I’m sitting in my desk in my home office watching my iPhone 5 update its OS, and wondering if its going to slip into its own “pinwheel of death” in the process before I’m able to get a new phone. Watching this tiny “progress” indicator move like a snail on the remaining black screen is making me nervous. It’s not moving fast enough for me and I’m not sure what apps and content are still going to remain or be worth keeping, if and when it finishes going through the process of freeing space and upgrading. I’d be devastated if a certain text thread failed to exist. And now I feel like I shouldn’t have even tried to update…nah. No use in hanging on to the past.
Again, I find it oddly amusing that my phone is moonlighting as a metaphor for my life these days. Who knew that an old cell phone could teach me so much about paying attention to the things we usually take for granted? I know that God often gives us signs and lessons but we so rarely pay enough attention outside of ourselves to notice. Not enough patience to observe. Not enough caring to regard the road maps that can help us make things easier and understand better, so we miss them. And unfortunately for the majority of us, what lessons we miss we’re doomed to repeat until we learn them. There are some that spend their entire lives never learning. Me, I strive not to make the same mistakes twice even though I usually do. Tonight, I’ve come face to face with a lesson that’s always been right in front of me and that I really need to finally come to terms with. One I don’t think I’ve been ready to face until now.
I just downloaded a program on my Mac that allows you to backup every file on your phone and view them in various formats chronologically, including iMessages. Normally when you have a very long text thread it takes forever for you to scroll back to revisit conversations on your phone, but this program lets you sift effortlessly through in seconds. For almost a full year now (with the exception of 1 1/2 days) my best friend and I (we’ll call him ‘Mr. 23’), have texted throughout each day. You can imagine that the greatest amount of my storage space on this phone is owned solely by our text thread. We have exchanged pleasantries and frustrations, jokes and music, countless memes and pictures, argued, flirted, encouraged, and discussed damn near everything under the sun and beyond. We have opened up to each other since the day we decided to “officially” become friends, and quite honestly, we’ve been
dating together ever since. We have been there for each other in some of the hardest situations imaginable; life altering situations, and situations that have affected the dynamics of our own versatile relationship. No matter what has happened or hasn’t happened between us, I’ve never wanted to let him go, nor have I been able to even when I tried. Every attempt to distance myself or immerse myself into something or someone else, I was given a myriad of intuitive and spiritual interjections reminding me that running away was not the only option to alleviate my self imposed constraints, fears and heartache.
“Be Still” – God
“Be Still” – Sandrine
“Don’t give up before the process is done. You don’t know what God is doing” – Dad
My attention span regarding men lies dangerously low. It always has. I don’t think I’m better than anyone, nor am I stuck up, I am just very cautious of who I give my time and energy to. Especially after having wasted years of my life in my last relationship. 23. That’s my best friend. A large part of my heart. Fuck the bullshit. For as long as I have tried to fight it, the acceptance within myself of how much I care about him has been the hardest to come to terms with. And to me, at this age, at this level of maturity, with these experiences, that is what anyone should want: someone who gives you a reason to to stop running from your fears, your past and yourself. 23 has his own quandaries he’s dealing with and mirrors he has to face, but I’ve never considered his timing in doing so frustrating or too difficult to change how I felt about him until recently. I am a creature of habit and I’m not afraid to admit that once I allow myself to open up and become vulnerable to someone (which out of 3 times in my life, this is the first time it has ever been this encompassing), I become fearful of any changes and even more fearful of my feelings not being reciprocated. If I opened up to you, who you are and what you’ve done must have already been exactly what I wanted and needed. Exceptional. Outstanding. Rare. So in my mind, there should never be a switch up and we should never hold back. When you have my loyalty, there’s no need to, regardless of the relationship.
