The one that got away

An Uncomfrotable January2

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Wowzers. It's day 10 of An Uncomfortable January. When I first jotted down this post idea I was hoping that it would have a happy ending. It didn't.

I have heard people describe me in a variety of ways. It seems that sometimes people have a hard time reading me at first. I have been told people think I am a bit snobby, cold and stand-offish. My freshman year of college a significant number of people thought I was a European exchange student. This is particularly funny since I went to school in my hometown.

One time I was visiting a church community group and was mistaken for a pregnant teen mom. Err... I tried not to read too much into that one.

Most of us haven't ever met in person so I tried to describe myself to you here once. I think what throws people off is I am a southerner who has high outer walls and low inner walls. This is a rarity, I assure you.

But, once you are in with me...you are in.

I am still good friends with a number of people from elementary school. It's hard to get rid of me. But, sometimes distance happens.

There is a good friend of mine from college who I have been missing lately. We were incredibly close, very different, but very close. She was there when I got pooped on by a bird the first day of classes as a college freshman. She was there when I fell in love with my now-husband. We took road trips and cried together when her parent's marriage fell apart.

We had a pretty rough falling out towards the end of college. She was dating a guy I didn't like and it just opened up a whole can of immature dialogue. There could be finger-pointing, but it takes two to tango as they say. We did patch it up, but it wasn't ever quite the same. I've missed her ever since.

I should have gone with my gut. I should have gone to Claire's at the mall and gotten her a best friend necklace when we graduated. That would be like drinking from the Holy Grail of friendship. And you never turn your back on the Holy Grail. At least the Monty Python boys didn't.

We tried to strike up the friendship again. We would call now and then, exchange emails and meet whenever we could.

Then it kind of stopped completely about four years ago. I'd been missing her a lot these past few months. I have called and left messages. Sent emails and texts. Nothing.

I know she is alive because I Facebook stalk her. I see pictures of her at baby showers with other people I used to be friends with. Ouch.

I decided to try to contact her one more time. This freaked me out because if she didn't respond it meant she didn't miss me like I missed her. She wasn't stalking me on Facebook or feeling the impulse to call when she had good news to share.

So, in the spirit of Uncomfortable January, I called again and followed up with a text. Nothing. I kept checking my phone screen waiting. Ugh. Still nothing.

I know that it isn't abnormal for people in their 30s to move on and trim down their friends from their 20s to make room for the new ones. But, I was hoping I made the cut.

I didn't. And it hurt. I've never done it, but if I waxed off all my eyebrows, gave my pinkie toes paper cuts and watched Marley & Me for 24 hours straight....thats probably about how I feel right now.

So, what did I learn doing this uncomfortable thing? Three things.

  1. Be nice when people reach out. It may have taken courage on their part and meant more than I know.
  2. Rejection still hurts just as bad as it did when I was in 8th grade.
  3. I never want to wax my eyebrows, give paper cuts to my pinkie toes and or have a Marley & Me marathon.

So, it's not a happy ending. But, that is life. Please don't feel obligated to leave encouraging remarks or put my friend down. I still have loads of sweet friends who would call me back the minute I called them. In fact, I have more friends than most. So, for them I am thankful.

Maybe life is more about risking than we realize. Even if it means the one that got away stays away.