Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fading Past in a Tattered Box

The past few weeks have really made me think a lot about my life. Nothing in particular happened, but I've realized a few things. Since last fall, May/June has been jam packed with things to do. Commitments we felt we couldn't get out of. A family reunion and two weddings. Initially, I was really looking forward to the weddings because it meant I got to hang out with friends from college who I never get to see.

The first one we planned for was Aldon's. It's in Nashville on June 7th. We bought our plane tickets, reserved our rental car, made arrangements to board the dogs , got a hotel and couldn't wait for the trip. Since we were going through the trouble of going all the way there, we decided to take a few extra days and explore Nashville since I hadn't been in about 11 years. The trip quickly turned very expensive. Then in December, Leslie announced she too was getting married..2 weeks before Aldon up near Charlottesville, VA. That would be this upcoming Saturday..the 24th. So..3 out of 4 weekends we're going to have to board the dogs at $51 a night. Ouch.

Jeff's parents agreed to watch the dogs for Leslie's wedding, but we're stuck paying the $310 to board them for Nashville. Anyhow, I started wondering why I'm going through all this trouble. I don't think they would've gone out of their way to attend my wedding or come visit. I can't even get them to return emails. I thought for sure Leslie would've kept in touch since we were roommates, but I hardly know her now. We forward emails to each other here and there..but that's where it stops. I am no longer a part of her life and haven't been for quite awhile. Aldon and I were never really that close and I have no idea why I'm spending so much money to see him get married. I think I just wanted to feel like a part of something and belong again.

I realized that I don't really have any close friends other than Jeff. There's my sister, but she's moving and about to become a mom so I feel it'll be harder to keep in touch. All the friends I used to have are now internet and email friends. A Myspace message here, a Facebook Superpoke there, an "are you alive" email every so often..but that's where it ends. I have no one to go out and have girls night with. No one who calls and says, "Hey girl! DSW is having a huge sale this weekend..I was thinking Mexican food and in?" I know a lot of it is because I work 12 hour night shifts and it's next to impossible to schedule things with those in the "normal" world.

My closest friend here I met at work and since she took another job...I can't get her to call me back. I haven't seen or heard from her in months despite leaving numerous messages. This brings me to a key question...why do I keep trying to cling to a past that I've outgrown?? Or maybe it's outgrown me..I'm not sure. Either way..I've changed quite a bit since college and maybe since that's behind me, I should leave the friends I met there behind too. Some things just cannot be moved through time and stay intact.

I see no benefit in trying to hang on to the strings of these relationships. The only thing I get from them is wistful memories. I still care for them, but I did my part to try to stay in touch and the actions weren't reciprocated. When I saw Leslie at our little reunion in Oct. of 06..which was the first time in 7 years that I'd seen her....she said.."I'm so glad you're back in my life!" That surprised me because in my mind..I'd never left to begin with. I feel a sense of loss and sadness over the fact that I'm no longer in their little group. Leslie, Candi and Mick have all stayed really close and the rest of us have gone our own way. It's not too surprising though..we're all so spread out that it's hard to see each other. Do I still call them "friends" or do I now refer to them as "acquaintances"?

I'm just lonely and feeling a bit down, so I think that's why I'm going so far out of my way to go to these weddings. Maybe it's so I can see them and determine if the friendships are worth saving. Or maybe I'm going to see them one last time before I put my memories of them in the tattered keepsake box of my mind. Maybe all I need is closure as I watch small pieces of my former life fade away. I hope it'll be enough to help me move on. I no longer want to feel the need to cling to what was. Life is too short for that.