A friend I was supposed to see this weekend just cancelled. I hadn’t heard from her and that naturally led me to anticipate some complication. I hate being right. I mean, in “normal times” my friends and I rarely have the time just to visit. Truth be told, it’s usually some conference that brings us together once a year. And these are not normal times. I’m leaving California in 17 days and have almost no free weekends left and she’s going through a very shitty divorce (like, there’s some other kind of divorce) that has her trying to be full-time mom to her young twins and stay ahead of her job and the burden of the divorce itself. I wish that there was more that I could do for her. I mean, She was there all those years ago when I was first wrestling with my last quasi-relationship and just accepted me while encouraging me to be good to myself. But here I am, about to leave and escape the scene of the crime, as it were. I feel myself torn. No, actually I know that I’m shielding my heart more than a bit so that I don’t feel how great the loss is going to be. Ironic that I seem to be taking a page from my former lover’s coping strategy: to just stay so busy that I don’t feel the lows. I’ll probably have a good cry some rainy day in six months or so.
Another friend sent a “congratulatory” email about the new job and move and then added that my infrequent communication and lack of effort to communicate over the past year or so must mean that I don’t really want him in my life as a friend. Did I mention that I find myself shielding my heart so that I can make the transition without falling apart? This would be another reason for that strategy. I mean, I still have to get up every morning and do a job that in normal times (there I go with the “normal times” again) would take everything out of me to do, just because I’m that kind of person when it comes to my job. At the same time and for some time, and perhaps part of the reason that I’m able to even consider the move to Florida, I find that after giving little bits of myself every day, that there is no one in my life just for me. I love my family and the broad cadre of friends I’ve had over the years, but without someone to call my own here in California, I see Florida and the work that I’m going to do there as a possibility of getting the balance straightened out between what I give every day and what I need to keep going every day.
I wish that my relationships were such that we could all cut whole chunks out of our days and evenings and just meet some place and appreciate each other’s company and friendship. I’ve been lucky enough over the years to have had that from time to time, but it feels like it’s been a very long time since those days. That was one of the fun things about being in the doctorate program at Pepperdine, struggling through the course work together during the day and then relaxing together in the evenings. Thus, I’m hopeful that the collegial work environment in Florida will be more conducive to having better connections with the people I spend all of my time with.
I will miss working with the kids and am hopeful that some of them will keep in contact with me. I guess that’s what it comes down to: the ability/desire for all parties to keep the communication going and the compromises we all make because there are always other things that demand our attention. It’s no ones fault that we don’t have enough time to hang out at some bar together. We do what we can do, and celebrate the times when we are able to enjoy each other’s company. I want more of that in my life and wish wholeheartedly for that for all whom I’ve called “friend” over the years. And I wish that I’d had more of that in a more deep and meaningful way, but instead of being depressed about it all I choose to celebrate the times that I have had and look forward to the new ones in the future. The future, beginning with having sushi next Wednesday with the friend who just canceled. jbb
Music: Thank U from the album “Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie” by Alanis Morissette