Because of my heart

Years later, I still wonder about us.

How we’ve made it work, even when it hasn’t.

How I can possibly despise and adore you, sometimes within minutes – seconds – of each other.

Every year I remember how lucky I am to have had you for another calendar spin. With every tick of your old man clock, I am reminded of what we share every day.

People are in our lives. Everyone has people. People you see daily, people you talk to and interact with and share whatever.

But I get to share your life. Night times, deadlines, events, accomplishments. Anticipation, elation, worry and disappointment. Dirty socks and broken shoes. Car trouble and bill paying, raises and check cashing. Frustration and forgetfulness, small victories. Large victories.

Curly blond fireball tear fits, video game lessons and front seat companionships.

First tries, second tries. Last tries.

You are the first person I want to tell about anything, everything.

You are the opinion I trust and the approval I seek most.

In everything I do I see you.

We have experiences ahead. Things that will be difficult and things that we never thought we could do.

But when we do them, it will be together. And I’m so lucky to have that.

 

You’re my best friend, you’re the love I never thought existed, and it’s your birthday.

I love you.

Happy birthday.

 

 

You don’t like me and that’s okay

I have lived my life as a pleaser.

 

It was a long time in the process of growing up before anyone in my surrounding circle of acquaintances was mature enough to admit to anyone else, “I just don't like you.”

 

And the first time it happened, I was appalled. Hurt. What the hell? I'm amazing! Why would anyone consciously not like me and want to be my friend?

 

Modesty has never been a great skill of mine.

 

Over the years as I've grown into my crotchety middle age, it hasn't really gotten easier.

 

I've realized, though, that it happens.

 

You meet someone, and immediately you know how you feel about them…at least a little. Sometimes that initial impression is wrong, of course, but often it's correct. It's lasting. You can try and change it, reason it away, but sometimes your guts just don't like someone else's guts.

 

Other times the dislike is a result of action. Poor judgment on one side, the other. Both.

 

It turns out the same.

 

Sometimes auras just don't jive. The way you see the hallway may not match my perception at all, and my perception may make you angry just because it exists.

But I'm me. I refuse to apologize for being who I am. If I wrong you I admit it and apologies are certain…but I cannot feel bad about who I am as a person for the rest of my life just because of mistakes that I've made.

 

It doesn't mean I'm not worth your time. It doesn't mean you aren't great or that I'm not absolutely spectacular.

 

Sometimes you just don't like me. And that's okay.

 

Face-to-Facebook friends and clutter

I’ve mentioned before that friends are not an easy thing for me to come by. I’ve never been one of those people with a full dance card (Really? What is that? The hell am I saying?) and lists of mobs to invite to birthday/wedding/graduation/whatever.

I say this not because it makes me sad, but because I feel you need to know that to read the rest of this.

I fully admit that the reason I don’t have more friends is because I’m lazy. I’m lazy and friends are work. Being available, meeting for coffee, last minute babysitting, dropping by to say hi, going out to dinner. Coordinating schedules.

Which is why, I suppose, I’ve always been so into the Internet. I’ve been message boarding since the message board days were young, and for some reason I never questioned the concept that online friends are just as real (sometimes) as real-life friends.

So when Facebook came along, I was all over that. Keeping track of people’s weddings and kids, deaths, weight loss, jobs. All that stuff that is critical when it’s in your life…but tends to lose importance when other people take it in.

Somewhere along the way, though, the importance of real people kind of…faded. I found myself scrolling through updates and lives of people who I only vaguely remembered knowing at all.

Why this? Why these people?

I knew the ins and outs of so many lives, but when faced with the same people in line at the pharmacy or post office…I pretended not to see them. I would know that someone had a hard day last Monday, but when I saw them on Wednesday we’d pass like we’d never met.

At the time of this post, I have 417 friends on Facebook. That’s just…absurd.

But what to do? Prune people, let them wonder why? What about the people who just turn around and try to add me back?

I’d say it’s time to be ruthless. Because in trying to keep my life simple and linear, there’s no point in clutter – even if it’s online.