Today, I received an email from an old friend, someone I haven't heard from in two or three years. He invited me to lunch. We used to have lunch every day, intimate lunches where we shared each other's food and talked about our kids, our fears, and our lives. Lunches so cozy and so routine we could order for each other. Lunches so frequent and predictable that people thought it was more. To me it was true friendship like I never had before. Every day I could say exactly what I felt and could be sure I would be heard and understood. We both really seemed to me to need a friend in the same way.
When I changed departments at work, got married, and then resigned to work on my own, I lost my friend without a word, with no hard feelings on his end. I simply had became inconvenient. I thought the friendship was real and that we would be best friends forever. When I left work, I lost all of my friends, not just him. Apparently they were just work acquaintences, nothing more. I get it now and am no longer sad about it. It's funny that I thought my romance with my now husband was only because it was easy - our proximity at work kept us in each other's minds. When he left our company and moved away to take him to worksites around the world, our love stayed strong. It was my friendships that were easy - that were only there because of the proximity.
Today, in my response, I started to explain why I couldn't meet, how I had broken my foot a year ago and now am basically partially disabled, with chronic nerve inflammation in my foot that no doctor can fix. I started to type up how some herbal remedies are giving me hope and how B6 has changed my life, making me suddenly feel happy (not high, just centered and clear) like I've never felt before - all the depression and anxiety completely washed away like a miracle. I wanted to tell him how my ex-husband almost died and how my doctor told me I had pre-cancer at 37. I began to tell him about how I am writing now and have finally been able to read the books I love, the books I read in college, the ones I never had time for until now. I started to say that I plan to go to graduate school as soon as my baby starts pre-school (even if I have to wheel myself in with a wheelchair). I started to tell him about all of the problems I had after I had the baby, about how wonderful my kids are, how cute the baby is, and all the things my kids have been doing. I wanted to brag just a little about my husband's quest to get something like eight IT certifications in the last year and how proud I am that he's passing them with no problem. I wanted to tell him how programming was sucking away my soul and how I finally quit after struggling with my identity since I left work.
I typed most of that, deleted some, re-typed what I thought was most important for my dear friend to know, and then with a calm heart deleted it all and in two lines gave my regrets and told him we are fine.