Things are hard, kind of. I’ve been feeling a lot lately and in a way I’m not used to anymore. I turned twenty-seven; I’m officially in my late twenties and I guess that means it’s time to grow up.
One of my best friends is getting married in a few months and is officially moving even farther away from me to be with her fiance and start a new job. My very best friend is moving out-of-state to be with her boyfriend. A few years ago, this would have crushed me. Now, I can at least acknowledge that this is part of being an adult; people leave, people do what’s best for them, and it doesn’t mean anything other than people are doing what’s best for them.
But it doesn’t make it any easier when I can’t look forward to my own future. It was easier to say these goodbyes – because distance changes things no matter what you do – when I could feel secure in what I have. Knowing I have my own life to live makes it a little easier to let go.
Except now, instead of knowing that I have my own relationship, my own plans, my own future, I face a future I can’t really determine. Since May 18th, my boyfriend’s brigade has lost five soldiers. Five sons, husbands, brothers, boyfriends, fathers. Five.
It’s not all about me. None of this is about me, except when it comes to the paralyzing fear of losing the person I love. Every time I hear about another loss, I think what if this was my life? knowing it very well could be.
People tell me not to pay attention to the news, but they don’t get that being aware gives me some small form of control. I spend most of my time knowing that at any moment something terrible could be happening, but every time I read an article, I have a brief (selfish) moment of knowing it wasn’t him. And then the sadness for that person’s family sets in and the worry starts all over. That fleeting moment, though, is why I will never stop paying attention.
Part of adulthood means letting go, letting people move on and live their lives. The problem is, my own life, insofar as it hinges upon my relationship with M and his being alive and okay, is up in the air until further notice. It’s hard to say goodbye and wish my friends well as they move on to bigger and better adventures, knowing that I can’t say the same for myself – and don’t know if I’ll ever be able to.
I know these are Things You Don’t Say, but I have to say them. It’s too much to keep hidden inside, and even though I am happy and things are good, it’s always in the back of my mind. I can’t just let it stay there.