Friday, February 28, 2014

Has It Really Been Two Years?

Two years ago today, I wrote a blog post about an old HS classmate who I had reconnected with through Pinterest and how our friendship grew to a deep respect and innate connection in a matter of a few weeks. I've reposted it here but feel free to skip to the end for my point in bringing this up ;-)

Level Jumping On Friendship  [posted 2/28/12]

I've been reconnected with an old high school classmate. We were not friends then, but over this last week I feel that we have become so.

He will no doubt be reading this so I feel I must choose my words carefully. All of our conversations have been open and honest but they have been private and for that reason alone, I feel protective of sharing. But I do want to share a bit because I think it is an experience we all can grow from.

We have been filling each other in on the last 20+ years. Surprisingly though, we've only just touched on the broad strokes of life - the where did you work, where did you live, when did you get married. Instead, we've been discussing at length who we have become and how we came to be who we are in a very exposed and frank sort of way.

I'm certain that this level of intimate conversation, for most, is reserved for only the very closest of friends and family. For whatever reason, it seemed utterly natural to start our new friendship this way. There was no facade, no shined up version of ourselves, only truth... sometimes glaringly so. And because of it, we have compacted decades into three phone calls and an on-going facebook message.

But as is my usual course of action, I question things.

Is there a reason it happened this way? Am I seeking more depth in my friendships and so I initiated level jumping and he just came along for the ride?

Have I tired of friendships whose depth only goes as far as talking about what's on sale at the grocery store? Have I allowed myself to get mired in the day to day of life?

Or maybe this is the better way to friendship? No games, no charades, just me, just you.

But there is one more piece to the puzzle. The fact that while we have written and spoken, we haven't been face to face. Does that still give us some anonymity? Are we being as truthful as we think? Are even our issues and conditions and flaws presented with some panache through the written word or in the inflection in our voices?

If you are reading this C, you are no doubt regretting finding me in the first place ;-) But I did tell you this about myself. I question things. I wonder about things. And many times, this is where I come to ask these questions - throwing them to the wind and hoping that someone, somewhere has an answer that will give me some new perspective.

For what it's worth, I have been honest, perhaps with a nod to stand-up comedy in my "prose" but still, that's who I am too ;-) I hope that we will continue to be friends.

So if you are wondering if our friendship continued, the answer is yes. He is the only person who knows me completely - the good and the bad. The person that I go to when I have a problem I can't wrap my head around. The first person I think of when I have good news to share. And after two important and world changing years for me, I can't imagine life without him. He is in fact, my best friend.

We recently had a monumental falling out. It was completely my fault.

Because I'm still carrying huge steamer trunks of old baggage from my past, without much provocation, he bore the wrath of every pent up anger filled corner of my psyche... just because he is a man. And he took it like a man too. By saying goodbye.

It still makes me numb to think about it. How I could destroy such a rare and unique gift that was our friendship with one incredible lapse of sanity!

In recent months I have learned to accept that every mistake is an opportunity for growth. It was a wake up call to just how much more work I have ahead of me to achieve inner peace. It was a sign that I perhaps need to step back from all relationships and assess what I bring to them. It was a warning that even the strongest of bonds can break.

Thankfully, not entirely.

We are back to talking. We are back to discussing. We are somewhat back to normal. An early version of our normal. The one from two years ago.

Perhaps level jumping is not the way to go. Or maybe it is but only when two people are ready for the responsibilities that come with such a precious partnership. Or maybe, this is just the nature ebb and flow of a friendship that is so special.

I never believed in the concept of soulmates. I thought it was just a somewhat juvenile romantic illusion. But if I allow myself to find the truth in the term, I believe he is mine. And if you think about it, two people bound by the bond of friendship for all eternity are going to have bad days. It's how they move forward from them that makes the difference.

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