We all need support. We all have our days of feeling like we are alone in the world. Often times we look at other people's lives and we think, "Wow, they really have it together." I get that a lot. People often remark at how they think I have all my ducks in a row and that I have created this perfect existence...but, I often find myself thinking the same thing of others. This comparison is how I blew everyone out of the water when I went through a divorce. Even my husband had no idea how unhappy I was. He didn't even know who I was. Down deep. He never looked. He never listened. Not like I needed him to. Not like someone else could. While in high school I fell in love. Not the high school love most think of. I fell in love with a soul that I could feel. I remember thinking how beautiful I thought she was. It went far beyond her cascading chocolate curls and intoxicating eyes that were filled with dreams too hard to dream. I admired her talents. Even her faults were endearing. Some elements were heartbreaking. I had my own. Who was I to judge. Judgement wasn't something shared between our hearts. Instead of chasing boys and getting into trouble. We had a most wholesome friendship. A youth that she didn't get to experience in any other part of her life. For she was called to grow up too soon. In between classes and work, I was dreaming of my college years and this perfect outline of how it would all lay out for myself. I had it all on a timeline. Down to the letter. Scheduled deadlines for graduation. Love. Career. Babies. 3. First a girl, then fraternal twins. I had names selected. (Because father's didn't care about that anyway, at least, my babies father would let me pick. Certainly.) See what I mean. All laid out. Like my outfits for the next week. Perfect! In between, her life was something much heavier. I felt it. Didn't recognize it, because it was not something that I could even fathom. One day we were enjoying each other's company. Testing each other's spanish vocabulary. Discussing Sociology class. The next, I went to her house and she was gone. Gone. No one answered. And for years, I lost my friend. I lost a little bit of my soul that I had shared with her. Those little bits of ourselves that we only share with the most intimate of relationships. A naked intimacy that had nothing to do with clothes, but everything to do with what we hide. She was gone...and so was a part of myself. Our lives unfold, unravel...and all come together again. I picked her up at her hotel from a work conference this week. My life was chaos, but nothing was stopping me from finding her again. Finding myself. Almost twenty years later. What will she think of me? How should I tell her about my life? It won't be my resume she is looking at, but an unpressed, stressed, divorced, two kids, floundering, building a dream and trying to hold-it-all-together kind of me. Then I saw her... I could feel the tears welling up as I saw her standing in the loading entrance at the Airport Courtyard Marriot. I couldn't wait to get out of the car and squeeze her. More beautiful than she could have ever been. More beautiful for the wisdom bestowed upon her. More beautiful for holding my heart in such a peaceful space within herself for all these years. This is what friendships are made of. We unfolded our lives, the "lost" twenty years, over a far-too-short lunch. An afternoon cut short by lifelines and deadlines and school pick-ups and flights booked. But, a remembrance...and embracing, of a new beginning for us. Her story was hard for her to retell, relive. Bring to life in the eyes of a friend. But, when you share such stories with someone that has held your heart so long...they already knew. I already knew. My heart did. I was sorry that I hadn't been able to do more to protect a friend from the evils of the world. But, it wasn't my story. It was hers...and it brought her to who she is today. My trials have brought me here as well. Revelations and evolutions. What we choose to become, build up in ourselves...is a decision based in love and fear. Sometimes, it is a bit of both. Sometimes we dwell with the fear for so long, that love is the only thing that can pull us through. After an afternoon filled with laughter, memories and tears, taking her back to the airport was one of my hardest experiences. "I can't lose her again", I kept thinking. She makes me whole. Feel understood. Just to sit here with her. I can't lose that. Fear. I had felt whole with her that afternoon. I had found a missing piece. I had wanted to hold her hand, touch her in some way the entire day. Kiss her on the mouth and drive off into the sunset. Somehow merge our lives. Here. Right now! Out of nothing but pure light. Love. This isn't a tale of romance. This is the purest of friendships. Raw. Honest. Unyielding. Someone that doesn't care about your resume or who you are on paper. Doesn't care that you haven't checked everything off your list. Someone that knows you from a place far deeper than your skin. This morning, she sent me a text:
I'm sitting here wracking my brain to find someone else who has played that role in my life of girlfriend and confidant and...well hunny, you're my only Thelma and Louise kind of girlfriend.Who knows how long I will save her text. When I sat down to lunch with her I handed her photos we had taken of each other in 1994. Over the years I would bring them out and relive our joys. And wonder...about her; wishing her well. Some people touch your heart. Some think they know it. Some people you let take a little bit of it with them. I let her keep my heart...and I still hold a bit of hers. Maybe in her moments of self-doubt, she can see herself through my eyes. Feel her power with my heart. I offer her my strength and I know she would do the same for me. Sometimes you just need to feel like you aren't alone. That the troubles you have witnessed aren't only yours to shoulder, but that you have soldiers to protect your heart, your soul. Sometimes you just need a connection that doesn't take words to establish. Something you can feel. Something that feels like your truth. And, sometimes... "Just Go..."