I stared down at the phone in my hand, and I couldn’t help but smile as I scanned across the names that appeared in all of my recent messages. The majority of these people came into my life within the past few months, and the ones who didn’t – they’ve been in it for the long haul. I smiled because the phone in my hand, wasn’t the same phone that was in my hand the last time I got on an airplane a month before. I smiled because if you think about it, flying is weird. We trust one human being to direct this gigantic piece of machinery soaring through the SKY. Moving a katrillion miles high in the air, like birds, except we’re not birds. We carry tons of junk with us everywhere we go. Our hair is loaded with hairspray and gel and the jewelry some of us have on probably weighs more than your common bird. It’s a strange thing, isn’t it? We walk across this carpeted tacky hallway, and we step on, and we secure those flimsy seat belts, and we take a peak out of the corner of our eyes at this stranger sitting next to us. What a strangely intimate experience an airplane ride is – when else are you going to see a stranger sleep? Notice all their little weird habits, sometimes mirroring our own. (More often than not – not, because doesn’t it always seem our seat assignments are paired by opposites?) I watch the feet that glide down the aisle, strong calves and neon sneakers and I ache to be running. And I think about those new friends, the ones I met from running, the ones who I’ve only shared conversations with in the middle of the woods, ducking beneath branches, sweating in the Florida springtime humidity, or through the winding sprinkler soaked neighborhood roads. I think of the new friends I’ve met in hotel lobbies, or in a dark concert venue waiting for a show to begin. I think about how it only takes the initial strike up of a conversation and the world opens up ten fold. I think about the endless possibilities, how there are dozens of millions of people on this planet who I will never have the pleasure of meeting, never have a chance encounter with – but there are so many that I will. And what stops us from hearing the stories of those around us? From sharing a few words, a deep laugh, a sincere smile, making some new memory? Why doesn’t everyone do that more often? I’m compelled to not live any other way now because I just can’t stand it. That person that you just passed up, who’s been sitting across from you in the terminal for three hours charging their phone, sipping a coffee, and taking long glances at each person walking by, or the one at the other end of the row who sparked your attention as they leaned over a notebook in their lap diligently scrawling notes across the pages – how do you know that person isn’t your new best friend? Your lover? A musical soul mate you just haven’t met yet? You don’t. We never do and that’s the beautiful surprise of life. I don’t know if there’s such a thing as being too friendly, maybe? I’m not sure. But with all the different new bonds you could be making at any given moment, why not? Why not?
Okay, okay I’m trying to scale back on the Maroon 5 coverage. Tumblr is awful for obsessive habits, but last weekend since I couldn’t get up and run in the morning and I need a few more minutes to be able to get ready to go to the gym (where you actually have to bring stuff and can’t just hop out the door) I laid in bed for a few minutes. Of course I found myself perusing YouTube and of course I started watching all these Maroon 5 music videos. Wellll, I just wanted to share with you the one for “Daylight.” This will be my Friday Favorite. Look, I’m able to be concise today! Also, who really cares if the radio plays this song like multiple times a day? Not me! Every time I go, “oh! This was just the song I wanted to hear!” haha. So much for “overplay.” Anyway, this is a really great project – kind of in the vein of the “It Gets Better” campaign. It made me smile, it made me feel feelings and get all emotional, but it’s just really cool and totally worth 9 minutes of your time. Yeah, yeah I’m a little behind the times but better late than never:
It doesn’t seem to matter what phase of life we’re in, middle school, high school, college, post-college – things don’t change that much. (I would say people are the same, but I know deep down we’re really not or that would be so boring!) By this I mean, I don’t think it matters how simple something starts off as – people always seem to be looking for more. If something begins on a kind of platonic level, I always find that the simplistic, basic, normal level of things doesn’t seem to last long. Maybe I give off some kind of vibe I am unaware of, but this is has happened my whole life. (Until you know you meet a person that you want to have a non-platonic relationship with, and they don’t see it the same way. So it goes, right?) But really. I mean, why can’t a straight guy and a straight girl just be friends without some kind of underlying expectation? I for one, have always operated using The Butterfly Test. Sure I’ll hang out with someone with an open mind, but if I don’t feel it, if it’s not there it’s the truth when I say I’m not going to miraculously develop feelings for you later.
