an open letter to the friends who fade

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“The past beats inside me like a second heart.”  ― John Banville

To the friends who’ve faded:

Neither of us is really to blame for the fact that we lost touch. Time had something to do with it. Distance, life. Everything got in the way, despite FaceTime and iMessage. Although other friendships persisted for each of us, ours didn’t.

You pop up every once in a while on my Facebook feed, on Instagram. I see you went to London and he got a new puppy. She moved in with her boyfriend, and someone else moved farrrrr away. They got engaged, and that other couple we swore would make it crashed… hard.

I sometimes wonder if you’re happy, what your day-to-day life is like now. I used to be part of your day-to-day life. Remember that? The stupid, funny, lazy way we saw each other every day? In class, on the sidewalk, in the cafeteria… that was the norm. I wonder what we would say to each other now. Would you still let me steal your French fries?

How’re your parents? I think about them too.

I could message you or text you and say let’s get together and catch up, but we’re such different people now than we used to be. And what if reconnecting was somehow disappointing? Better to just leave the good memories where they are and avoid the risk of turning our once-friendship into an awkward encounter.

I guess what I really want you to know is that I liked having you in my life, even if you wouldn’t think so now. I’ll remember that nickname you gave me and the way you told off anyone who deserved it. I’ll remember the many cups of coffee we shared and the things we suffered through together.

We all just move forward and farther apart, whether we want to or not. The clock ticks and the time we spent together continues to fade away. Before it’s gone altogether, I just wanted you to know that I still think of you sometimes. I see old pictures of us together and I smile. I’d like you to live your life knowing that in whatever way I knew you, in whatever time, you mattered to me.

People grow, friendships fade- and they should. The friends you have in one phase of your life don’t always transfer to the next, and those friends aren’t always the best for you as you move on. But that doesn’t mean they were unimportant in shaping your life into what it is, into who you are.

I miss you, and the times we laughed together. I’ll always be grateful for those, and for how they got me here.

It truly was nice knowing you- cheers.

remember: we’re all just stories, in the end 

  

“Sometimes,” he sighed, “I think the things I remember are more real than the things I see.”  -Arthur Golden

Memories are a tricky thing. They can lift our spirits or knock us flat on our ass. They can be the way we hold loved ones close or the medium through which our demons haunt us. 

Some even say that the continuing culmination of our experiences and memories are the very essence of who we are. We live in the memories of others and they live in ours. 

We all want to be remembered, to make an impact. That’s why people dream of fame, of success, of making a difference. That’s the worry over the perfect first impression and the reason for hours of practice before the grand finale. 

The day comes for all of us where we look at our lives and ask the question: How will you be remembered? What kind of gifts, footprints, and scars have you left in the lives and memories of others? Do you lift them up and make them better for having known you? Do you tear them down in the quest to fulfill your own selfish wants, your own narcissistic desires? 

When other people think of you, what comes to mind first: your love, your loyalty? Your lies? Will you be famous or infamous to the people that matter most? 

Everyone will remember us a little differently, but someone who is true to them self and consistent in their convictions will be remembered by most in the same way, whether that be good or bad. And that memory will live on and continue to affect others for years to come. A quick glance or a careless word spoken out of anger or fear- or love- these are the ways in which we persist. Isn’t it crazy, and terrifying, and wonderfully amazing the power that we have over each other? 

There are many people who exist in my memories, both living and dead. There are those I remember fondly and those I would rather not remember at all. Each of them has affected who I am and, in turn, the way I will be remembered by others. 

And so the question remains, how do you want to be remembered? Far more importantly, how will you live each day, from now until the day you die, in order to become the memory you think you deserve to be?

Just remember: the answer to that question is one of the few things that matters. 

cheers, friend: a long-overdue ‘thank you’

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“Watson. Come at once if convenient. If inconvenient, come all the same.” – Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Friendship is not the photo you posted on Instagram last week. It’s not the text you sent yesterday, and it’s not the phone call you made this afternoon.

It’s not the “See Friendship” button on Facebook.

Friendship is everything you are.

It’s the look that passes between us worldlessly because words are useless anyway.

It’s how you know when to step up and help me fight my battles, when to hold my hand, and when to let me sucker punch that idiot all by myself.

It’s that two a.m. confession and that 10 a.m. struggle brunch.

It’s knowing when to speak up and when to shut up. When to make me laugh and when to let me be.

Friendship is Kelsey helping me move out of my apartment and Jackie talking to me as I fell asleep every night. It’s Meaghan and Heather express-mailing me wine because I got my heart broken and Thomas texting me every day just to say ‘hi, love you’.

Friendship is Jess’s taco nights and Krista’s giggles. Henry’s bear-hugs, Kenny’s coffee runs and Mike’s REALLY awful jokes. It’s every late-night deadline in that weird-shade-of-blue office and every toast to each other, to life, and to figuring it out on the way that we made at Brookside.

It’s everything I can’t put into words.

Somehow, I forgot to say thank you. I got too used to seeing you every day, too used to knowing you were only ever across the hall or down the block.

I don’t know who you are, reading this, but I’ve been insanely lucky to have you in my life.

If you’ve seen me cry, thank you. If we’ve shared a laugh, thank you. If we’ve never met and you’re still reading this for some reason, thank you all the more- you’re important to me too (is that creepy? Sorry, Internet.)

Know that I didn’t mean to take you for granted and that you are truly what makes my life beautiful, even on my worst days. Especially then.

You are friendship minus the filters, the statuses, and the captions. You are friendship minus the flattery and the martyrdom. You are my favorite part of being me.

So, thanks. Because I can’t (and don’t) say it enough.

Cheers, friend.

Doctor…. Who? The Perks of Fandom

All the movies you watched in high school told you ‘nerds’ were the outcasts, but the truth is there are few things as wonderfully geeky and full of community as a fandom. People who are extremely passionate and excited about life are the only ones who can come together in all of their nerdy glory and geek out over a truly spectacular character, story, or idea.

If you’re any kind of person I want to be friends with, you at least heard about the 50th Anniversary special of Doctor Who that ran on Saturday. As I sat on the couch with DW fans new and old, sipping sonic screwdrivers and eating jammie dodgers acquired specifically for the occasion, I completely lost myself in the world of what will always be one of my favorite shows. It was epic, it was heartbreaking, but above all, it was unifying.

The beautiful thing about Doctor Who, and any story with a fandom like it, is that it unites. Thousands of people around the world watched their screens Saturday. Maybe you have nothing else in common, but if you can discuss which companion kicks ass and which Doctor is your favorite with someone, other things fall to the wayside.

When you’re 13 and you think being a ‘nerd’ is an automatic one-way ticket to social ambiguity, it’s hard to get excited about anything. When you’re 21 and you learn that geeking out over things that make you happy is actually a one-way ticket to friendship and a sense of community, ‘nerd’ is no longer a dirty word.

When you can make a friend simply because you have the same TARDIS phone case or because you off-handedly mention that your cat’s name is Stormaggedon, Dark Lord of All, you experience the true power of fandom.

Throw down your inhibitions and get excited about life. Whether it’s science fiction, fashion, English lit, math, whatever- find your fandom and prepare to expand your circle of friends. Share joy; that’s what life is for, and that’s what fandoms do. Geronimo.