I have waited over two years to write this post. I have waited not for my own benefit but in the vain hope that these words never said could not hurt anyone. What I didn’t put it to place was the knowledge that it didn’t matter if the words were said or not, the sentiment was felt. I am not here to blame and I am not here to hurt; I am only here to tell a story.
Our story begins fourteen years ago in a small town in South Georgia. My family had come for my graduation and we were planning to visit one of the more popular local sites. Standing across from my Grandmother who was sitting on her hotel bed, I watched her beckon to me. My Grandmother has been beckoning to me for years. She now does it to my children.
My Grandmother had decided that since one chapter of my life was ending and another was beginning that I need the next piece of advice given to her loved ones throughout their lives. The advice was simple as it always was: marry your best friend.
I imagine that when she said that I was blushing for my best friend had already asked to marry me; we were just keeping it on the down low for the moment. So while the advice was already taken, the relationship between me and my best friend would be tested through the years before we officially made it down that aisle.
I can remember the night before my wedding. Without aide of alcohol or any drugs I was able to sleep easily and deeply the night before my wedding. There was no doubt in my mind. There was not one iota of a sneaky suspicion that marrying this man, who was still my best friend was the wrong decision. That day when my father stopped right before we got to the church and asked if I was sure, I didn’t hesitate in my reply. I was marrying my best friend and that was exactly what my fairy tale was supposed to look like.
Then that one thing happened; it changed. Every person over the age of twenty, and a few younger, knows that life changes. It is supposed to evolve so that our ability to survive is increased according to the favorite local naturalists. It is supposed to change in order to tempt us, keep us entertained, and help us to find the metaphysical answers that will bring us peace. Life moves, it revolves, it evolves and it changes. These things are as real as life itself.
And despite being prepared for those changes, despite believing that I could weather those changes, I have come to learn that life no matter how beautiful was never meant to be easy. I am just not sure when our trash became the treasure that we hoarded.
I consider myself a reactionary person. I will directly react to the situation, the feelings, or the people around me. If you are having a bad day, at some point in the day I probably will as well. If you are angry, I will get angry. If you misunderstand me, and decide retaliation is the answer, I will easily start the pattern. I am not proud to state this about me, and I certainly don’t mean to say that I don’t cause enough problems, but the deep down truth is that I react.
I don’t know when my best friend and I really started having trouble. I don’t know why it happened, who thought that our mutual loss would be a good thing or even had the answers to what happens next. I don’t know when our trash became our treasure.
When did the hurtful and game like statements start to be acceptable to either one of us? When did we stop wanting to be friends? When did we begin to play games in order to get attention and to spotlight the darkness that the other couldn’t see? When did we stop finding happiness – treasure – in each other and begin to resent instead?
And why don’t we want to be friends anymore? Why is it for every step forward, I seem to be about a thousand steps back? What changed? What made the difference? And why do two people who once believed in each other, stop?
I suppose it is naïve to think that my relationship would always be with my best friend instead of a stranger that looks a lot like my friend but easily and effortlessly destroys and finds games to play. I suppose it was dumb to believe that our relationship wouldn’t dissolve into a “well, you did it first,” or “well, you are known to do,”. Thousands of relationships have before us, including both our parents, a very influential source.
I feel like I am on the bottom of the greatest mountain top that this imagination can give one. I am there, with a pack and plenty of water, getting ready to begin this incredible climb. Along the way I will stumble, but I will also see some incredible sites. I feel like this journey is beginning after so many years, I feel like I am finally learning, and there is only one thing missing; my best friend.
He isn’t on the climb because he doesn’t want to be. It is possible he is simply scared of what he will find on my journey, which could so easily be our journey. It is more likely that he has forgotten and has belittled us to the point that it is simply gone for him. It is likely that he has forgotten that trash is meant to be taken away.
I don’t know. Part of me desperately wishes that we could be back to that moment we held our son in our arms for the first time. Part of me wishes that we could find our way back to the days at strange restaurants, or fun friends coming over for dinner. Part of me wishes that we could find a way to like one another again.
I don’t hope for love anymore. I don’t believe in fairy tales anymore. I don’t believe in truth or trust or even dependability. I have had to learn over and over again that no matter if it is all my fault or not, life is my burden alone. To the world I will always be at fault; this is one fact that will never change. Now the goal is simply to make sure I am keeping the treasure and finally getting rid of the trash.