I have stumbled upon what I believe will be the only part of wedding planning that I do not enjoy: the guest list. It is becoming obvious that I am way too nice to be in charge of something this important!
Here’s the thing. I have lived in Asheville…then Boone…then Asheville again…then Greensboro…then Asheville again…then Boone again. Throughout my life, and in those three cities/towns, I created many friendships and relationships that I will remember and cherish forever. Unfortunately, however, while I was scrolling through my phone, looking at some of the names of people with whom I used to be joined at the hip, I experienced some sad, sobering moments when it sank in that I couldn’t remember the last time we’d had any interaction. In fact, through the past three weeks of constant cards, phone calls, texts, and Facebook posts from people bestowing their congratulatory well wishes, it wasn’t until today that I could really analyze the list of people that have NOT contacted me since we got engaged. This isn’t a post filled with bitterness or anger; instead, it’s an expression of my thoughts on how life surprises you on a consistent basis.
Some of those names from my phone I mentioned earlier were immediately transferred to our tentative guest list, since they were people I shared a significant portion of my life with. When I read the names aloud to Wes, and he said, “I’ve never heard you talk about her,” or “how do you know him?” or (the best) “when is the last time she called or texted you?”, it broke my heart to scratch the names off. That’s why I think I’m too nice for this. I could tell you story after story about girls I’ve spent endless time with and now have no contact, but I won’t bore you. Plus, I don’t want to exploit anyone specifically, and I definitely don’t want anyone to think our memories are less special to me just because we aren’t close any longer. Some of you reading this may not even be expecting an invitation; on the other hand, some of you believe without a shadow of a doubt that our save-the-date will show up in your mailbox soon. If it were up to me, I’d have a guest list of 800, and every single person that I’ve ever been close to would get his or her name written on the list. Sadly, that’s not possible, and there are many former “best” friends of mine that I wouldn’t even know how to get in contact with.
Here is the beautiful part of this whole thing called life though. While there are friends that I’m not close to anymore, there are some friends that have been around forever. When I think of the women I’ve chosen for my maid of honor and bridesmaids, my heart and soul fill with gratitude for the opportunity I’ve had to share so much of my life with them. There are old friends of mine from Asheville and Greensboro that I’ve reconnected with recently, and they contributed more than they’ll ever know to my happiness at different times in my life. I have established new friendships in Boone that make my life better every single day. I’m so blessed to be able to include every relative of mine, knowing they will all be there to support and celebrate my love for Wes.
Between the two of us, we have a set number of invitations we can send out, which regrettably means a set number of people will have to be erased from my list. It’s been a sad few hours, scratching off names of people that five years ago, or even 15 years ago, would’ve been beside me on my wedding day. But, it has also been an eye-opening experience, and one that I am thankful to go through.
When I was in college (the first time), I kept a book to write quotes in. There are some motivational and inspirational quotes in there, but mostly, it’s full of quotes about friendship and love. Today, I was browsing through it and found one from the Dalai Lama that seemed perfect to end this post:
“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend—or a meaningful day.”
On the most meaningful day of my life, I cannot wait to share it with those that have loved me (and us) in the past, still do in the present, and will always love me in the future.