I was never good at making friends.
Quite horrible at it actually.
There is a reason I desperately sought love (spoiler alert: and found it) in a Yahoo Chat room for Portland Or back in 2005. (A whole bunch of details for a whole different nonexistent category on my blog)
Anyways. I was bad at being a friend. But even worse at maintaining any sort of friendship.
I havent thought too hard about why (yet!). But I still do find myself yearning and hurting and desperately wanting a deep kindred friendship with another human.
A friendship where I am not worried about another soul walking thru my overgrown forest of frayed and wilted bandages.
I still find myself in moments where I feel alone and forgotten, needing an unconditional and freeing friendship with another human.
A friendship where, more matter how much time divides us between last contact, it didn’t matter because it was as if we could feel eachother living from afar.
A friendship where I dont feel judged; where I can let my guard down; where I dont feel like I am the “3rd wheel”, as if I am awkwardly trying to push myself in to a space that wasnt meant for me.
A friendship where everything is reciprocal and understood without an word uttered or typed.
4 years ago, when I was 28, I had come to the realization that I would never find another human other than my husband, that I call soulmate (platonic in my case).
And there she came. Like a cement filled freight train. Careening in to my life. Stopping my movement forward on a trail I wasnt meant to be on.
I was taken aback. Shocked. Aghast. I was not ready. I had resigned myself to giving up.
And there she was.
And she never left. She never gave up on me. She never stopped swimming.
She let me rant for hours. She confided in me. She believed in me. She let me dream.
She was my soulmate (platonic).
We checked in nearly every single day.
And I knew I could count on her to be there for me.
If I needed to escape town without anyone knowing, I trusted her. She is the one, besides my husband, I trusted my whole life with.
If I was going on a longer solo hike or backpacking, I put her in charge of basecamp back at home.
I started to dream. I started to believe. I discovered who I was meant to become.
Because she was by my side. Even if we hadnt seen eachother in person for months.
We could laugh until our abs were too tired to keep us straight.
We could cry until no more tears could come.
We could talk until, well, we never did stop talking.
And with this whole pandemic insanity, we grew closer.
At least I thought we were. I needed you more than ever
Between distancing learning, the special needs of parents of kiddos with special needs, working from home, and stress about work, somehow I put our friendship on the back burner.
Sometimes, being friends with you, was draining. Yes. I admit it. Sometimes I ran out of spoons when you needed me.
I knew you needed me. But I was out of my own spoons. I needed you sometimes at the same time. But I tried my best to always be there for you the way you always are for me.
But slowly, over the past few weeks, I just couldnt. I had used up all my daily bandwidth allowances, and had to just power down.
And over the past few weeks, my ability to be there for you, slowly disappeared.
We rounded Day 40 and things were looking good. I could finally feel the storm ease. The seas started to calm. My breathing was finding a rhythm.
And spoons were beginning to regenerate faster than I could use them.
I hadnt reached the point where I could reach out.
Just one more day, I told myself.
But that was a lie. I fell asleep early that next day. The day I wanted to tell you that it was finally time to start working on our projects.
Making your dreams, my dreams, our dreams….a reality.
But I fell asleep. 2hrs before my normal bedtime.
I fell asleep. I slept hard. I was mentally and physically and emotionally exhausted.
You called shortly thereafter. It was before my bedtime.
You called. But I didnt hear it. Because my ringer was on vibrate only.
Like it always is.
I actually recently questioned why I do that. Why I leave my phone on vibrate so that I can NEVER hear it
(Which makes my husband mad when I lose my phone…)
You called me that night. But you didnt leave a voicemail.
The next day was a day I was so absorbed with myself. I was mean to a coworker. I was just not myself.
I forgot you called.
“I will contact her on friday! I cant wait to tell her about GISH! Dangit! Why didnt I invite her to this. She will be a great teammate. August hunt for sure!”
Friday came. Friday went.
You called me 2 days ago. And I didnt try contacting you. My brain was moving too fast with excitement happening my life.
Saturday morning and the chaos of the day began.
Lunchtime finally rolled around. I was able to take a quick breather before the mini 24hr adventure hunt insanity began.
I opened up FB bc of course. And something told me to finally figure out why there was a red notification on my messenger thingy. It popped up a few days prior and I clicked but didnt dig.
So I let it go.
Until noon, on Saturday, 2 and half days after I missed your call.
I found the reason for the invisible red notification that would not disappear.
The next few moments felt like 100yrs yet flashed by so fast all the words spoken merged as one, all-encompassing, feeling of soul shattering, heart ripping, agonizing… nightmare.
I am not ready to believe it has been over a week since I received one of your random texts
I am angry at you for not leaving a message. Or reaching out sooner. I am mad at you for thinking you shouldn’t bother me because I already have too much.
I hate you for not letting me be that friend to drop everything to rescue you. I know you knew I would be that friend!
I was jealous of your camp lantern.
But damnit! I did not want it this way.
I would give up camping just to listen to you smile one more time.
I had resigned myself to never finding a friend. Let alone a soul friend.
But then you appeared.
And we laughed. And lived. And shared. And cried. And ranted. And believed. And planned.
It’s been a week. And I just cant.
I cant breathe. I cant sleep. I cant dream.
I cant think.
It feels as if my soul shatters into a thousand pieces over and over again.
I am experiencing a pain I cannot put words to. A pain so deep that I didnt realize this……this sensation existed.
You called. I didnt answer. Your gone. And I am numb.
You taught me how to live. How to fight. How to love and set boundaries. You taught me how to always look for solutions and believe that tomorrow will always be a better day.
You taught me what it takes to be a true friend and the meaning of just keep swimming, even when it seems like a dry desert out there.
I am not ready to leave the river of denial. I am not ready to move thru the remaining stages of grief. I want to just hold on to what we had a little bit longer.
But dont get me wrong Toria! I know that you wouldn’t want me to remain a pancake. You would want me to un-pancake when I am ready and not a moment before.
And Toria, I know that you know you have taught me yet another lesson in living fully and without regret.
But Toria, I am NOT ready to listen to your final lesson for me. Because while you think I am ready, I most certainly am not.
Toria, you may be my best soul sister friend.
But I am still mad at you!