Back Again

Back Again

I have to be honest…when I saw you again my heart skipped a beat. We didn’t leave each other’s lives in such good terms that I thought you’d be walking towards me with a smile on your face again. I hadn’t thought we’d be talking about life and exchanging stories over lunch anytime soon. But there we were, catching up, joking around, laughing and having a good time once again.

If I’m honest, I have to say I had dreamt of the day we meet in good terms again and catch up as if we never stopped being great friends. I wanted to share my life with you. I wanted to experience life with you. But when I saw you again I had to reexamine where I stand.

A part of me thinks we could mend the break and start a new friendship built on trust and faith. It thinks there is something that still ties us together that life has brought us to each other again. It still feels the connection that once pulled me towards you. It still believes that our friendship can make it through.

But, honestly, another part of me thinks I shouldn’t be trying to pull something from my past into my present and future. It remembers how broken you had left me years before. It is scared of being left again after finding reason to have faith in you once more. It doesn’t want to give its heart to someone who doesn’t believe we’re meant to be anything.

At the same time that I want to reach out to you and bring you into my life, I already have an exhausting life without the drama of an ex-something coming back around. At the same time that I want to be there for you again, for I still see the hurt in your eyes and feel the pain coming from your heart, I know I can’t fix everything in your life no matter how much I want to take the pain away. I’d rather take your pain onto myself than have you suffer through your own thoughts in the darkness I know you’ve lived within for way too long – but I cannot.

I know I will always have a soft spot for you, as the first boy I fell in love with. I know I will always love you and be here for you no matter what. I know I will never stop caring about you despite anything you can do. I know I will not ever be scared of you, but of my feelings for you. I know there will always be something there for you to come back to. I know I will always love you.

But…I am nervous to find out how our lives will intertwine this time ’round. If you reach out, I won’t push you away. But, if there is something left here, I can’t be the only one trying to find where things go.

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Signing Up

Signing Up

As a student, I am constantly signing up for classes, beginning a whole new experience with each unit I take. Whether that be the bonds formed by the desire to pull out our hair during labs or complaining and downing coffee throughout the endless nights spent studying, friendships are made and new visitors walk into our lives. Though most of the class won’t stay in touch after each semester is over, there is always those couple relationships in which you wish and pray for things to work out.

When you sign up for a class, you commit to x amount of hours studying (it’s usually never the number you thought you’d be spending, but you know this too); you commit to the hours in lecture and/or lab with your classmates; you sign up for the stress, the worry, the panic attacks, everything that could come with the class; you are there pushing through to make things work despite what happens (unless you have to drop, which always sucks).

Now, I’m thinking, what’s the sign up sheet for friendships? There are constantly people signing up to be your friend, either for a semester or for a lifetime, despite that most of them won’t end up being lifetime rock for you to lean on and share laughs with and be partners in crime or whatever you want to call them.

As someone who never had many friends growing up – I was always the loner, the weird/awkward kid, the one who lived under a rock, the one who didn’t really know how to keep friends – I still find myself not having many friends, but for other reasons. Throughout the life lessons we all are forced to learn as we grow up, some of us getting extremely guarded and isolated for that reason. I am very willing to be there for someone, but there aren’t many people who I would put my heart in their hands. I gotta know that they’re worth fighting for a relationship with, long-term. Looking for the kind of friend you want is way harder than finding the right classes to fit in your schedule…

But, to those of you who mean the world in my life right now, and you know who you are, I’m signing up…for you.

I’m signing up for all the times you are a mess because life’s a bitch. I’m signing up for the nights you need someone to cry to. I’m signing up.

I’m signing up for all the weird as hell conversations that probably have ADD because of how many topics we jump around to. I’m signing up for the conversations people would look at weirdly if they read what we said. I’m signing up for the awesome and careless laughs, the essay-long (yes, it’s not “paragraph-long” but “essay-long”) text conversations catching up with you. I’m signing up.

I’m signing up for the arguments I have with you through the clash we have between logic and emotion. I’m signing up to explain emotions to you. I’m signing up to be patient enough to let you learn what you need to learn, for life. I’m signing up.

I’m signing up for the schedule clashes that come between us. I’m signing up to get frustrated when trying to see you after what feels like months apart. I’m signing up for the days I miss you in my life. I’m signing up for the silence from you and the silence I give you because life happens. I’m signing up.

I’m signing up for the deep, meaningful conversations. I’m signing up for the “how are you”s we squeeze into the seconds we have to catch up at times. I’m signing up for the two minute conversations as we pass each other on campus. I’m signing up for the hours long rants. I’m signing up for late night phone calls. I’m signing up.

