After my little sister's beautiful wedding in the Wine Country of Long Island, New York, I'm considering the scariest element of marriage.
My main fears with marriage used to be:
-Will it be the right person, and will we stay together forever?
-Will I have a midlife crisis and blow up the marriage?
-What if she morphs into Satan as soon as we're married?
Typical things people worry about. But I've learned that the irony of a union like marriage can sometimes break things apart. And this is not a bad thing, it's something that happens naturally, and we must adjust to it. My fear of change may be the single driving force in my fear of marriage.
My older sister and I are having trouble dealing with our little sis getting married. On top of this, after traveling for a few months with her husband, my little sister is moving to Chicago.
Strangely, I was OK with it until the night of the wedding. Years of memories flashed back to me: hanging out with my sister and her friends all around NYC; even little things like meeting up for coffee to catch up, or braving holiday traffic down the New Jersey Turnpike or taking a series of local trains to Philly to save $40 together for Thanksgiving.
My sister is embarking on a three-month tour of the world with her husband. I recently sent an e-mail to my family telling them I'd have a week off for the Christmas holiday. My little sister responded to the e-mail chain:
"I think we'll be somewhere in France on Christmas."
Traditionally, on Christmas night, our family visits my Aunt's house and celebrates with some other friends of our families.
At the wedding this past weekend, I was discussing the plans with my Uncle, and I told him that I was concerned that we may have to go down to my older sister's in Richmond, VA because it would be tough for my older sister to come up to my parent's in Baltimore.
"But I'll do everything I can to make sure that we can be at your place Christmas night," I told him.
He said, prophetically:
"I think your family and your sister's families will do what works best. We'd love to have you guys Christmas night, but things change, you know?"
"Things change..." scared me. This is what scares me so much about marriage.
Not every married couple moves away, and families are able to keep traditions alive, even in the face of a life-changing event like marriage.
I guess I'm feeling that more things are being broken apart than kept together right now. Everyone I've talked to tells me not to worry, that new traditions will be created, perhaps fun Thanksgivings or Xmases in Chicago (but I think it's kind of cold out there in Dec?).
My selfish side says I want my sister to miss the East Coast and come back soon, but my selfless side says (and this side wins out) that I want her and her husband to be happy, healthy and prosperous in whatever endeavors they choose.
I wrote before that I was hesitant to want children, and one of the reasons for this was that I'm not good with goodbyes: when they go to college, when they get married, etc.
This whole thing feels like the end of a fun party -- the same feeling I got after high school and college graduation. It's change, and I'm not sure if it will be for better or worse.
Two families came together when my sister got married, and it was joyous. But at the same time, traditions, living situations, comfort, (and maybe even hearts) were broken.
I guess love changes things and people, and life-marriage and life thereafter embodies these changes. My mom and her sister lived far apart from each other for years because of my uncle's job, but ended up living right around the corner from each other ultimately. And the family traditions blossomed from there, so I do have hope that we'll all be living near one another someday.
The unknown is scary, and it would be nice to know traditions will remain intact, and that we'll all see each other as much as we would like. I suppose that reassurance comes with time, after we've gotten used to the changes...but like I said I struggle with change.
Maybe I just miss my little sister.
What scares you most about marriage? Is it the change in family time/traditions that scares you most, or do you fear things within the marriage? Do my feelings make sense?
Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/richravens