Monday, December 6, 2010

Letting Go

"It's like I wake up,
It seems not so far away.
We started out our lives for reasons,
Good or bad.

When your feelings get lost,
And friends do too.
You know that life goes on and on,
And so will you."
                            -Haywire, "Thinking About The Years"

I think most of us have a hard time dealing with some parts of our past. I know I do. I've always hated change, every part of me wishes the good times and people I care about would stay forever. After learning time and again that they don't, you'd think it would have sunk in by now. But for me that feeling never goes away.

This week I got the news that a friend I once knew just had a baby. She was someone I had known casually at work for about a year and a half before my car accident in 2008, someone I developed a friendship with and a fondness for after it happened. Recovery during this time was a tremendously traumatic and emotional point in my life, to say I felt lost would be an understatement. Things between Sandy and I were great but we faced a lot; she was in the hospital three times at the beginning of the year, I had my accident, we had two floods in the house and my father had a heart attack with a subsequent quadruple by-pass.  Months later Sandy's mother passed away as well as a friend from my hobby club.

Because of the state I was in at the time I found it hard to be strong for Sandy, let alone myself. My friend was going through her own tough times as well and although I knew she was pushing her own hurt deep down inside, she projected a very positive attitude to everyone around. I drew strength from that, and it helped me deal with the things Sandy and I were facing and be stronger for her.

One day due to external circumstances my friend was gone unexpectedly from work. I never had a chance to say goodbye or let her know how much her attitude had helped me. We didn't stay in touch. And although I was distraught over her absence I felt that our relationship wasn't meant to continue.  That we were brought together for a short time to bring something into each other's lives. She inspired me with her strength, and I think in some way I was able to help her realize (after she left a bad relationship) that she was still a good person with many amazing qualities and was worthy of someone's friendship, and eventually another man's love. In recent times she found this again and her dream of becoming a mother came true. It made me indescribably happy to hear this, and I sent her a message of congratulations.

The years since we knew each other have been the biggest period of change and growth since I was born. My friend inspired me, unknowingly, to start my blog. She never got to see how far her influence spread. Perhaps she'll know one day, somehow. Would I go back to those days if I could? I want to say no, because I'd have to face the same uncertainty about myself all over again. It was an extremely difficult time for me and at times for Sandy, who was amazing through my recovery.  But in the end, all the pain was worth it because it brought me here. I know it all happened for a reason and I was meant to go through it; that car accident was one of the best things that ever happened to me and one of the single biggest turning points in my life.

Recently a good blogging friend of mine wrote, "Sometimes it can be the hardest thing, as well as the best thing, to let someone go.....for whatever reasons. Happiness CAN come from letting go."  It's been a difficult lesson but I've finally come to terms with this myself.  We can consume our days thinking about times we can't change, or spend them making future memories with those who are with us now.  But we can't do both.  We'll never fully live in our present with one foot in our past.


  1. Great post pal. I feel that way as well. Those lost years between us, was the hardest period in my life, and one of the most lonely and trying. Everyone goes through a tough period in their life, and I don't think I'm alone in thinking, while we are going through rough times, that sometimes the world would be better off without us. Or nobody would miss us. Or will it ever get better. The events that happened, happen for a reason and they make us the people we are today. And hopefully we can learn, and become better people. I feel that is exactly what happened. Sometimes I wish we can go back to those carefree days, before we had any major responsibility. Man, we had some good times. But, the hardships all of us face, and life events, made us better human beings. I'm happy with who I am now, and I'm sure you are with yourself as well.
    Cheers buddy.

  2. I 100 % agree with the last line.

  3. <3 barry, you are so honest and so very real, you always revive me from whatever it is pushing me down.
    I've missed you, I've missed the internet, I've missed writing.
    My tattoo, you asked about; there is a picture at the bottom of my blog, of the entire thing.
    Alis Volat Propriis; latin, translates to, She Flies With Her Own Wings.

  4. "We'll never fully live in our present with one foot in our past. " Amen!!

  5. Being consumed is dangerous, but you were never wholly consumed, were you? You had a longing for a friendship, it seems, and that is fine to have 'one foot in the past' - it helps us learn from our behaviours and allows us to better ourselves. Even to enjoy the moments before the necessary 'letting go'. Don't shut out the past my dear. It makes us strong. It has made you stronger.

    - M -

  6. Tony, no matter who we are someone will miss us when we're gone. I can promise you that. Some years were lost between us yes, but none of the friendship. It's as strong as it's ever been. Let's just say we were on haitus. What happened sucked, but I have to believe it happened for a reason. You wouldn't have met The Lovely One otherwise right?

    Bec, :)

    M, in that I was ultimately able to pull myself through, yes I realize I was never fully consumed. I can't shut out the past, I won't. It's part of me and has shaped who I am today. But I can reconcile with it. Thank you for your words, I find comfort in them.

  7. Great post, Barry. I am always in awe of your incredible ability to self-reflect and to draw incredible findings from you past. I can relate to this in some ways. Change is always difficult, but just because the dynamic of your relationship with this person may have changed over the years, doesn't mean that you can't rekindle or restart a new friendship with them. I say this because from your post, it sounds like this person was an important part of your life. Although things have changed very much, I hope you two can still reconnect in a new way. Or in the least, you can take that first step, if this friendship is something you feel is worth fighting for.

    I don't know the details of your relationship with this person, so I won't say anymore, but I find that although sometimes the past is not worth revisiting, people from our past can be given the opportunity to shape our future, because they always have and always will have a special place in our heart, because at some point in time, we formed a special and very precious connection with them, and that connection is not worth giving up, because it feels like one in a million.

  8. That last line will keep me smiling.

    - M -

  9. This post makes me think of one of your relatives. Sometimes sad for the distance and time apart, yet comforting that the time we had was pretty much spent smiling. I truly think that not everyone is meant to stay in your life everyday, and the ones that drift in and out is how it's supposed to be. The best part is that you smile more each time they drift in, and even if they disappear for awhile, you keep smiling because they appeared in the first place. :-)

  10. Philosophia, thanks for your words. I can't see this friendship rekindling, as much as I'd like to see it happen I really think things played out as they had to. We were in each other's lives for a relatively short time and it served a purpose. But I've grown since the accident and moved on; she's had a baby and is establishing a new chapter in her life, which is some of the best news I've had this year.

  11. Rheum-mate, what you've written reminds me of a quotation by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel), "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."

  12. OOOHH!! I love that quote! :-D

  13. Yeah, hiatus that's it...yep your right everything happens for a reason. I reached that epiphany a in '06

  14. THe last line says it all, and I need to remember it.