Wednesday, January 8, 2014

20 Miles Later

All of this is debatable but not worth debating - perhaps discussing after everything has been dissected.

One of the things that still keeps my mind frequently engaged is figuring out friendships as I move on from teens to early twenties. This is a major time of transition, it seems.

In this time, folks around my age are a few steps past the beginning process of forming their own independent identity. We're carving out a path and choosing which personas suit us best. In that, I'm trying to learn what different friendships and relationships look like over time.

I've had friends for years and I'm trying, trying to learn to loosen my grip on them and let them be what they need to be which is sometimes nothing. I'm crap at letting some friendships die, even when they should. I'm crap at moving on from someone I've grown to truly love and it seems that the ones I let myself get most connected to are the ones that have done the most damage and have left me perplexed and smashed for hours (J, A, K - for example).

Because of this, life's gotten strange, at times.
Sometimes I emotionally distance myself for the sake of self preservation (satisfying, eh?).
Sometimes I just assume that nothing's there without consulting the other person.

I'm growing. Trying to do my best not to hurt others.

I met Jesse back in 2006. It's a funky story involving an international internet lip-syncing community, mutual friends, and a library. Eventually, we met in a park and did homework together. The entire basis of our friendship was going for walks. I can't really imagine doing anything else with him.

And then I didn't see him for a couple of years.
I traveled. He started walking and biking and disappeared into the depths of Virginia in a giant sink of dishes.
Each time one of us came back to Seattle, the other was elsewhere.

I don't exactly want to write out what I had thought had happened to our friendship. Pretty much dubbed it dead. I did still (and still do) love hanging out with his family who, for some reason, will take me in at any hour and make me feel at home and loved.

But he's home now and we're both in the same town which promotes the possibility of getting to know each other again. We've both changed a bounty and morphed and grown and frolicked into new circles and back out again. As it turns out, though, we still get along.

First night we hung out was Christmas and somehow, the walk we said we were going to take turned into an eight mile stroll. Two days later we set out at 11 PM at night to get me home... but 11 miles later we were at my brother's home near the University District - arriving at 3 AM. The next day, we kept going on, around 8-9 miles, till we reached downtown Seattle.

I did that thing I tend to do called pushing limits. When I'm figuring out at what level a friend is a friend (does that make sense?), I tend to test boundaries to see if I can truly be me around them. Do they just accept a diluted version of me that I frequently offer folks or is Magi-in-the-raw ok? I act quirky and wait for the rejection to occur, for them to reach the end of the rope. I figure it'd be better if they disappeared now then after I decided to consider them a friend.

I need to stop these cognitive distortions and let people be.
I need to stop trying to mind read.
I need to be patient.

And, after 20 miles, we're still friends.

I'm grateful.

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