I’ve got a few old friends who will see this and wonder: Is it me?
Honestly, it might be.
But if you know you can text me and ask…it’s probably not you.
An old friend died recently. Billy was a good guy and you can read a little about our friendship HERE, but we had not been close in a long time.
When the funeral rolled around I knew I would see people I had been out of touch with for decades. Still, to be clear: I thought I might have to fight my way out of Clovis last Monday afternoon.
My friends from that era were a wild bunch. Some of us stopped talking for…difficult reasons. Whiskey, Weed, and Women all played into it. Money didn’t really factor, but passions ran high and ‘Hot-Blooded’ might be the best way to describe the crew.
Before Billy’s funeral there was the first of the summer’s weddings.
Again, there would be people I once knew who I had lost touch with years ago. Again, the possibility of confrontations existed…although I expected more cattiness than physical violence in this case. Cliquey, mean-girls stuff. None of those people were the Tire-Iron-&-a-Pillowcase type.
As it turns out, I got excited for nothing. All those other people got old & fat, too. Amusingly, the two ‘Fat Boys’ of the respective groups have lost a bunch of weight. Some of us talked, just as many of us nodded and grunted and left well enough alone. Some of the people I expected to show up just weren’t there.
This past week a photo was unearthed. I’m 19 or 20 years old, wearing a hat that screams ‘affectation’ and an expression that screams ‘I can’t believe I smoked the whole thing.’ When I shared the picture on Facebook an old friend observed that I must have bummed the cigarette pictured as it had a filter.
She is correct.
I cringe when I reflect on how obnoxious I was.
I think the conclusions I’ve come to are simple & obvious but still worth sharing:
- People exit your life for a reason. Let them.
- Actions will ALWAYS tell you more than words. Always.
- Just because a relationship exists does not mean you have an obligation to sustain it.
- Take care of your body. You don’t have to be a gym rat to stay fit, but make health a priority.
- Do your thing. Write. Lose weight. Learn to play guitar…whatever! Put one foot in front of the other and make a thing happen – one piece at a time – until you’re where you want to be.
I’ve got another pound and a half to lose by Thursday…and about 3.5 to lose by the end of the month. All I have to do is eat halfway right and go for a few more hikes and I’m there. Next month’s weight loss will be a little harder, but I’ll deal with that next month.
And I am writing. Nothing that will get me paid right now, but I have an outline. You’re reading my warm-ups. When the ladies go back to school I start drafting a chapter a month.
Seeing all those Ghosts of Christmases Past made me realize how much I prefer looking forward. I’ll treasure some of the memories, and I’ll always have a minute to catch up, but I just can’t live in the past anymore. I did it for years, always worrying about things I couldn’t control. I fixated on things that will not change instead of focusing on changing things that had yet to happen.
I wish the reunion in Clovis had been due to happier circumstances. I’m sorry I didn’t see more familiar faces at that wedding. I’m grateful for both experiences, they bumped me out of a funk I couldn’t put into words until the shock of seeing so many Old Friends hit bottom.
I feel like I’m coming up for air after a long, deep dive.