Thursday, July 19, 2007

Missing old friends…

I've been meaning to get to this subject for a long time...

Every once in a while when I get a moment's peace, I find myself thinking about aspects of my youth that I dearly miss. I've often opined about them here. Topics like missing the concept of truly "free" time, bemoaning adult responsibilities, and the like are frequent fodder for my meandering blogs.

Recently, however, I find myself missing the one aspect of my youth that can't simply be blamed on growing up, and that is losing dear friends.

Now, I'm not talking about untimely death or anything so morbid. I refer to something even more unfortunate and sorrowful. I mean losing touch with or alienating people who mean the world to me, or at least in some way keep me connected to the happy memories of my past, through pride, selfishness, or worse - apathy.

It has often been said that one's life is like a play, with each player having their entrances and exits. I don't buy it. If life is like a play, then I'm the star and director, and I want every cast member to stay on the stage somewhere and end with a full cast finale.

Over the years, I have lost some very dear friends – some who I even consider family – to poor decisions or even LACK of decisions on my part. Through my own actions or inactions, important people in my life have fallen aside, and that's a thought that pains me like no other. Be it by a hasty word said in anger or a simple e-mail or phone call I neglected to return, these souls have drifted from my life like a balloon whose string I lost my grasp on.

The wonders of technology have enabled me to reconnect with many of these people. Family and friends I haven't heard from in weeks, months, and in many cases, years can now be reached by a few simple keystrokes. MySpace, E-mail, instant messaging have all made it easier than ever to regain my grip on many of those balloon strings and tie them to my wrists. Easy enough for the ones who just drifted away, but what of the ones I drove away and thus refuse to return?

There aren't many of them. I may be irritating from time to time, but I rarely anger people to the point of them not wanting anything to do with me. There are a few, though, who I have driven away or have driven themselves away – and their absence hurts most of all.

As time marches on, the reasons for it become irrelevant. Even the details of the situations leading up to our parting ways fade to a vague memory, but the emotional wounds do not as easily heal. I constantly reexamine the reasons why.

Was I wrong?

If so, did I apologize enough?

Sincerely enough? Should I contact them out of the blue and try again, and risk having the door shut in my face again?

In the end, I do what most do. I sit back and wait for the other party to come around. Hoping…praying that they will see what I see: that it hurts far more not to be there than to endure the memories of words that fade into nothing over time.

Friendships – TRUE friendships – are more precious than diamonds, more necessary than air, and more fulfilling than the greatest of selfish joys. I do not discard them willingly. They must be wrestled from me. Torn forcibly from my hands. But I will not force myself on someone. If they choose to discard my friendship, it will always be here for them to reclaim. Tattered and torn a bit around the edges, perhaps, but waiting to be rediscovered and rebuilt for them alone.

By now I'm sure you all surmise that I'm referring to a specific incident/person(s). Why else would someone write a melancholy blog like this. Yes, I've been thinking of a dear, lost friend lately, whom I truly miss.

I'm to cowardly to force myself on anyone, so I wait like a puppy looking out the window, hoping.

Someday, this grand prize of a friendship will be picked up, brushed off, and displayed proudly again.

Until then, one of my most treasured trophies lies in the dustbin

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