losing friends

i was looking back in my e-mail for an old logo, and i found pictures of cole. i had searched for them for months on my phone and computer files when he passed away in 2008, and i couldn’t find them. i beat myself up for so long thinking i had deleted them. i nearly passed out upon seeing them today. i will treasure them as long as i can keep them.

it’s funny how things become like little idols once someone is no longer present. how words become vow. how we squint to keep fuzzy memories. a note, a photo, a present, a movie ticket becomes a treasure. when cole died, when wesley died, when my grandparents died–when i broke up with K & J years ago, i realized the fragility of relationships. the linear nature of time made me grow to expect you and maybe even resent you each day, but the separation of time from your presence made me appreciate and possibly even idolize you.

right before hospice came into their house, meme told me to watch cartoons, because it would keep my heart feeling light when things were dark. i’ll catch myself whistling like my papa or getting a little excited when i see a gray headed man riding a wal-mart cart. it makes me smile to see mcdonald’s stickers for all the times dada wanted to but never got to take me on saturday mornings when i was a kid. when i see boys riding on lawn mowers like the last time i saw cole riding one against the sun a few days before the accident. when i see a scary movie or a brown haired boy picking on a girl as they walk down the neighborhood street, i think of wesley and me.

and when i look out at the water, a little to the right, i see that dock. i’ve only sat on it once. as ridiculous as it truly is, it’s one of the reasons i moved here. it wasn’t that it was you, though you are still the most significant relationship i’ve ever had. it was the hope in that moment that we looked at the stars subsequent to that eloquently-prosed, misspelled letter you gave me. one of the most romantic moments of my life. i was so young at heart, and you were not–and that is why we said goodbye. we were friends for years prior to being a we and an us, and i remember our hesitation to make a romance out of such a great thing. you made me feel beautiful and worthy and secure and understood. it took time that you were willing to take. but i often wonder if i would give back everything that you gave me, all of the hopes and expectations for someone similar to you but one who led in Christ and supported my need to be a dreamer. if i would give it all up and reverse it all just to have the friendship back. just because the chemistry is there, should you pursue it? i can count on one hand the number of romantic relationships i’ve had. one of them was a bad idea. one of them was a not-so-serious rebound, two of them changed me for good though they were hard to lose, and one i’m not certain of the effect/outcome yet.

i don’t want fleeting relationships and friendships. i don’t want bitterness and loss. i don’t make friends or start relationships because i need someone. i’m used to being alone. losing my family, cole and wesley through death were hard things to conquer in my soul. losing friends through arguments and “endings” is so tiringly pointless having experienced such close irreversible loss in life. having lost a few significant relationships and friendships both irreversible and not so irreversible, i’ve found solace in discovering that they’re never really lost. the material things like photos and the sweet little words are precious reminders, but as long as i’m alive–“there is no was,” as i have said before.

the people i have carefully chosen to pursue good relationships/friendships with, i will carry them with me throughout my life with confidence. how they treated me in bright times and how they treated me in dark times will affect me as i walk through my life. it’s never over until i’m over. i allowed you into my life and my heart, and pieces of you will stay–it’s inevitable.

broken hopes and reels of memories are impossible to pack into a suitcase and carry around as baggage, so i learned early in friendship to accept and appreciate the impact of people on my life no matter their coming or going. it made it easier to forgive. it makes it easier to love someone now not making an enemy of my past. it makes it easier to appreciate the past relationships of people in my life, because i know even if they try to hide and avoid it–they have ultimately been affected by their past.

the hardest part about all of it is that i hate that your presence is not present. if i thought enough of you to choose you, then your friendship was ultra-valuable. i want it in my life. though my non-linear concept of time is unconventional, i wish others were spontaneous enough to see the value of it. can we not forget the ending and remember what we appreciated about each other? can a friend forgive a friend for an offense and remember why they bonded to begin with? what good comes of the timebetween after clarity and healing? awkwardness and loss? the unnecessary duo that preceeds pride and stubborness in the issues of people ’round the globe.

when i leave the world, i hope everyone i’ve known well enough will well-enough know that i had the humility to right a wrong with them and the honesty to let them know how i truly cared about them. i can’t force anyone to be my friend, but if i think you’re worth it i will at least try to convince you.

“what lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

catch a tiger by the toe

relationships. when i was a teenager, i was so eager to collect and devour all sorts of them. people are fascinating. their motives and how they change based on who/what they focus on. their decisions and the justifications that follow. the values under which a person creates the ideas that drive their life. fascinating.

years later, i still believe this of people, but the motives have become disappointingly predictable. i want to meet people who change my mind.

i wish i could meet more surprising people. people who aren’t afraid of intellect. who are honest and who are eager to make the most of time. i need people like that around me. i’ve made plenty of acquaintances this year and years prior who are content with a shallow life wasted blowing wherever the wind takes them.

i met a friend recently through casey. his name is scott, and he embodies the description i gave of people who truly surprise me. sincere, authentic, intellectual and unafraid. i enjoy his presence, but it also makes me sad.

i wish people like scott weren’t such a surprise. i’ve met so few people like that in my world, and when they enter they ignite something in everyone they know. the rest of the world is capable of ignition, but usually all they ignite is frustration for me.

until this year, i thought that everyone was truly surprising introspectively–so i wasted my time digging around in completely shallow people looking for surprises. and in time, that left me feeling more jaded and shallow and sad i spent time searching for some treasure that never existed.

people aren’t all intellectual. or analytical. most people just make choices because they seem right. or exciting. i always assumed all people were like me. not that i think of myself as the ultimate prototype, but i enjoy the way i muse over life and it’s minutes–however daunting it may sound to people who don’t understand me.

and i’ve wasted a lot of time this year on people who don’t understand me. that’s my fault, and it’s a mistake that won’t be revisited.

the older i get, the more ok i am with having several acquaintances and few friends that really know me. those few friends aren’t perfect, but they are worth everything to me and my processes. i don’t know if it’s normal to come to such a conclusion, but today those people who would like to truly know me have to prove themselves in time and value to me. and those people who aren’t willing or capable of proving it, i still enjoy–but i don’t hold stock in like i used to when i was younger.

this idea has gotten me through my frustration with people who don’t think like i do. because ultimately, i equally frustrate these people, because they don’t view the world as i do either. and i’m finally understanding that, however basic it is.