Con Te Io Li Rivivrò

Thursday, August 5, 2010 / 11:50 PM

I'm sitting here in an empty apartment surrounded by a few things that should make me very happy, and yet I just spent the past 10 minutes crying my eyes out...for honestly no goddamn reason. I don't even know if the best thing to be doing is blogging because now this is just a Livejournal, but bear with me - I have a point, or as much of a "point" as my blogs normally have.

I'm really at a loss to begin even explaining because it's a bit juvenile and silly. When I was five, I threw the biggest fit on New Year's Eve because I didn't want to say goodbye to 1994. There was no real attachment to the year and I can't even rationalize why it was such a dreadful thing to say goodbye to. I could say that I didn't want to think about things leaving as easily as people left, or that I was terrified of the vague and scary "future," which I suppose you could say that makes me a very mature five-year-old. But in reality, I think "goodbyes"--especially permanent ones--just made me really sad.

I grew out of that mentality quickly as other things took over, and I'll fast forward for your convenience: I left Loretto with the assumed knowledge that I would spend the rest of my life with three of the most amazing friends I was privileged to know. The four of us knew every detail about each other and were convinced our futures would be intertwined. As cheesy and CW-worthy as it all sounds, we were sisters and it was comforting as I prepared to leave Sacramento.

Graduation - evening stage @ Memorial Auditorium, 2007
(Evening included two performances by yours truly that you will probably never hear. Enjoy the mystery.)

Blah blah blah - anyways, opening my mailbox earlier tonight and seeing it full of crap, I was both excited at the prospect of actual (and correctly addressed) mail and annoyed at all of the junk and spam. Coupons for the golf course? No, thanks. KFC promotion? Hm, maybe. Postcard? Yay. Bills? Boo. The final item, a package, inside brought a smile to my face, followed by a slight fear because I knew what was going to come. I would open the journal the four of us have kept since separating and I would be flooded with reminders of the people we once were. The entries are comical, endearing, raw (Cort, one of your entries makes me cry every single time) and, sometimes, terrifying. Unpleasant moments I hoped to never relive were captured on those pages and I cringe at reading some of them. 

The entries stopped in August 2009, a year ago. To me, this says much more than misplacing the journal and forgetting to send it along. The thing about friendships and relationships I've garnered is what I said before - nothing lasts forever. Things fall apart. The wheel turns, etc, etc. Lesson accepted? Yes. But the thing that is striking me the most right now are the final pages of the last entry by one of my friends - words filled with memories that don't include me. Somewhere over the past three years, I stopped making a regular appearance in their lives. I set up camp in southern California, despite my own dislike for the area, and somewhere along the way, I fell off their radars. 

A year ago and before that, this would have bothered me immensely. In fact, it did bother me: knowing that they were still close when I spent the first summer after moving hiding like a recluse. But now, it doesn't bother me at all - and I think that fact is what's the most upsetting. To go from believing you'll "always" have certain people in your life to barely knowing them at all creates this indescribable feeling that can only be compared to my five-year-old tantrum over ice cream.

The question I would normally ask at this point would be, "What's the point in investing in long-term relationships with people when there's always the chance it will fall apart?"--but I know the answer: Because you don't know if it will fall apart, and who's to say that a little distance automatically destroys the bond? On the spinning wheel, you can't stay on the same space forever. To grow up, you need change. Once I was able to reach a point in my college career where I wasn't loathing my environment, I began to accept this more willingly. "Step one: shed a few tears, but don't drown in them," someone said to me once. "Nothing is ever 'that bad.'"

I think I'm grateful for goodbyes now, not because I enjoy being separated from people I love, but because it means our worlds are opening up for bigger and better things. In the future when these goodbyes occur, I'll be sad but it's time to learn to really let optimism in. And whether we embark on those adventures five miles apart from each other or five hundred miles apart, a bond will always be a bond. 

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  1. oh man, there are parts of my diary I cannot read because i seem so silly or awkward or naive...and to multiply that by 4 people! anyway, i love what you wrote in this blog because letting go of things is so important. rereading the dao de jing is reminding me of that! things, people, ideas, identities all come and go, but it is natural. it all happens along the same path, that we're supposed to be on and from which we can never truly stray because it encompasses everything.