Archive for October, 2012

October 29, 2012

“You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.”

Babe Ruth said that. I’m not a huge fan of Babe, but he makes a fair point.

Garrett Chandler was the best friend I could ever ask for. He was always there for me and he never gave up on me, even when I had given up on myself. He pushed me to do better, to be better. He wanted to see me succeed. And that’s exactly what I wanted for him. He was like a little brother to me.

And then, kind of out of the blue, he just stopped talking to me. I can make a few guesses as to why.

I don’t think I was very supportive of some of his choices. And I was probably a little too critical of them as well. I always forget that sometimes, when people ask for my opinion, they don’t actually want it. They already know what they want to hear and they just want to make sure that I’ll say it when prompted. A lot of our friendship was based on our ability give each other unabashed criticism. It helped the both of us grow and excel. But, looking back on it all now, I think maybe I took it too far. I regret that.

I also wasn’t the most positive person around him. When we were friends, I was struggling with rampant mood swings and most of the time, I was really depressed. But, Garrett was always there to bring me down and help me understand what I was feeling so that I could overcome it. When I went off to college, I had trouble adjusting to a life without my best friend there. I think I tried to compensate by being really overbearing in our friendship. We fought a lot and there would times when we wouldn’t speak to each other for weeks. But he always gave me a second chance to work my shit out and be the normal friend that he needed.

I think my constant negativity was really discouraging to him. He was having problems too, but I was too self-absorbed to notice. My constant complaining really pushed him away. He didn’t need any more crap to deal with, but I just kept piling it on. One day, one of his friends pulled me aside and told me that I wasn’t doing him any good by being his friend. At least, not in the state I was in. Hearing that from someone else really hit me hard. And I was determined to fix it. I couldn’t let our friendship end like that.

But, by the time I had figured it all out, he was long gone.

At first, I was angry at him. I couldn’t believe that he would abandon me. I felt betrayed. But after about two months of being angry, I started realizing that I didn’t have any right to be. He was doing what any normal person would do. He was cutting his losses. And I can’t really say I blame him. The girl he was friends with was a mess. And it must have been nearly impossible to be friends with her.

But I think I’m different now. I’m looking at things differently. I don’t let my emotions get the best of me nearly as much I used to. Now, I can recognize when I’m about to take a wrong turn and I can readjust my sails. And I really want the chance to prove it to him.

So, Garrett, if you ever read this, I want you to know that friends like you don’t come around that often. And I’ve tried replacing you, but you can’t truly replace something that’s unique; it never really fits the mold just right. It would’ve been a lot smarter just to keep you around in the first place.

But if I have to work for your friendship, I’ll do that.  A lot of people don’t think it’s worth the effort, but I know that it’s a friendship worth fighting for. It’s not every day that you meet your best friend. And, if you truly never want to speak to me again, I understand. But if you have any hope for me at all, please, let me know. I can’t give up on something that I know is great.

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October 4, 2012

You left me to sink.

Don’t let the title of this post fool you; I’m actually not at all sad. It’s a song lyric and I didn’t know what else to write… I have about a half an hour to myself for the first time this week, so I thought I’d use it to write a quick blurb about what’s been on my mind.

My sister is getting so big now. Part of me is really saddened by it because I can remember holding her as a baby and to me, that doesn’t seem like that long ago. But to her, it might as well have been a million years ago. For the most part, though, I’m really excited for her to grow up. She’s so beautiful and smart and I know that the things she accomplishes as she grows will be absolutely amazing. I’m proud of my baby sister. Even though I’d love to be able to just take care of her for the rest of her life, I know that she’s getting to that age where she can take care of herself. I don’t have to hold her hand through everything anymore. It’s a big step and I know that she’ll make mistakes. But she has to make some mistakes, or else she’ll never really live. And I want her to live the fullest life possible, mistakes and all.

I love my family. They’ve always been so supportive of me. Even when I made their lives a living hell, they stood by me and reminded me that no matter what I do in life, I’ll always have a place at home. I haven’t been the easiest child. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, some bigger than others. And yet, through it all, my parents have been beside me. In my darkest days, they were always there for me. No matter what battle I was fighting, be it one with myself or one with others, they’ve had my back, covered my ass, and cleaned up after me when I couldn’t do it myself. My family is the most consistent thing in my life. Friends come and go. Even the ones that promise they won’t leave you hanging sometimes do.  But not family. At least not mine.

Today, I had the sudden urge to look up a long lost relative. Someone I’d never spoken to and really only heard awful, sad stories about. I realized that with the internet being the wonderful, god-like thing that it is, could help me find him. I used the New York Department of Corrections Inmate Information Search and typed in all the things I knew about him. There were so many results, and I had no idea how to narrow them down. I ended up talking to my aunt to see if I could get some information on him. We chatted briefly about my search, but eventually got sidetracked and talked about my dad and my grandfather and Christmas and family. And that’s when it hit me. I didn’t need to look up this long lost relative that no one talks about. I have all the family I could ever need.

Sure, getting to learn more about this guy might broaden my horizons a bit. But for me, he’s not really family. By the dictionary definition, yes. But not in the way that I see it. Family is a group of people who love and support you no matter what you do or say or believe. You can be related to someone without being family. You don’t have to be related to someone for you to love and support them unconditionally.

Family is not who you’re related to. Family is who you can relate to.