It’s a hard thing to navigate, when a community (you at least thought) you have been a valuable member of feels foreign. I don’t think it’s a mystery that we travel in and out, and between different circles and communities. Connections fade while others are made. As I grow older I find more acceptance of these facts, but every so often I’m reminded of one, or a new transitional period presents itself suddenly.
Years ago, I had a friend who I believed was my soul mate. Not in any type of romantic way, but a person that I felt a deep genuine connection with. I watched her get bored of various friends and cut them out of her life unceremoniously, but I was never one. I was convinced our friendship was lasting. I was reminded that it wasn’t when she found a romantic partner. A few years later I was invited to her wedding. She didn’t say a word to me the entire day, I left my gift on the table and left without announcing it, and that was that.
I learned from that and now have three strong intelligent beautiful women that I call friends. They nourish me both emotionally and intellectually, and I am forever grateful for them.
Okay, fine, that was a sweet little happy ending. In reality, I still feel much bitterness about it. I find difficulty in accepting that there is risk when you invest yourself in something or someone. Sure, the understanding of this risk leads you to appreciate investments that are successful.
But what happens when an invesment is successful, truely successful, and then all of the sudden it isn’t? How does one handle that shift? When someone goes from so purely rewarding, without suspicion that it could fail, to a steaming pile of bullshit?
I’m dealing with that with my low residency grad school. It was disney land at first. There’s really no other way to describe it. There are some great connections I made that I feel are gone now. Not because of distance, but of a sudden and severe disconnection. In the brief amount of time we spend at residency, I think the process of a relationship is sped up considerably. In a matter of really a month and a half (thats the cumulative time we’ve spent physically together) lives are touched, friendships flourish, and they die out. There are some connections that I’m questioning deeply, that I’m mourning, that I’m celebrating.
I’m dealing with the winterguard program I am involved with being in peril. I’m dealing with the potential to lose my place in the program, lose my connection with my students that I have come to love. All for someone’s savior complex.
I’m dealing with the love of my life being in Austin while I remain in upstate NY. I’m scared of the transformation that that relationship may take, although it has not taken it yet.
I’m dealing with two of my three friends having just moved to Los Angeles. I’m trying to navigate maintaining and growing our connection, instead of fearing what will happen to it.
I’m dealing with almost being done with my MFA, and that transition, finally, away from student-hood. I’m scared that I will have made all the wrong choices, or all the perfect ones. Then there’s the loans.
I’m dealing with my entire life changing or being challenged all at once. I know that it will get figured out and I will come out better in the end. Man, being patient is hard though.