Platts: Seasons of Life
October 4, 2015
The only constant in this world is change.
We've all heard that before and I'm sure I read like an outdated fortune cookie reiterating it, but it's something I have to remind myself of often. I find living up here, in a place with four seasons, helps remind me of this, of how much we can love something and then have it leave us with the change of a leaf.
This recent shift from summer to fall has been a particularly harsh one to adapt to as I've watched two of my best college friends go through a stage in life that no millennials (or at that, really no one) should have to experience: divorce.
I was shocked and horrified when I got the news about six weeks ago. I'd watched these two go from inseparable best of friends first semester at college to love birds in the second. They'd had their share of tough times, but together they seemed strong. They appeared ready for anything the world had to throw at them, because they were in it together.
One of the beautiful things about having seasons is that, even when one leaves, we know that it will always return. It will certainly take time, some ups and downs and a great deal of acceptance. But eventually, a rough season of life or a season of loss will fade into the distance and be replaced with blossoming flowers and long sunny days. Or, depending on your season of choice, a large amount of powder days.
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They were married two Octobers ago and now, coming up on their second wedding anniversary, everything has fallen to disarray. He's frustrated with his job. She's gotten a new hip one with a publishing company in Manhattan. He's looking at the long game: buying property, having kids, etc. She's realizing she committed too young and is beginning to find herself in a new light, looking to be defined more without him. They are now separated and at somewhat of a stalemate, where one or the other will eventually have to file for divorce.
We've all seen various versions of how this story unfolds. Some of us have watched it happen to our parents, aunts or uncles, maybe even grandparents. Others may have been through it themselves or seen good friends suffer it. A divorce is not a death, per se, but it certainly feels like something has been permanently lost.
This past weekend, my boyfriend and I (who both went to college with the couple) invited the husband to Aspen for a short stay. We wanted him to have a break from the overwhelming amount of flesh (his words, not mine) that New York City has in it. We figured Aspen was the perfect place for a break. That he could find solace in the changing Aspen leaves and maybe some understanding in the shifting currents down Stillwater on a paddleboard. I've always felt like nature has an overwhelming ability to nurture someone during a hard time and I wanted that for him.
We had a great weekend filled with hikes, paddleboarding, a bit of venting, a slight amount of drunken revelry and a lot of laughter — all things that, when combined, can hopefully lead to the start of healing and closure. Or, at the very least, can make for some good pics on Instagram and Tinder.
One of the beautiful things about having seasons is that, even when one leaves, we know that it will always return. It will certainly take time, some ups and downs and a great deal of acceptance. But eventually, a rough season of life or a season of loss will fade into the distance and be replaced with blossoming flowers and long sunny days. Or, depending on your season of choice, a large number of powder days.
Barbara Platts has always had a lot of trouble with change. But since it's uncontrollable, she's trying to discover the good things about it. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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