Friday, January 13, 2012

Old friend, this one's for you

When we think of relationships and regret, we often think of romantic relationships or maybe even strained family relationships. Friendships often take a backseat when heartache is mentioned in conversation. It’s true, there are friends for all seasons of our lives, and a single friend can change a person’s bleakest outlook on existence. I have some absolutely amazing friends that I love, adore, and cherish. There is the one I have known since middle school and shared all of my joys and sorrows with (I adore her and wish we lived closer together so I could see her every week), the ones I keep in contact with from school that always make me smile, the church friends I have accumulated over the years that are always so wonderful and full of light, the one who comes to my house and talks with me for hours while our kids play, the women who come out for Girls Night to laugh and share life experiences, the ones that have been brave enough to reconnect after years of “being busy building our lives”, and, of course, the amazing friend I married and adore with all of my soul… but what about the one that got away? No, not an ex-boyfriend. They all pale in comparison to Bryan’s, well, everything about him. I’m talking about the amazing friend that slipped away. Friends come and go, drift apart, and then come back together. This blog is dedicated to the one that slipped away and never returned.

She was (and still is) an amazing person, full of personality and color. She took a chance on a troubled teenager (that would be me) who was on a path to disappointment. She had such a welcoming personality, and it drew me in. She was a very free-spirited person who saw the world through glasses of a different hue. She became an anchor in my chaotic life… and she introduced me to the LDS church. Her tastes in clothing, music, and entertainment were unique, and many of them mirrored or complimented my tastes. She wrote me cute notes with quips and pet-names that turned into our own little treasured inside jokes. She made me delicious lunches, and I attempted to return the favor, though I couldn’t beat her vermicelli. She listened to me on the phone and invited me to her house simply because she wanted to hang out with me. We spent our high school years dorking up the courtyard and enjoying our group of mutual friends. She had wonderful talents, and I am sad to say I never admitted to her that I had some jealousy for her confidence and her talents, and that they sometimes intimidated me. It stood in the way of allowing our friendship to grow deeper. I was worried about throwing off the dynamic of the best friendship I had ever had. Don’t rock the boat, right? I loved her, cherished her, appreciated her, and admired her. I just didn’t know how to show it.

Changes in my life (mostly about my spiritual understanding and my craving for a smoother spiritual foundation) created distance between us. I wanted to share my changing understanding with her, but again… I didn’t know how to do it. I hated feeling vulnerable and putting myself out in the open at the risk of being injured. I also feared the shift of view would change the cherished dynamic of our friendship, so I did the foolish thing and ignored addressing the changes. A couple of events vastly shifted the dynamic of our friendship, and she slipped away. A lot of it was my fault. My fear of being let down and my insecurities kept me from sharing with her how I truly felt. My concern about having a fight with a dear friend created a chasm between us. After the friendship dissolved, I kept my life busy with my newfound spiritual understanding, the entrance of a friend who would become a love interest - then fiancĂ© - then husband, and the creation and birth of my first child. These things shaped my life and gave me light and purpose, but when I thought of her… I missed her. I missed everything about her. Who wouldn’t? She was wonderful. It took a lot of my husband’s influence and the influence of the gospel in my life to finally knock those walls of defense down, and I finally felt safe sharing my vulnerability with others.

So this one is for you, friend that got away. My heart is full of special, safe places for all of the people that have touched my life for good. One of those places will always be filled with memories of you. You are wonderful, you are beautiful, and you are loved.

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