god, grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change,
courage to change the things i can,
and wisdom to know the difference
i spent the weekend in portland for a college friend’s wedding. five of us went; using the weekend as a reunion, we shared a hotel room, adventures, laughter, and tears. i am always grateful for my time at college, never more so than when i find myself surrounded by those wonderful women. it is such a joy to catch up and see where our lives and dreams have taken us. and yet, after having not seen some of the girls since graduation, so much remains the same.
unfortunately, none of us were excited for the wedding. the bride has changed in many ways we are not excited about. she deserves so much more than this life she has chosen for herself. i hate that she’s given up so much of the girl i once knew so well, i hate that she doesn’t have the same attitude and joy she once did. this was the girl who, after being kicked in the face by a horse and having her jaw wired shut for two months, was able to crack jokes the day of surgery and be there for me when i had an emotional breakdown. now? she’s the girl who gave up riding because her now-husband “didn’t approve.”
what do you do when you find yourself shouting on the insides, wanting your old friend back? resign yourself to the changes, and simply weep and relish the memories you had? continually utter the serenity prayer and hope that serenity, courage, and wisdom somehow find their way to you?
for that matter, what do you do when you find yourself wanting your old life back? so much has changed since college. i’ve graduated from law school and am now studying for the bar. i’ve contributed to two successful SCOTUS cases (2-0 record!). by all counts i’m living my dreams. but, this weekend made me realize how monosyllabic my life has become. my life used to be full of different dimensions–school, horses, and leadership all defined me. now, all i do with regularity is study.
i miss my horses. i miss the feeling of flying over a huge coop. i miss the early morning sun in the hunt field. i miss the anxiety filling the moment before entering the show ring. i miss everything about it. of the five of us at the wedding, four rode together in college. talking about horses made me realize how much i miss it. i still have all of my riding things–saddle, breeches, boots, trunk full of bridles and all kinds of assorted stuff. all sitting there, ready to go for when i can get back in the saddle.
i understand that this is the price i pay for my dreams, but lord is it heart-wrenching.
anatole france said it perfectly:
all changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.