Friday, January 22, 2010

Silence, Revisited

Awhile back, I wrote about having to be silent - about cutting off communication with people who were hurting me more than being a positive force in my life.

One of the people I recently had to stop speaking to (let's call them Friend1) had a serious work crisis recently. With everything I knew they had going on, I couldn't not offer a listening ear. What was odd, was that this person didn't even seem to notice that we hadn't been in contact in months. That we, who were so close we were hanging out multiple times a week, had not had a single dinner, phone call, or chat conversation hadn't really registered as something being wrong.

One of the others (Friend2) sort of disappeared from my radar. You'd think this would be a good thing, since having to sever ties with someone is so incredibly painful. But it wasn't easier. It was harder. I was freaking out. What if they died? What if they were being hospitalized for something? What if they lost a family member? What if anything bad had happened? What if this person was suffering through something totally traumatic and here I was causing them even more pain?

I ask these questions both because I am freakishly over-protective of my friends (distant or not) and because something like that has happened to me. This summer I talked through taking a silent break with one of my friends, and then the walls went up. Both of us maintained distance, kept quiet, were silent. And in the mean time, she suffered an amazingly horrific family tragedy. I couldn't do anything, and how do you get back in touch with someone in the middle of a crisis like that - even to offer your help - when they already have so much drama going on for themselves?

I didn't want drama for her, I just wanted to help. To be an ear, to share my shoulder ... because at the end of the day - no matter what had been causing grief between us - it wasn't more important than my friend was to me.

So I messaged. I said I knew things were rough between us, but I was here. I'd always be here. And it took time. I kept up-to-date through mutual friends, and slowly, slowly we merged back into our friendship.

We had needed that time apart, but it came at such a terrible time, and although we're better friends now because of it, I never want to experience anything remotely like that again.

So, I tried to figure out where Friend2 was, and make sure everything was fine. But in the silence, any semblance of mutual friends we have are on the other side of the divide. Finally, I sucked it up and sent a message - just to make sure they were okay. Just to make sure I hadn't stupidly spun myself into another weird scenario like this past summer. And, luckily, I hadn't.

Friend2 is just fine. They had intentionally disappeared from my radar. I can only guess why.

Anyway, the point of all this exposition is simply that I'm baffled. I don't understand how Friend1 can not have noticed what was happening to our friendship. I don't know why Friend2 feels the need to hide from me. How can two people who I considered among my closest friends have so quickly gone from great to silent to hurtful? Because Friend1 not noticing hurts. And Friend2 doing exactly what I promised them I wouldn't do to them hurts.

More importantly, why couldn't I just stay silent? Why did I set myself up to hurt? Why, if I made the difficult decision to be silent, does what they do hurt me at all?

I know that as we grow as people, the people in our lives will change. We'll grow - together, apart, side-by-side. And we have to take care of ourselves; our spiritual, emotional, and physical health. But why can't I figure out a way to do any of this without it hurting?

Do the growing pains of growing up ever go away?

If I actually listened to myself ...

... this is what I would tell me:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Breaking My Own Rule

So I have this rule (which I bet you wish was not starting sentences with the word "so") about not writing negative things on here, because, let's face it, we don't usually read our friends' blogs looking for the things that aren't going well in their lives. We read about the awesomeness of their little people (read: children), their pets, their fun adventures, their happiness. I don't know about you, but it sort of makes my day when I flip through the Friends section of my Reader to find out that so-and-so had a birthday, or this one is pregnant again. I love it.

So, (there I go again) I try not to vent. I try not to whine. But if you're really my friend and reading this, then I hope you want to hear about everything, and not just the good stuff. I hope you want to hear about me, not just the shiny, happy, reflection of me that sometimes appears in mirrors.

I'm having a perfectly good week by any normal scale. But I just can't get happy tonight.

I stayed in, ordered delicious pizza, drank some Argentinian Malbec, watched a happy-go-lucky movie, started on a new project with a friend, lots of stuff.

But for some reason, all I want to do is curl up, eat chocolate (except I'm not hungry after all that pizza), and have someone just be here for me. Just for me. No other reason, except me.

