There has been a lot going on here over the past few days- and I have been deciding whether I would write about it. Especially since only one person knows about it. The deciding factor is that there might be someone who needs to hear the story.
Years ago, frustrated and mad I stalked into my mom’s office at the high school I attended. I was working on a yearbook layout for a senior’s baby ad. I couldn’t crop this huge photo (mainly because it had been requested that I not crop the photo, and I am a pleaser); and I was going to her to vent. I had been working on this page for several days! I had even taken it home with me hoping to find a new angle there. Nothing! It still wasn’t working!
So I go tearing into her office, visibly angry- and start talking about how impossible this is, and how even though I don’t know the guy I hate him just because of this one photo. (I know- overreaction, but you hadn’t been working on this for days!)
The next thing I know, my mom is giving me this look. You all know the one. It tells you to zip your lips fast, because there is something you don’t know. Well I was in for it. I whip around and who is there? The guy in all the photos. He was an office aid, and had heard everything I had said. (Great moment right?)
He promptly told me I could crop the photo- and got this quirky smile, surely getting a kick out of the inevitable embarrassment I was experiencing.
Who would have guessed that this would have started one of the best friendships I have had. That summer we talked endlessly, for hours at a time. And when he went off to college things stayed the same.
Well, it was inevitable that something would happen, and it did. We had a mutual friend that ended up starting all the problems. Things ended horribly, with me storming into the house and crying uncontrollably. The friendship was over.
During this time, I graduated high school and made the big move to Texas for school. I was blissfully happy. Everything was as it should be.
One night, before Thanksgiving I got a phone call. The number was a Mississippi number… Little did I know that answering that phone call would send me back two years. I couldn’t believe he had the guts to call me. Not after everything that had happened. So we chatted for a while, and while I was still unsure, he had apologized and asked if we could talk again. Not one to be mean- I said sure.
This was the beginning of the disappearing act that would transpire over the next few years. Sometimes I would hear from him and sometimes I wouldn’t. I could never tell you when he would pop into my life, all I knew was that he wouldn’t be around for long.
As with all guy/girl friendships, there is always a point when one or the other wants it to be more. And we certainly had that as well. Luckily, it never worked.
About a year ago he popped back into my life, bringing apologies with him. We maintained a good friendship, chatting every now and then. Even managed to get together for lunch one day while I was home.
But I was struggling. This friendship was taking a lot out of me. And I didn’t feel like I was being true to myself.
True to form, he disappeared for a while. And then when he came back, something more was what he was looking for. And it wasn’t what I wanted. How could he even think that would work? He doesn’t even know the real me. Yes we talk, but not about the important things, the things that make me who I am.
So I finally realized that it was going to come down to more than just telling him I wasn’t interested in that. It was time for me to let go. I had to say goodbye.
Being honest to myself was more important than loosing a friend. I had reached a point where I had to decide where I wanted my life to go. And I had known all along what choice I would make.
So I said goodbye. And while it is painful- it is also filled with relief. It is time for both of us to move on.
Slowly I have begun to discover some of the reasons the friendship lasted as long as it did, and now understand myself better because of it. The bigger issue is that I feel like I have grown drastically. And isn’t that what matters?
In the end, I am happy with the way the relationship unfolded. I would have never learned so much about myself had it happened differently.
And I didn’t crop the photo…