Closing from work today with the good feeling I had held in my gut all day still being there, I finally had time for my phone. I connected to the internet and watched my phone light up with alerts and delayed notifications. I mindlessly scrolled through the cluster, until a notification from my high school best friend struck me. She said she had a dream where she had been so upset and I came from nowhere to make her smile. She ended the message with an “I miss you” that failed to hide the overall moody tone of her entire message, even though it held elements of casual banter. Initially I felt flattered by the message considering I hadn’t seen her in over 4 years and the only form of communication we have maintained was over countless “when are we hanging out?“ texts and phone calls that never fruited into anything, even though we both lived in Minnesota, but a few minutes later my chirpy mood took a nose-dive. My lower insides suddenly began to cramp and I could feel an aching knot forming in my chest. I re-read her message and noticed it not only held a hint of a girl struggling to keep things together but an unmistakable hint of loneliness.
It reminded me of all the times I saw her update cryptic status messages that implied an unhealthy frame of mind and ignored it or how I completely forgot my current best friend’s birthday or how more recently I defensively accused my sister of becoming a nag because she asked me why I never come home, call our parents or ask to see them, even though I’m barely an hour away. Even worse, suddenly it occurred to me I always blamed everyone but myself for my mood episodes on days I felt depressed and alone. I blamed everyone else for not asking to see, call or text me. I convinced myself, with excuses like “distance”, “growing-up”, “moving on” or that everyone else “changed”. I was convinced it made me a better, more independent forward thinking person. I failed to see the reality of how much I had actually given up on these people that genuinely cared, In a misguided attempt to find comfort in my own company, in my so-called process of becoming a better person.
With a new perspective of myself, I suddenly missed who I used to be. When did I stop caring, have I always been like this and am I not too young to be losing sight of things that matter to me? This also begs the questions of how many times other people held claims like mine, proceeded to burn bridges and who they actually hurt when they did so.
I’m learning to understand that even though some bridges are genuinely burnt around us, sometimes we are the ones who collapse the pillars these bridges rest upon, we just fail to see or admit this. Simply put, sometimes, we are the only ones that grew distant, grew up, moved on and changed and this is foolishly done even to the people who love us, who have always known us and to whom we still mean or meant everything to at some point. If you read this to the end, please get in touch with everyone that pops up in your head, I’m looking at my contact list and I honestly don’t even know where to start.