Catharsis | On “Friends’ Weddings”

Catharsis: noun  ca·thar·sis  \ kə-ˈthär-səs \
1 a : purification or purgation of the emotions (such as pity and fear) primarily through art

b : a purification or purgation that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension
2 : elimination of a complex by bringing it to consciousness and affording it expression

I’ve always been the person who over-thinks things. The person who is indecisive because of this. The person who worries about whether what she has to say is worthwhile, or whether it’s whiny, or problematic, or just plain self-indulgent. Over-thinking is not a bad thing. But it does lead to a tendency to bottle things up and to let them fester, not expressing them, and thereby not releasing any tension they cause. My “cure” for this is a form of catharsis, my own personal brand of therapy, you might say, and since we live in a digital age it looks like I will be making the utterly foolish decision to put said thoughts onto the Internet instead of telling them to a licensed professional. But I’d like to be honest on this blog and I’d like this blog to be a true and accurate reflection of who I am… and who I am is sometimes self-centred and in dire need of a means of expulsion. So here we are, a new series of blog posts called Catharsis. I don’t know how frequent they will be, I don’t know how worthwhile they will be for anyone else reading them, but I know they will help me. And that’s kind of the point.


This past weekend was the start of what will surely be a lifetime of “friends’ weddings”.

Being at a friend’s wedding is… strange. It’s filled with the usual traditions, the usual obligatory “do you take this woman” and “do you take this man” etc., the usual toasts at the reception and inevitable drunken dancing that follows. But there’s something different about realising you’re at your very first “friend wedding”, as opposed to “family wedding”. There’s something different about realising someone your own age, someone you were at school with, someone who you joked around in English class with, is old enough and mature enough to not only consider committing to someone else long-term but also following through on that promise in front of a whole chapel full of people.

It comes from a place of genuine happiness – a sense of delight that your friend has found someone they love so much that they’re willing to enthusiastically vow to stay faithful for for the rest of their life. Words can’t express how amazing it is to see a friend you love dearly be so happy and settled in their relationship and their life. To catch their eye after the ceremony and witness how overwhelmed and startled, but also happy, they look.

But then, there’s the inevitable off-note as the concern starts creeping in. Wait. How on earth did we get here?! How did we get to the age and place in life where weddings are happening? When did I blink and miss the start of my transition into being an allegedly functioning adult? Oh… wait… I didn’t miss it because I’m not “there” yet, wherever “there” is. But my friends are and, as ever, it looks like I’ll be living vicariously through them as they get “there”.

“There” is where “we’ve moved in together” doesn’t sound weird.
“There” is where a “we’re having a baby” doesn’t sound weird.
“There” is where “we’re getting married” doesn’t sound weird.

My friends are “there” and I couldn’t be more delighted for them. But I can’t truthfully (even in my wildest dreams) imagine a time when I’ll be “there” so, instead, I guess I’ll be over “here”, watching from the sidelines – and, I presume, often from the pews of churches.


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7 thoughts on “Catharsis | On “Friends’ Weddings”

  1. Ally Writes Things 19/09/2018 / 23:37

    I totally get this! Some of my friends are engaged now, and it’s a little weird when they’ve been with their partners for a shorter time period than I’ve been with my boyfriend. Because I’m definitely not “there” yet even though they are. Which is fine and I’m so happy for them, it’s just a little weird?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emma 27/09/2018 / 11:10

      It’s a very strange feeling to sit with. To me, it seems like a lot of my friends’ lives are now diverging from my own in scarily mature ways. Like, these are people I went to school with from the ages of 11-18 and now suddenly I’m watching them get MARRIED?! Crazy.

      Never before have I empathised so much with Rachel Green from Friends. I’m paraphrasing but she says at one point, “I’m so, SO happy for you guys, but watching you get engaged just reminds me of the fact that I’m not, I’m not even close”.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jess @ Jessticulates 19/09/2018 / 19:55

    So much for love for this post! I know exactly how you feel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emma 27/09/2018 / 11:10

      I’m SO relieved other people feel this to be honest!

      Like

    • Emma 27/09/2018 / 11:11

      Aww thanks Melis! Whenever I feel like writing one of these more confessional/personal blog posts I always end up worrying whether or not I should actually post it, but I’m glad that I did, it helped me to work out some thoughts in my own head.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Melis 27/09/2018 / 11:19

        I used to feel the same, which is partly why I started a new blog. But it’s so therapeutic to write these posts, and I for one really enjoy reading them. Don’t know what that says about me haha

        Liked by 1 person

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