking about it with everyone else. It's nice that the group of friends hasn't changed at all over the years, but even if things change, I think it’d be nice if we could all meet again someday when we want to."
It certainly is.
There's no rule that we have to meet every month, and there's no rule that we all have to get together. I can meet someone when I want to meet. If everyone’s there, great, I’ll participate. If not everyone’s available, it's okay to only meet those who can.
Indeed, she who gave me these words and I met up because we wanted to hand over the souvenir, share an unpleasant thing that happened at the workplace, and celebrate our birthdays that were almost coming. Like this, we didn’t schedule it to meet next. Sometimes we have had to postpone meetings due to my partner's work commitments, sometimes we meet with her and another friend, and sometimes we meet just the two of us.
I realized that this comfort of being able to be laid back is actually very important to me. Because I can't come back from America soon for everyone. It's painful to apologize every time, "I'm sorry I couldn't meet your schedule again."
I'm still inexperienced, and I'm scared of creating physical and psychological distances with everyone, but this is the path I chose. This is my life.
I'm sure I'll make new friends in a new place and somehow survive. Then come back to Japan randomly, meet up with friends I can meet at the time, and go back home.
And I’m looking forward to the day when I’ll cross paths with my lovely friends.
Written by Kiana
Translated by Rio Ishida
Edited by Emiru Okada
Graphics by Claudia MacPhail