Most of my close college friends are now married. Over the past month, I’ve had the good fortune to spend some time with almost all of them. Most of the time in past, I’ve been a third wheel. I’ve accepted that role and have been really OK with it. I’ve been dating Katie for a few months now, and we’ve reached the point where you start introducing them to other people.
I will say this, it’s been fun to see how we’ve all developed as people post college. It’s also been interesting to observe couple dynamics. We’re probably not going to do the same things we did in college with one another. After consuming more than a few beverages with my old roommate, he said, “Well, I haven’t drank that much beer in a while.”
There’s life events that you think about, but never really picture them happening. I attended a birthday party for Joe and Laura’s one-year-old son, Lou. You don’t think about having a birthday party for a one-year-old when you are in college. (Or at least I didn’t.) I didn’t spend much time with the birthday boy, but it was nice to eat brats, drink beer, and catch up with people.
You share in grief. Corey and Ashlyn came up from Colorado for the funeral of Corey’s stepmom. They are both two of the goofiest people I know, so it was a different subject to discuss the topic of grief and mourning over dinner at the Neighborhood Cafe. Fortunately, they kept their humor and grace over the whole thing. It’s nice to see them support each other.
You share in life adjustments. Andy and Angela moved to Ohio a few months ago. They’ve struggled to adjust to life in the Buckeye state, but they’ve been able to find the things that make them happy and have settled down a bit since relocating there. I introduced them to my cousin and his family, who live nearby. It’s nice to check in with old friends and see how they’re doing. It’s also nice to know that little introductions matter.
You share in growth with Heidi and Joel’s baby on the way. They’ve had their fears and their joys and it’s been fun to see that growth. Again, it’s one of those things you know can happen, but you don’t really think about it over the course of your life.
I like reminiscing about the past, but that’s different than living in it. I’m glad I have friends who are dedicated, driven, and willing to face tough situations with grace and level-headedness. I don’t think there is a point when you “grow up.” Things just keep coming, you adjust, and you go forward again.
I don’t know how different I am than I was in college. I’m probably a little more settled and a little more mature. I guess that’s a good thing. The things you talk about friends change, but it’s good to know that your friends do not change.