Blue lights rippled through the dark concrete space. Somewhere there was noise. Though utterly surrounded by hundreds of people, I felt solitary in my thoughts.
"Don't ever settle for an ordinary life- never ever, ever. Always reach for the extraordinary."
That was my notion. This inclination is not remarkable to my daily philosophy, but on that particular day my thought process followed the movement of all the activity around me.
I took in the sight before me: the lifeline of two of my friends. A gathering together of their families and closest friends all on one night to celebrate the love this couple has for each other. A wedding.
This wedding in particular displayed the affection between a local-to-her-core bride and her kind-hearted high school sweetheart. She was born here, raised here, went to college here, got married here, and has now settled down in the exact same place.
A lovely story and a happy life. Lots of people live this way contentedly. If I have to put it plainly, it is not quite my style. I naturally categorize this story line in the "ordinary" section of my brain.
As I observed this jovial occasion, I thought back on the years of our friendship. The quality of our relationship began disintegrating once I graduated high school halfway through senior year and then moved out of state for college. "Anywhere but here," was my mindset when choosing where to study. Most of my classmates would go to one of the many state universities or local colleges. I was determined to be different.
Why do I always have to be different?
What is so wrong with ordinary that I couldn't stand it for one more minute?
I saw old friends from our high school days and noticed how they stayed close and grew through life's transitions together, for better or for worse. This bride in particular has always had a distinct loyalty toward her friends and family.
Though I know I have grown in many ways as a result of "being different," there are other ways in which I lack maturity due to my search for the extraordinary. Unlike my newly wed friends, loyalty and commitment are not exactly my strong suit. I constantly trade in friendship for adventure and consistency for insecurity. Life is in part about going into the world while the other part is about living in communion with one another. It is not about being untouchable, distant or calloused.
Sigh. Exposing weakness is much easier when I don't have your eyes to look into.
Now, at last, I understand the past year. God pressed pause on my independent ambitions to remind me that there really are people who care and want to stay in touch with me. Friendships I had once written off are reignited. The false pretenses I had been living under had to be removed before new chapters could be written into our lives.
Living life with the same people for long periods of time is a pretty ordinary thing to do... but it is the extraordinary kind of ordinary.