I fail at being disciplined. I haven’t made this outlet a priority as I meant to. Please forgive me for that.
I’ve been recently reminded that I do not hold onto relationships well. I build relationships in an area or during a time, and then when I move out of that area or time passes I don’t actively work to maintain those connections – I trust that they will continue to be there, but I just can’t bring myself to reach out to those people whom I love and honor as friends.
This isn’t a new phenomena in my life; there are only a small number of high school friends that I still “keep track of” – that I still reach out to and speak to. There are also very few friends from college that I am regularly in touch with (although that number is skewed since I married one of those friends). Same with my travels overseas, and my return to the States, and our moves to Andover, Syracuse, the Adirondacks, and so forth. I try and cultivate relationships while I’m there, but as soon as we leave I stop reaching out to them. I isolate myself and grieve the loss. It just hurts too much.
I know I’ve shared this with a few folks along the way – mostly strangers who have briefly touched my life – but I’ve very rarely acknowledged this to those who know me, much less to those who know me well.
I’ve never been able to decide if this quality – this building and (for lack of a better description) taking relationships for granted – is a flaw in my character or something that has been an asset to my resilience – that has allowed me to survive various circumstances thus far. I know those people whom I care about are there, have impacted my life, are still present in my own life from a distance, and will more than likely understand and still love me once they’ve seen or heard me admit this. I have no doubt of these things, and in many ways that knowledge and faith allows me to continue moving forward, building new relationships, and coping with circumstances that have (over the past several years) made it difficult to form sturdy, long-term support systems.
If you are one of those people whom I have known along the way, thank you for being part of my life and creating the space for me to be part of yours. Even if I haven’t spoken to you or written to you – on email or social media or “old fashioned snail-mail” – I have not forgotten you. I have thought of you and prayed for you and thanked God for you. Every moment of my day seems to be filled with thoughts and memories of places I’ve been and people I’ve met, triggered by events of the day or smells or various objects or people I meet along the way, and prayers of thankfulness, concern, joy, and so forth.
Even as I am writing this, I am praying for my family, as well as Marie, Melanie, Jodi, Lis, Mizuki, Emi, Sharon, LyAnn and Andy, Dave, Asaka, Tomoe, Mayu, Hisae, Jen, and the list goes on and on…each name and prayer brings about another and the chain is never ending.
Sometimes my brain – and my spirit – floods over.
I have faith, though, that we continue to be connected – through our love for one another, through the time we shared together, through memories and experience. And I thank God for that.