I’m signing up for your stubbornness in finding out what’s wrong. I’m signing up to be stubborn. I’m signing up for the advice we give each other. I’m signing up to wish you the best in everything you touch. I’m signing up to get excited when something works out for you. I’m signing up to cheer you on. I’m signing up to listen to your complaints. I’m signing up for you to rant to. I’m signing up.

I’m signing up to be here for you. I’m signing up to listen and learn about your life. I’m signing up to try to understand what you’re going through. I’m signing up to help you as I can. I’m signing up.

And I’m not walking away.

Enroll

Silent Screams

Silent Screams

You know what sucks? Wanting to sleep so you don’t feel the pain anymore but finding yourself living more horrors through nightmares you can’t wake up from. I couldn’t wake up.

A close friend hopes that I stop beating myself up over what happened. I had begun to tell him what happened, hoping for someone to tell me it was going to be okay. I’m grateful for him; I will never be able to thank him enough. He told me, over and over, trying to get it through my mind, that it doesn’t matter what people say or how much I beat myself up because it wasn’t my fault. He held me as I sobbed. My entire body was probably shaking. For once, I felt strong to be crying. I needed it so badly that I wasn’t scared to cry. I wasn’t scared that time because I believed he’d hold me together and give me time. When I calmed, he got me on my feet and pulled me into his arms. The warmth soothed my heart. He reassured me again and again that I was safe now. And, in his arms, I believed him.

But when I went to sleep in attempt to run away from my thoughts, somehow they still played in my sleep, in the back of my mind. I couldn’t wake to stop them. I couldn’t shake them out of my mind.

He wanted to fight off the demons in my mind with love. He wanted to shield me from the pain. But I don’t think he ever thought I’d wake up in the mornings with a scream in my throat but no voice to be found.

Friendships

Friendships

Sitting in the library during intersession is the most peaceful I’ve found this place. There are barely any students here; not a lot of students stay before/after classes – if they are taking classes in the first place. There is a comfort in the silence that makes it easier to hear my thoughts. There is something about the calmness that soothes my heart.

Chris came earlier today and listened to my ramble on about random things (if you are reading this, I want to say thank you). He came to help me to study but I couldn’t keep my mouth shut and focus on the triple integrals and Stokes’ theorem problems in front of me. My mind was running faster than ever, the panic and nervousness for my calc 3 final fueling my anxiety. I am glad he was able to make me laugh and smile instead of getting engulfed into my own insecurities.

Times like this remind me to be grateful for the meaningful relationships I have with those around me. Not just the people I see on a day-to-day basis but the ones that actually go out of their way to keep a friendship. It’s the ones who will stay up with you until 1am to help you study; it’s the ones who will drive for half an hour to you because you need a ride home; it’s the ones who spend hours trying to do something that will make you smile; it’s the ones who truly are your best friends.

I look around in my life and I recognize these relationships in my life, and just smile. The small texts between us when we are trying to check in after a few weeks of silence. The video calls that always have me smiling and laughing. The phone calls, whether long or short, that make us feel closer and more connected even after times apart. The little things you do for each other in attempt to make their day just a little better. The amazing friendships that don’t need constant connection to stay alive.

I went to grab coffee with an old friend, who I have a complicated history with. We hadn’t talked for months, and during that time it was more small talk than anything. Despite that, we hadn’t talked for almost a year. But when he came and agreed to meet up, we spoke as if the time hadn’t passed in silence. It was like when people say true friendships are the friendships in which you can act like you had spoken the day before even though it’s been years. It was natural. It was fun. It was satisfying. It was normal. It was friendship.

Even though I am not usually surrounded by people – I am usually alone – and I am comfortable in this silence and isolation, I still feel a connection to the people who truly matter. I look around and, even though I may be by myself, but I am never alone. It’s the friendships that reminds me of this that are worth the world.

Sorry Not Sorry

Sorry Not Sorry

I am sorry I care about what other people think. I am sorry I grew up in an environment in which all that mattered was what other people thought. I am sorry that is how I was raised. I am sorry that is how I have become. I am sorry you have to deal with me.

I get worked up. I get emotional. I get bothered by people’s reactions. I get nervous to see what people think. Doesn’t everyone? Apparently not you.

I am sorry I got so worried when you sister fractured and broke her wrist that I felt nauseous enough to vomit. I am sorry I got worked up and annoyed when my sister gave me a weird look that told me she didn’t want me to go to the ER with you and your sister. I am sorry I got annoyed when you kept laughing off her injury as if it were a joke. I am sorry I yelled at you when my emotions built up. I am sorry I got sensitive. I am sorry I got hurt. I am sorry I was 100% myself.

