Tuesday, April 27, 2010

evolving relationships

I've never been good at long-term relationships. I don't have people in my life that I've known since I was five, from growing up, from high school or college. Since becoming a parent I've forged relationships that have lasted longer than my usual ones, but those are shifting and floating away as kids get older and life changes. I had hoped at this point, we'd have a circle of people we'd go on vacation with, celebrate occasions with, who'd have our family's back, but that wasn't meant to be either. I suppose I could spend years in therapy getting to the bottom of it but at this point in my life, I'm ok with it. Most of the time. 

And yet, for all the above, I grapple with change every time I'm confronted with it. Especially when it comes to relationships. Every once in awhile I meet someone who has a profound effect on me, the kind that can't last long term no matter how much I want it to. Perhaps it's a specific experience we share together, a bond that's forged to help keep us sane when things are falling apart. Someone to counterbalance huge growth when I can't handle it all myself. They show up, we share, and then everyone moves on. 

I hate the moving on. 

If I step back and look at the bigger picture, there's a pattern. A pattern of connection, meant-to-be-ness, gifts from the universe at times and of course, the inevitable pain when the magic is gone. 

I'm thinking maybe this lesson is appreciating it in the moment and letting go when it's over. 

You (I) can't go back. 

You (I)  can't re-experience what was so special at a distinct time and place, no matter how much you (I) want to.

I talked to a friend last night, a friend I've never met in person, but someone I had almost daily contact with for months and months. We talked, skyped, google chatted, emailed, tweeted, sometimes many of the above on the same day. And then, he was gone. For a month. He's popped in to say his life is dramatically changing and he's going to be impossible to reach for awhile. That I'll be proud of him, but he can't say what's going on. 

Total blank slate from someone I'd come to think of as a really close friend. This was my go-to FLOW person. The person who gave me advice, listened when I was panicked, pointed me in saner directions when I couldn't see where I was supposed to be. He was my self-appointed mentor, my guru, my media expert. At the same time, his life was in a dramatic flux. I suppose the constant contact gave him grounding while everything else was being ripped apart. But, as with all these seemingly profound relationships I find myself in, it was seemingly over. This time with no warning. He just disappeared. 

I was hurt, confused, furious, rejected. How was I supposed to be ok when I'd relied on this person during such a challenging time? I loved having someone there to support, to listen, to advise. I've been searching for that my entire life.

(insert lightbulb here)

Ok folks, I just got it. It's not about him. Or any of these people who come in and shake me up. It's learning that love, that trust, that belief can be found on the inside. That I just have to accept that it's there and let it flow.*

*Full disclosure. Just as I finished typing that sentence, my missing friend called. We talked for an hour and finished the conversation talking about what I had just written. 

Damn. When you're open, there are remarkable things to be seen.

Thank you Santiago.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's funny - I had a weird day yesterday. I had accomplished so much last week...Made all star volunteer for Relay for Life, Walked a half marathon, helped with a school dinner dance. And at the end I wanted accolades, pats on the back, you did it Jane from all I kow and love. That did not happen. Don't get me wrong, many people rooted me and high fived me on face book but I never heard from my sisters or my brother or my best friend. In my mind, it went unnoticed to them.

I realized this was about me and needing people to build me up still! at age 45!

I went to the marathon with a friend. Originally there were 4 of us and it went down to 2. She did not tell me ahead of time that she was going to try and run it. I could not run it- just not in that kind of shape and she knew that going in! At mile 2.5 she told me she wanted to run...so I told her to go ahead I didn't want to hold her back. As she left- she plugged in her IPOD. I did not bring my IPOD because I thought I had a partner! For the next 10.5 miles I walked and hummed to myself and went in and out of talking to other racers and convincing myself this was for me and about me - not anyone else and I did without the music that soothes me and motivates and has become my own personal friend.

When I crossed the finish line 3.5 hours later- I cried. I was alone. I have so many in my life and I was so alone at that moment amazed at my power and amazed at my "aloneness".

Elissa, I so get you! I so understand all you go through!
I come here when I need a mirror and I know someone else thinks like me.

FUnny- we have know eachothers names since Birch Lane but it took the virtual reality to get to know who we really are...and then we still don't know that yet either do we?

xo Janie