I saw an old friend from high school today.
It has been about two years since I've seen him, if you don't count bumping into each other at wal-mart....
which I don't.... wal-mart is nothing if not impersonal....
George Herbert said,“The best mirror is an old friend.”
I have no idea who he is... but he was spot on.
We were at Isabella's birthday party at my parents house.
The backdrop to most of our mischief, parties, late night conversations, and funny stories.
And the thing that I loved was that it felt like not a day had passed... like we hadn't missed a beat.
Forget that what we actually missed was an engagement,
a baby shower,
a couple birthday's,
the list goes on... and obviously so does life.
I love that there was no weirdness. Two, five or fifty years later. I love that we can pick up where we left off.
But on the flip side of this same coin, I am so sad that not all my old friendships have survived the way that this one has... and sadder still to realize how much of that is my fault. When I look back over things I've done wrong the list seems painfully long. I thought in high school that you picked who you wanted to be and then you struggled to become who you wanted to be.
I was so wrong.
You don't take a sunflower seed and try to make it grow an oak tree...
You can be better, you can change habits and small things,
But the essential parts of who you are, those are God given... those are the basis for you.
Those are the talents, the interests you should feed and water... and see where they take you.
I wish I had done more of that and less of the superficial stuff.
I can tell you that if I had it to do over I would have put courage to my convictions, stood up and said something when I had an opinion, rather that waiting to see what my friends thought.
I would have pursued my interests... whether or not it was cool. It was all in my own head anyway, I know my real friends wouldn't have cared if I played chess or tried out for the musical or any other thing.
I would have been friends with people no matter what 'group' they were in, does it seem ridiculous that I didn't realize this was an option!? It seemed like you picked your tribe and you stayed there... loyalty... knowing where you fit in... safety in numbers... it seemed so important at the time... why?
Most of all I wish I had know more about forgiveness.
Not just for others... though that would certainly have helped... but for myself too.
Knowing I didn't have to be perfect... couldn't be perfect,
knowing my friends weren't going to be perfect.
I wanted my friends to fill a void in me that I've now found only God can fill.
How many hurt feeling could have been spared? How many fights wouldn't have happened?
If your reading this and you are one of those people I hurt...
If I once threw a glass across the room in a fit of rage about God-only-knows-what...
If I put the so-called-affection of some silly boy whose name I no longer remember... ahead of you...
If I didn't call when I should have....
If I threw a phone through a window pane once when you were on the other end...
If I suddenly dumped your friendship for no reason... (it was me who lost out I'm sure)...
If I kissed him... even though I knew you liked him too... and it hurt you..
If I paid no attention to your feelings because I was too consumed by my own...
If I made fun of you for being different than my definition of normal...
If I used you in any way...
.... forgive me?