I would assume by his cryptic consistencies that in so many ways 23 goes through his own set of perplexing feelings about me, too. He’s extremely adroit in mystery which drives me insane as much as it intrigues me. It goes without saying that we do not have what you would consider a typical friendship, but to try and define it in one way at this point would be a lesson in futility. It is special. It is delicate and intricate, and confusing. And it continuously scares the shit out of me because it brings every insecurity I’ve ever had to the forefront of my life and is making me face it. It is the first time in my life that I have ever felt so assiduously exposed and equally cloistered. And I don’t know if he allows himself to feel the same, so in many cases I feel weak and/or foolish. And anyone that knows me, knows I loathe that shit.
I am often in a paradoxical state when it comes to how I view what 23 and I are and can be…and of course, what we were. What I only know now is what I see and feel, and what I’m haunted by is what I remember. I remember experiencing ineffableness. I remember intrigue and enchantment, passion, and lust. Above it all, I remember our affection, emotion and ardor. Quickly and erratically. And this was only the start of our friendship.
Things seem different now. Reserved. Methodical. Shielded. And because of what I know 23 has been dealing with personally, I more than understand. It just doesn’t make it any easier when direct communication is lacking and everything I want to know, he now usually answers in his head. Like most women in their 30’s, I am at a point (and an age) where I need to apperceive I’m not wasting my time and energy on anyone or anything that is not going to be a pivotal part of my future. For someone who gave up on
all her hoes dating other men (I have acute tunnel vision when I’m focused on someone, including myself), I’ve often shown my cards and exposed my ingrained insecurities in the form of various frustrations at him with long ass novel text messages and lecuture questions because of such a change in the dynamics of our friendship.
There have been times where the slightest changes would make my insecurities run rampant. We are not innocent people, we both fully know what we are capable of. There are times where we have both been selfish and stubborn. There have been moments when I’ve been a little too insecure. Times when he has been too detached and inconsiderate. I’ve always been ashamed of not being in control of my emotions better when I’ve had my moments. I know it has driven him crazy because its annoyed the fuck out of me when I’ve done it, but it’s almost become an involuntary reaction to not knowing why or how to cope with change. I have struggled with that my entire Taurean life. As someone who has prided herself on not being a clingy, over-emotional, needy woman, I have found it astonishing how quickly I can go from 0-100 internally fighting the need for everything to stay consistent.
Super long story short, I decided to open up the app on my computer and face my nostalgia. Assess the differences. Regroup. I wanted to remember in real time what I’ve put myself in conundrums longing for again. Has it all been worth it? Have I been tripping? Should I move on? It’s the first opportunity I’ve had to visit those texts in almost a year. And do you know what I immediately realized?
Everything that I thought had drastically changed between us, did.
From words to actions. From getting to know each other, to knowing what everyone else doesn’t. From running away, to fighting to never leave.
No, everything isn’t perfect nor the same as it once was between us, but thats the beauty of it all. Its not supposed to be. It is supposed to get better, and “better” doesn’t happen overnight. It takes work, and it takes dedication. It takes trials and tribulations. It takes self assessment and honesty. And it takes action. Reading though our text messages was an eye opening experience. It made me smile and blush and laugh at first, and when I saw how certain pivotal moments affected our conversations through the months, I wanted to cry. My heart hurt at some memories and was filled by others. But all in all, I became overwhelmingly thankful for the time and the moments we’ve had. Through every climb and fall, we never gave up on each other. And for every door I felt changed its locks, we’ve both stumbled upon keys. I think its safe to say Mr. 23 and I have built a solid foundation where change and maturity are necessary. With all respect due to time.
It wasn’t until tonight that I’ve realized that one of the biggest blessings about the relationships we develop in this life, is the ability to build them and the time we make to value them. Ask yourself who in your life is really worth giving your all to? Your best efforts, your biggest changes? I’ve had to ask myself those questions several times while writing this. What are you willing to do to respect the time you have been given with the person who means the most? I feel like our best days are ahead if we allow ourselves to embrace what we fear with one another and accept the process to becoming the change we want to see.