I am sorry I am pleased to hear my sister likes you and is happy that I am happy. I am sorry that it bugs me when you cursed ten times more when you were around her students…her co-workers….her boyfriend….her! I am sorry that I talked to you about the cursing afterwards. I am sorry that I want my friends and family to like you.

I am sorry that it bugs me when I think you’re being rude to your mom. I am sorry that it sometimes feels as if you just want my body. I am sorry I got upset when you called me as if I were a dog. I am sorry I can’t simply laugh everything off. I am sorry I got ticked off when you didn’t let me study when I specifically told you I had a lot to do.

I am so sorry if all of this bothers you.

Oh, wait, I shouldn’t be apologizing…but, I still do.

Dubious

Despite knowing my writing is an insight to the person I am, despite wanting you to have a deeper understanding of some things that still affect me today, despite wishing for an easier way to express my thoughts, I hesitate to give you the key to my mind. This is, after all, the place where I am the truest version of myself. To connect a simple ‘author’ title to my actual name and the person you can physically see every day, is to have the power over secrets I may still hold.

If you, the person reading this, know who I am beyond the complex screens we call computers, you mean something to me. And whether you still read my posts still to this day, may say something about where I stand with you…or maybe not.

-> To the obnoxious young man who wears a ring on his hand, I’m happy for you as I’ve always been since we had the talk that night. I know you are an amazing father just as you are an incredible husband to a very lucky young woman. I wish you the best wherever life may take you. I hope we stay in touch.

-> To the special young woman who can never bother remembering her classmates’ names, as she refers to each and every one as “that (other) guy”, I hope you never change. As our lives seem to overlap more and more, I look forward to becoming closer to your family. And, no matter what happens, know that I’ll always be here for you.

-> To the strong, independent young almost-graduate who had made the last two years of my high school career easier to live through, you know I would do anything to help you if I could. I wish you the best as you decide which paths you want to walk down as you exit high school. I wish you the best when you have to face telling your family of your decision. Do know I will always be here for you.

-> To the sassy young woman who had been there through my very painful last heartbreak, and who prays for me to be a little more selfish, I miss you. The busy schedules we both have clash way too much and we never get to see each other anymore. But, despite, like you said, we’ll never stop being there for the other. I wish you the best, and I hope we keep in touch even if I move.

-> To my last heartbreak, I hope you’re happy and you’re okay wherever you are in your life right now. You deserve a good Christian girl who shares your passion and can walk through life with you no matter where you go. I hope you started your path to teaching, like you’ve always wanted. I wish you the best as you continue down your journey. Never forget to stop and take a breath.

-> To the awkward young man who I can constantly call up to have some company while studying at school, I really hope you discover what it is that you want to do with your life. I know sometimes ignoring the elephant in the room can lead to a more pleasant lifestyle, but you will have to face the question you hesitate to answer. I wish I could help, but your life is in your hands. Good luck.

Narrow Window

Narrow Window

You were one of the very few people who intrigued me at work the first days I was there. I knew you were one of the “more experienced”, “more authorized”, or “more knowledgable” folk who have sticked around for some time. You had relationships with the others. You stuck with your group, the ones you knew, and kind of left the newbies (like me) to our own business.

You weren’t upset when asked a question, you never argued when told to help out one of the new recruits, but there was always something about your attitude that told me you had a disdain attitude about it. You were a little isolated at the same time you were connected with the other members of your “group”. It was interesting watching you interact with those who you had to call your co-workers.

When we started talking, something about opportunities I was handed led to pry a little to what could be of a relationship between you and me. Turned out you were taking one of my classes, needed help with a subject I had come to like during my first few years in school, and I could lend you a hand during a time you were struggling a little.

Today, you still intrigue me. There’s something deeper within your light-hearted attitude. There’s something darker within those nonchalant shrugs and half-chuckles.

Out of any of the new recruits you’ve seen come and go at work, I was one of the rare few you’ve ever really interacted with. Out of the hundreds of other students, other peers on campus, I was one of the people you felt like you could trust and build a friendship with. Within the hectic rush of the first several weeks of classes, you were the one person who made me feel as if I could slow down and take a deep breath. Within all the worries and stresses running through my tormented mind, something about you felt stable and slightly secure.

I don’t know if it’s chance or it’s what people call “fate” that we met during the times that we did. I met you right after I got more stable with my own life and what my goals are for the next year or two. You met me right before you made a huge change in course to your plans and your future. We crossed paths at seemingly a very narrow window where both our lives overlapped in the sense that we were changing our lives.

I don’t know if this friendship is going to last, but it’s not a friendship made by coincidence but was made with purpose. It may be a purpose unknown to both of us, but a purpose hides behind the curtains.

Coincidence