Sometimes my brain catches a thought, and starts rolling with it … and then all of a sudden, I’m remembering things I haven’t thought of in years.
It can be a good thing ~ a fun thing. Remembering the neighbor’s yard when I was five, and the three large stones that as kids, we named. Thinking about the forts that my brother and I built in his closet when we lived in New Jersey, or the games we used to play on the staircases ~ ravenous crocodiles and alligators lurking on the bottom steps.
On the other hand, sometimes I remember things I’m not really proud of ~ moments in life when I wish I’d made a different decision, said a different thing, walked a different way. Those trains of thought are uncomfortable, and humbling.
Something I began contemplating this morning was the idea of friendship. I have had my fair share of friendships ~ good, bad, superficial, meaningful. I guess it applies to relationships, too. Some of my friendships have ended because I walked away, some because I was left and some were just mutual. But isn’t it amazing, as life keeps rambling along, which friends have been around for most of the journey?
And, more pointedly, which are not?
I like being in my thirties ~ I feel more settled, more focused, more true to who I am. I think, for most of my twenties I forgot ~ and after I forgot, I allowed (or couldn’t control?) my insecurities to run rampant and make (many) terrible decisions. I think ~ once you lose your direction, your focus ~ if you don’t have good people around you, it’s really hard to find your way back.
And for a lot of time in my twenties, I didn’t have very good people around me. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. I’m sure to other people some of my former friends were, are and will continue to be good people. But they weren’t good people or good friends to me. And as I thought about all of that today, I got really disappointed in myself.
I very clearly remembered having moments when I wondered what happened to me ~ what happened to the person I’d been ‘before,’ the things I’d cared about and valued. Thinking about those years of confusion and darkness was almost… sad. And, while it doesn’t make me feel a lot better, thinking it through now makes it easier to see how I’d fallen into such a bad place Some people head down a bad path, and never recover. Potential is lost, and a human life becomes a cautionary tale. I think there was a moment when I could have become stuck. But I didn’t. And even though remembering some of the things I did and decisions I made make me want to crawl into a dark hole and never emerge, I guess I’m also glad that a point came when i decided I was done wasting my life away.
Friends are important. Of course, family is as well, but friendship is something different, something precious. I feel as though I’ve finally arrived at a place in my life when none of my friendships are toxic. In a way, it’s sad that women are as vicious as we are ~ on the other hand, I know that the friends I have now are real, and true. And they know and like the person I am ~ not the broken shell of a person people took advantage of for most of my twenties.
I’m glad to be where I am now. I think I might not have found myself here if I hadn’t struggled through my twenties, fallen a thousand times and finally gotten back up the thousand and first. But thinking too hard about it still hurts a little. I could focus on the positive ~ I got through it, am a little bit stronger, a little bit smarter and a lot more aware of who I am. But sometimes thinking of how many bad decisions I made, people I trusted … shudders.
On the plus side, it was all in the past. And remembering it will hopefully help me from making those mistakes again.