Last September, on an impulse, I decided to take an improvisational comedy class with my friend Sara. When we took that first class, I had no idea how happy it would make me nor how much I would look forward to class every week. What’s even better is having met all of these truly wonderful people who I am proud to say have become close friends. So, what started out as a one-time experiment has become a weekly date on my calendar. We just recently finished our third class show. Luckily, my friends had people taping the shows from our first performance.
So. Much. Fun.
Maybe this has happened to all of you at some point, but I think it happened to me for the first time recently: I had someone unfriend me on Facebook.
It’s been a few days since I noticed my recent unfriendship status, and I have to say that I’m still processing a number of emotions. I’m feeling perplexed and angry and confused and anxious all at once. For me, this was not just the severing of a digital relationship but a very real break to a physical friendship. If I’m honest with myself, I would say that I can’t be entirely surprised as the relationship in question has seen its fair share of bumps over the past year. I truly believed that we were just going through a rough time and eventually, we’d hit that reset button and be back where we were before.
The bigger issue for me is that this break triggers a very deep fear that eventually all of my friends will do the same and one by one, fall away from my life. I worry over this endlessly. If I think about it too much, I lose countless hours and sometimes days of sleep. I understand that that’s not rational or healthy nor necessarily logical, but my head and my heart start down this path that I can’t pull back from.
I also know where this began. A few years ago, one of my closest friends from college just stopped speaking to me. For once I decided I wasn’t going to be the one to reach out first or make contact or try and apologize for some unknown slight. And I lost her. We never spoke again, were never friends again. I thought that this person would be in my life forever; I would have put money down that we would be there for each other at every major event in each other’s lives. How wrong I was. What shakes me still to this day is that if I was so wrong about that friendship, how could I trust any other friendship to be fast and true, to last?
I still don’t know the answer but I’m giving myself permission to let this notion go and to accept friendships for however long they enlighten my life. I’m giving myself permission to let friendships end, and I give myself permission to miss them but to let them be. I’m not there yet with my recent un-friending, but I soon hope to be.
I’ve had this goal for a long time now. I’ve talked myself in and out of it too many times to count. I’ve shared the idea of starting a blog with a handful of friends and the reception was not always enthusiastic. I started asking myself all those questions they were throwing out there:”Why start a blog? What do you have to say that is so important? Who would read it, and why would anyone be interested in the minutia of your life.”
And then it hit me that none of that really mattered. I wasn’t going to start a blog for any of those reasons. I was going to start a blog for me. Two big things happened to me in 2012 that finally gave me the push I needed:
1) Along with some other big (job/career change) and small things, I had a major health scare early in the year and while everything now is just about 100% and I’m doing great, this event made me stop, literally, and reassess. What was I doing with my time? Where did I want to spend my time? Who did I want to spend my time with? Why was I letting so much of my life be pushed down by fear and doubt and worry? I was scared and lost and sad, but the biggest thing I was scared about was that I was failing at my life and wasn’t going to get the chance to change that. Now that I have that chance, I don’t want to waste my time holding myself back. I don’t want to live in that place of fear and inaction.
2) In mid-November, I took one of the best trips of my life. I went to Camp Mighty. So many of my new friends have already written about camp in more eloquent ways than I could express. But, I want to say that I shared so many of their same thoughts and experiences. I met friends I just didn’t know yet; I met incredibly creative and accomplished people; I met people that have done amazing, amazing things and for a few days, I got to look inside those worlds and be a very small part of it. Now, I don’t want to let that go. I want to take what I learned and experienced at camp and make it bigger and better.
So, from these two experiences, I made the decision to consciously build a better life. What I want is to create a life that is better than nice, that is happier more than it is sad, that is bigger than all the limits I’ve put on myself. I am going to try new things; say yes; dream big!
Maybe you can follow along.