Maybe I need to just start posting Craig’s List Missed Connection ads. Would it be totally creepy to write something like “Hey! Bearded guy running down Thomasville Road on Tuesday around 630pm in front of the bike shop. I liked your pace, wanna run sometime?” Yeahhh, and that’s probably how you meet the serial killers…
I’m driving home from work, rambling to the ever-faithful listener, my mom about how maybe I just don’t like anyone? (Not like as a human being, but in a romantic context.) Then I see someone running down the street and blurt out how they’re pretty cute. And of course, this is better than just some stranger you see in a parking lot somewhere because I can already deduct that we have running in common. Then about .7 seconds later I see my ex-boyfriend pulling out of a local park. Surprise! That seems very typical of life, and the weirdness of the way things happen.
All of my dreams this week seemed to revolve around weddings in one way or another, which is completely strange. Sure I have two to attend coming up (one at the end of May, one at the end of June,) but really? Why so on the brain? Earlier in the week I dreamed that I was a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding for the second time. I didn’t know the groom. It was a chaotic ordeal. I felt really uneasy about the whole thing. Then I was talking to a friend about her own wedding in the dream, that I was in, which didn’t happen in real life. (You know like your subconscious creates fake memories?) Then last night I dreamt that I was wandering around in my compression socks (they’re obnoxiously hot pink and bright) and I wasn’t even running which was so weird, and I was apparently looking for a wedding date? I got set-up with one of my male friends who is gay, at the same time as I got set-up with a stranger. It was just, weird. Completely weird. I woke up kind of disoriented.
It all makes it sound like I really have relationships on my mind, but honestly I don’t. You know what I’ve been thinking about lately? Friendship. I have some incredible friends in my life, but they are scattered everywhere. Literally. So, I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like. (I’m working on this because money is just money, and who ever knows how much time they have? And I don’t want to be sitting here saying “I wish we could’ve hung out just one more time.” Though don’t we always wish that when the inevitable happens?) But really time goes by and as we get older some of my friends are settling down into a different life. Getting married, having babies, real jobs that mean you can’t just take off days and days of work for some exotic spontaneous trip…And it makes me ache a little because although in some people’s worlds it doesn’t seem to work like this, in mine it has – it feels like as these life changes happen, new boundaries are drawn, and I feel confined to small little boxes in each relationship. And I get it. There’s an appropriateness to things, certain parts of life have to change because we aren’t who we used to be when these changes come. And most of my friendships have always had this weird dynamic, a certain energy that buzzes in the air, that’s heavy with an intimacy not of the physical type, but in the connection – the depth of the heart. And I know these can’t carry on when others are added to the equation.
But lately, I just miss what it’s like to pile in a car and drive around, adventuring. I miss cramming on a couch having movie nights, (or Olympic nights, or Degrassi nights haha.) I miss sprawling across beds staring at the ceiling, talking about life. The future a fuzzy cloud of uncertainty in front of us, imagining the possibility. I miss sitting on kitchen floors with my feet tucked under me, giggling at everything and nothing. Feeling like in that moment, I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I miss going on walks in the still of the night, only the light of the stars shining down, and the things that only go spoken in the safety of the dark. I miss making pancakes at random times of the day. I miss the way that music sounds different when you’re listening to it with someone else, as it fills the space between you in a room.
There are certain people who just know me like no one else. The silence is comfortable. The laughs are the deep kind that make your stomach hurt. Lately those relationships just feel far away, and like they’re slipping through my fingers. I know the tone changed here, but the thing is I’m not really looking for what people probably think I am. It’s not about boyfriends or romance. It’s that sense of companionship, a partner, sharing experiences with people who get it. This is the stuff I’m carrying around all day. It makes me smile because I’d have to know the happiness of such moments, to miss them but it gives me heavy boots to feel the weight of it, too.
