Life is a funny thing. We try to steer it in the direction we think we should be going. Follow the guiding light that lives in our hearts, a seemingly palpable force that moves us based on the things we know to be true and the instincts we have honed. It’s so easy to look from the outside with a different perspective and see where one might have done things differently or even to look back and make the proper mental adjustments after the fact. The truth is though, that when you’re down in the trenches, it’s easy to be blindsided and in the heat of the moment you make a gut call and then you’ve got to deal with the aftermath.
I broke a friendship that was poisonous to me. One that seeped into all facets of my life and turned things sour, turned me sour. I needed to see if I could survive the hurt of losing someone I loved in order to get back the good part of myself. I felt like I had lost her already so it was simply the untying of a knot, right?
Years passed after its breaking, a friendship forged out of love, longing, secrets and unlikely circumstances, lost to the trial of time and distance. I don’t know where the breaking point was or how long I had brooded about the end but even afterward, the healing didn’t begin. The mourning process didn’t proceed so I could patch up the wound I had made by cutting her from my life. I got stuck. Stuck in a depression that consumed me. Dreams became a way for my subconscious to mock the choice I had made and the waking hours were nothing short of torture.
Do not take this to mean I didn’t still live my life, I did. Happy moments abound, but I was no longer content in the quiet time I had by myself. I began to fill my days with a lot of noise. I didn’t have down time because I didn’t want to have to think. I made backup plans for my plans so I would always have something. It worked for a while, but when it didn’t work, it really didn’t. There are posts here to attest to those nights.
Recently, I received an email that made up for the previous email I had received from my friend in every way. It was thoughtful and honest. Contained truths I know were hard to write as they were hard to read and for the first time in three years the silence in the room wasn’t so painful.
The email was a shout into the dark and a whisper of a hope to try again. I felt hopeful before I opened it and knew before I finished reading it that I would respond. I may be stubborn but I try very hard not to be stupid. It would have been stupid to think I could continue my life the way it had been going. Stupid to fight the hope screaming inside me that things could finally be different. So I’m taking the chance.
This is a first for me, to let someone back in after they’ve hurt me. It’s entirely new territory and I’m scared. I can feel the old attachment lurking under every action I take. The old relationship in the background, saying you can just continue to build where we left off but no amount of water slides or tire swings can make up for the catastrophe that happened there. We need to make something new. I may never be able to forget that she loves chocolate chip-less chocolate chip cookies or that she shares my love of all things zombie but she’s not the same person I held in my head for so long—confined by the chains of my understanding of her.
John Green said, “imagine me complexly” and not that I feel I owe her anything but I feel I owe us the opportunity to be re-imagined with the difficulties we experienced adding to our complexity but not defining us.
Now, if I can only manage not to screw something up…