Yesterday was a bittersweet day. One of my best friends was asked by the love of her life if she would spend the rest of her life with him. I was honored to be present for the proposal, and got to photograph this huge step towards the rest of their lives. Tears of joy filled my eyes as she threw her arms around his neck and gave him the answer he sought, yes. What followed was an evening full of surprises, tears of joy, and then followed by tears of sadness from those who call her family.
Something hit me for the first time last night. This is it. This is the future I have always sought after. This is the time in my life that I have spent the last 20 years saying, “I can’t wait until I am in my 20’s. That is when life will begin.”
But now the harsh reality has hit. It is not what I have always dreamed it would be. Each and every day brings a goodbye of some sort. Whether its goodbye to a place that has been called home, goodbye to a song that speaks of a time that should not be remembered, or to a chapter of a friendship that you did not realize would come to a close. As I watched my sweet friend laugh and socialize with her family and friends, with her fiance by her side, I felt a lot of emotions. The realization that she would be getting married, moving away, and starting a new life, in a new place was one that brought tears. My heart aches at the thought of her leaving. But then I looked back and saw the way he looked at her, and could not help but smile. He looked at her the way every girl dreams of being looked at by the man they love. I never for a moment doubted that this wasn’t right for them, but seeing the way he looked at her, and hearing the way he talked about her, I knew for certain that this was right. It is selfish for me to think that those I hold dear to my heart, will always walk right along side me. That is sadly not the reality of life. Growing up brings so much beauty, but it brings the goodbyes. The goodbyes to the memories built during my teen years. Goodbyes to that apartment that we spent hours up late talking on the couch in. Instead come times of 7 hours of road trips to see my best friend. Instead comes planning a wedding, and experiencing being in one for the first time. Instead comes late night facetime calls, lonely shopping trips, and more anticipation and excitement for the next time we will see each other.
So on this day, I process these things. There are tears of joy, and tears of sadness.
At the end of the day, I am so beyond overjoyed for my sweet friend. My heart delights in knowing that she has found one to call hers forever. Knowing I will get to watch them grow together, and build a life together brings my heart such great joy.
The future holds so much beauty, but also sadness. Oh, change. How I do love your presence, I just wasn’t completely prepared for this time.