In the past two weeks, I have had no less than three conversations with longtime friends who worry that my life has taken a turn they do not like. What's funny is that it's my life...not theirs.
I have, at times, appreciated the insight of my family and friends as I consider my future. There are times when I am certain only of the fact that I can be certain about nothing and I need someone to remind me of who I am. But the past year and a half, as I've settled into my job, my relationship and a new church, I have faced plenty of questions from those who knew me way back when.
There are others, like my parents and other, not decades old friends, who simply accept my life as it is, not without questions, but without harsh judgment. I'm very grateful for this calm acceptance.
I am also, in a way, grateful for the challenge presented by those who truly question my decisions and warn me time and again not to "compromise" myself. Their inquiries make me more sure of my choices.
In talking about the three rather difficult conversations, I have come to realize that, in part, these particular friends fear that if I change, it means they have to change as well. If I can question a religious institution they hold dear, what does that mean for them? If I can ponder leaving the Golden State, does that affect their ability to stay here for the rest of their lives?
Because if they have to change, if this will be required, they may have no idea where to start. And that's terrifying.