I got an email from an old friend the other day on Facebook. It’s probably been 7 years since we last spoke, so the message caught me totally by surprise.
It actually feels strange to call her an old friend. She was my best friend. The kind of best friend who could anticipate my moves before I could. The kind I was comfortable spooning in the middle of the night on a camping trip because we were both freezing. She even went with Catch to pick out my engagement ring. She was a trouble maker, too—always managing to get us into the best kind of trouble.
We had a falling out years ago. I think partially we just grew apart. Our lives were taking very different directions. I was trying to settle down, and she was recently divorced and doing the exact opposite. I was likely judgmental and impatient—we all have our faults, and those tend to be mine. I don’t even remember exactly why it was that we stopped speaking to each other. It just sort of happened one day, and neither of us ever looked back.
Fast forward to the present. I am clearly not in the greatest place right now. My world basically consists of, “do everything you possibly can to get pregnant while not letting on that you are thinking about getting pregnant every second of every day.” Also, hide the hurt. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Over the past six months especially, I have been carefully winding myself into a cocoon. I am safe in here. I am allowed to be sad and hurt and hopeful. I am not forced to shrug my shoulders at a well-meaning friend who softly inquires about the results of my latest pregnancy test. I don’t have to hold myself together and pretend that I am not devastated and terrified. I don’t have to brace myself against baby photos on Facebook. This is my safe place, and I’m rather fond of it.
Probably, right now is not the best time to be forging new relationships—even if they are actually old relationships. I cannot possibly be a good friend right now. I have a hard enough time being a marginal wife and daughter. Friends, I’m afraid, have been getting the shortest possible end of the stick, lately. If you can even call it a stick. It’s more like a splinter.
I don’t want or need another person in my life to play pretend with. I am not in the mood to dole out the upbeat three paragraph summary of the last seven years of my life. Married! Happy! Lalala! If I were being honest, which I’m not, I would say that I am a giant ball of hormone-riddled anxiety, fear and frustration, and in a couple of weeks, all that is going to intensify times what? A gazillion? Let’s face it–life right now is a bit short on sunshine and rainbows.
Her seven year summary is fantastic. Tween daughter, happy marriage, and she’s a freaking doctor now. I am really, truly so happy for her. She deserves every ounce of that happiness. My seven year summary? Well, I got married, adopted another dog, took up running, and the only thing I have to show for the gamble we took with my life savings is the sharps container in my living room. Living the dream, I tell you.
I wish this was easier.
I’m going to have lunch with another friend right now, and I’m going to try to force myself to be a bit more real with her. Gotta start somewhere, I guess. All I know is that I really can’t handle the fake anymore. I’m not okay right now… and everyone is going to have to be okay with that for a little while. This too shall pass.