Saw this quote on Tumblr (the image isn’t mine either,) yesterday and I just had to share. I know sometimes when I post things like this people think you’re looking for attention, or that you’re trying to say something else, but exactly what it says right there – is such a huge truth of life. I have had a certain loneliness creeping in lately. Sometimes it subsides, and sometimes it sneaks up on me and lingers with a strong force. I would much prefer alone time, to hanging out with superficial people I don’t feel connected to. I have some pretty incredible friends in my life, and I just have to suck it up and deal with the fact that the majority of them don’t live in the same zip code as me. It only makes our time together that much more special. The words that arrive in the mail, so dear to me. Our phone calls, precious. I think about them all the time, and I know they think of me. But sometimes you just want to drive down the road and plop on someone’s couch. Tell them what’s on your mind. Watch a common favorite movie or show, sharing some ice cream. Sometimes, it’s nice to have an adventure partner, or someone to have catch-up chats with over coffee. The thing is, it doesn’t matter if I’m doing these things with someone – if they’re not the right people.
I keep typing drafts, and I don’t click the publish button. I’m not censoring myself, but rather sparing you from being subjected to endless discontented rants. They’re not really endless. They just feel petty and pointless after I take a break and gather my composure again. Kind of like those things you get the urge to do at 2am, send a text to someone you haven’t talked to in a long time, order something completely unnecessary online, make some life changing decision, book a flight to some random destination. These ideas might hold more weight in the daylight, but in the middle of the night they’re impulsive and driven by some unclear desire. I’ve been reading a lot again lately. I know the way I pour myself into the pages, combined with all the miles on the road is a form of escape. Sure, a healthy outlet but I’m aware I’m avoiding some stuff that will catch up with me sooner or later. Sometimes, I’m reading and the words just strike me in a way that make feelings creep up I’d rather not remember. Life has a funny way of making its own twists and turns. While I know that whatever is ahead of me is sure to be a surprise, I know what’s behind me already. I’ll be twenty-five next week. That’s a lot of years worth of…junk. People and places and things. There are certain friendships that I thought would make it this far, and maybe in another twenty years I’ll be surprised, but right now, they’re not here. I know in any case, even the ones I don’t realize yet, this is for the better. Toxic relationships shouldn’t have any place in any of our lives because once we recognize the harm they’re doing, why would we continue to subject ourselves to them? So, sometimes these absences make my heart sink a little when I first turn my attention to them but the fact is the presence wasn’t much more satisfying. I remind myself, no man is an island. And I remember that there are dozens if not more, friendships and relationships and connections to be made and strengthened in the years in front of me. People I haven’t met yet, who one day I will wonder how I carried on without them? People to love and to laugh with, who mean well and make the world I know brighter instead of dimming the light. It’s gloomy outside, raining off an on, cloudy, dismal, windy and grey. People walk in and out the front door complaining about the weather, being sleepy, the temperature. Maybe this all leads me to be more reflective than normal. Maybe this post isn’t necessary at all, but I felt bad to keep avoiding typing anything, a little guilty for all the days I visit this page, fill this box with words, only to tuck them away. So, in the meantime, here they are, here are some thoughts. And with that, I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!
For some reason all morning I’ve had a quote stuck in my head that I read for the first time about a year ago. It’s from poet, Simon Van Booy. Some of his works are on my Kindle reader. I kind of save my Kindle stories for times when I’m traveling, so I haven’t read all of them yet but he has quite the way with words. I am always astonished by the clarity of his thoughts, the connections I feel to them, and how this man can fit so much emotion into so few words. Being articulate is something I’ve always struggled with, (and with how badly I want to change that, you’d think I’d practice more.) I remember being in high school and just marveling over the eloquence of some of my friends words (even in simple conversation,) it was always a detail I admired. Booy’s graceful style, along with the intensity and passion that abounds each passage are so inspiring. Anyway, here are the beautiful words that have been reverberating:
“If there is such a thing as marriage, it takes place long before the ceremony: in a car on the way to the airport; or as a grey bedroom fills with dawn, one lover watching the other; or as two strangers stand together in the rain with no bus in sight, arms weighed down with shopping bags. You don’t know then. But later you realize – that was the moment.”
Today my parents are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary! I consider it one of the greater blessings of my life having been able to witness their example of marriage. They have such an awesome relationship – one where they truly bring out the best in each other, are understanding, caring, and loving, and appreciate the quirky qualities in the other.) They have seen each other through so many different seasons of life. They’re about to embark on a whole new adventure together, and I’m so excited for them. (Obviously I’m thankful they got together too because without them there’d be no me! 😉