There are only two reasons why I would miss two days’ worth of posts. I’m either dead, or busy living. I’m glad to say it was the latter and not the former.
Friday was a refreshing taste of the familiar routine of being home that I miss when I am on the road. Still had work. In Manhattan and Brooklyn so I just took public transportation. Nice not to have to drive around, not that I ever would in the city. But it felt good to have a regular schedule (actually, finished and came home by 4), then to have a light dinner, to be able to go back to my martial arts school and to have them be so ready and eager to catch me up on what I missed this week, to come back to a cool shower, to dry off with my own towel, and to spend the night playing video games with my brother. That’s the routine I missed. That’s the routine that’s best for my body and mind.
But Saturday was great for a different reason. Not for the routine, since to be perfectly honest I had none. I woke up at 3pm. Let’s start with how self-indulgently great that is. No, Saturday reminded me to enjoy and appreciate the relationships I already have. To focus on cherishing and fostering the relationships that have sustained me through good times and bad and have lasted longer than any relationship with any single person. My friends.
I have to remember to appreciate them for who they are and what they are to me. And I have to get it in writing because I know how I get when I am single for too long; I will need this reminder at the six, seven, ten month mark. My friends have always been great to me and loyal. But we don’t necessarily share all the same interests. I love to drink and gamble. They play it safe always. I love to chase adrenaline. Paintballing. Racing. Martial arts and fighting. I’ve always considered them to be too safe, too pampered, too comfortable. I consider myself a pretty reasonable, restrained, balanced person. But sometimes next to them I feel like some wild ape-man, beating my chests into the echo of the jungle, marking my territory. Which, if you knew me at all, is ridiculous. The balance used to be, in the triple venn diagram of my life, there were my interests, my friends’ interests, and my girlfriend’s interests. In the small intersection between myself and my friends I would content myself to the more safe and tame activities. Every Saturday we go out to eat, have a few drinks at my place, and play board games or watch a movie. If this goes on too long though, and the repetition begins to eat away at me, I feel like a ball of energy bouncing against the walls, trying to push the borders ever further. So I would satiate myself by sometimes going off on my own. Watching the horror that no one wants to accompany me to. Try the restaurant that is too gourmet (save for one they aren’t much on appreciating food and drink) on my own. And that would work a good while too. But eventually it gets to the point where I want more. More excitement. More activity. More company. And I have always put that responsibility and expectation on whoever I was dating. And because that would only be the very end of the line, when I would be single for a while, I am ashamed to say that sometimes I would resent my friends, because I felt they represented a restraint in my life that was preventing me from enjoying the things that I loved.
That complex, that emotion, is something I’ve always felt and always wanted to flesh out and understand. What it feels like when trying to plan things. The perceived lack of interest when I try to drum up excitement for our adventures. I even have specific examples, like Las Vegas, or what we call ‘Big ‘Un 1’. Maybe when the feeling comes up and it’s fresh and I can taste the bitterness in my mouth and I want to expel it like the poison it is I will be able to do it justice and bring it to light in the way I’ve always felt and hidden from them. But my goal today is not to remember that emotion, but to remind myself of how I can feel when I am with them and I know they are there for me.
Saturday wasn’t even some crazy wild romp through the town. In fact, it was hilariously ironically typical and if anything, childishly silly. I picked up two of my friends because the third was celebrating her father’s birthday. We didn’t know where to go for dinner. Which is surprising because that’s normally the only thing we DO know. So…we picked a place to eat based on Pokestops in the area. Ahahah. Yes, really, we all play pretty seriously and we decided if we were going to be out that night anyways, we might as well make it count. So we went to a nearby town that had a pretty good amount of stops and some activity. Stopped at a park along the way just to claim a gym. Parked way further than we normally would have. Walked around the town. We did admit though that if not for this game we never would have explored this much of a town that has been literally five minutes away the entire time. We’re all childhood friends and went to the same schools and lived in the same town so this is all our territory. But we never explored this particular area. We walked a lot and hatched some eggs. Met and chatted with other players along the way (it’s easy to spot, find the people walking around with their phone and camera). Sat in a nice park and just caught Pokemon. It was simplistic and refreshing. We ended up by a pub and had dinner and a few beers there. Well by a few I mean five pints. And by we I mean me. Like I said, very disparate interests and hobbies. When it was getting dark and we were tired of walking, we went back to my place so I could show them the new game I was playing in hopes of getting them to join up so we could play together. And what I really appreciate from it all, is that when I told them my cousin from the Philippines was coming next week and I wanted to take her out and show her around on Saturday, all of them, even the one who couldn’t come in yesterday, set aside their schedules to make sure we were all together. We’re planning a little weekend getaway in the Poconos soon, too. It’s nice that they’re all responsive now, makes planning and scheduling a lot easier.
We can’t always choose the friends we have in life. And we don’t always know how we find each other in the chaos of the world. But we should always appreciate the people who have, through time and tide, found their way to us and have stuck it through. Maybe it is true that a good friendship can never really substitute a strong relationship. But it is a nourishing form of companionship and relationship nonetheless, one that I could not survive without. I am, at this moment, tremendously grateful for my friends. I should feel this way always. Whether single or in a relationship, I have to understand that each person in my life is there for a reason and should be grateful for that. Especially now that I am #committedlysingle, I must remember to foster the relationships I still have.
Day 18 and Day 19
Man: 15 Loneliness: 4