If I was one of those people who could sleep and sleep and sleep, I'd get into my bed right this minute and wake up to a brand new day. Tomorrow, is going to be a lovely day, and I know it.

But tonight, my sock drawer is broken, I have three hampers of laundry that need to be folded and put away, there are packed up Christmas decorations I'm too lazy to get up into the attic (where there are currently many, many leaks; so maybe not that safe anyways), I'm 90% sure I have been blocked on Gchat by someone, and I cannot find a comfortable temperature for myself.

Tomorrow is going to be a good day. But tonight, I'm breaking my own rule and venting, because honestly, I do feel a little better.

Love always, ~Heather

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Oh my Jets, I love thee

I would just like to take this opportunity to say that I have been a Jets fan since approximately the 3rd grade. I've loved them every season, not just the ones that they've won. In fact, if I'd only loved them the seasons we won (yes, we), I would have rarely loved them at all.

I'm not sure what this says about me, that I have always been a sucker for underdogs. Maybe it was God's way of preparing me for being a Gamecock fan later in life.

Or maybe my heart is just too big for its own good.

Either way, I'm looking forward to next week.

Love always, ~Heather

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Finding My Soul Mate

So I was just watching Grey's Anatomy, the end of last season where Izzy is talking about the biggest days of your life, and how they usually just start out as normal days. How you don't even realize it's going to be an important day until after it becomes big. Until you realize you don't want the day to end because there just isn't enough time.

She suggested some types of days that fit into this category, including the day you meet your soul mate. Now, I am convinced that soul mates are like people, mostly we're born in ones. You know, just you in there with all that fabulous amniotic fluid. But others are born in twos, or threes, or more. I tend to think I am one of the lucky ones born with more than one soul mate (though I was definitely born all by my lonesome).

I met my first soul mate the summer before I started college. I didn't know it that day. In fact, I thought he was a bit scandalous and crude (actually, I sometimes still think that). He was an over-enthusiastic orientation leader. He tried to scare us, tried to give us good advice, shared perfectly horrid advice, and generally showed us soon-to-be freshmen around campus.

I met my soul mate in the SEC room of the Russell House before it was renovated. He didn't even know my name. Heck, I barely knew his. It took us 6 months or more before we even spoke again, and even then you wouldn't have guessed we'd ever be friends since he was mostly mocking me. The night I became friends with my soul mate, we debated whether or not he really liked the number 23 (he does) and whether or not I should give him a back massage. Amidst the mocking.

Our fate together was sealed just a few weeks later. It was a baseball game in the rain. It was the greatest baseball game I'd ever seen in my life, we were soaked to the skin and screaming like crazy. I'm pretty sure we didn't even bother to hurry home; we were so wet already. We went out and saw The Sweetest Thing with his friends at the movie theater, then to IHOP or Waffle House (because, really, it's college, and who needs sleep?). We went home, had one of the most interesting conversations of my life and then I went downstairs and went to bed.

It was a day like any other day, until it wasn't anymore. I'll never forget it.

Sometimes I forget that the big days start as ordinary days. Sometimes I forget that the people you think will stick with you are usually different than the ones who do. Sometimes I forget to be as thankful for the normal days as I am for the big and exciting ones. Because today could have been a really important day in the history of me, and I just don't know it yet.

Anything's possible. I could have already met my next soul mate (most of you know why I'm sure I've got more than one, but if you don't, let me know and I'll share). Today is the first day of the rest of my life. And anything can happen.

Love always,

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Return of Adventures in France

It's been a long time since this blog - orginally named Adventures in France - was actually written on from France. However, I couldn't let the opportunity pass me by to say hello to everyone from Vitré, France.

So far, the trip has been exceptional. All of the transportation went well, 2010 was rung in in style, and I've visited Mont St. Michel and St. Malo. I have plenty of details and pictures to share, but I'm remembering how long it took me to get used to the different keyboard here.

For now, I wish everyone a happy, healthy, joyous New Year; and I'll post all the fun details when I get back to the States at the end of the week.

Hugs, kisses, and love always,