I remember as a kid I wanted brothers and sisters around. It was because I was lonely. We moved so much that friendship was always a word that meant temporary, meaningless. I did not see any significant adult in my life reach out to friends when they were in trouble, in fact, they ran away from them towards family in times of trouble, even if they were terrible people. It was a lesson I tried to ignore.
In high school I met John. If you’ve read my previous work you know that John was someone my age that I fell in love with. Only problem was, I was afraid to say anything and even more afraid of what it meant for me. I wasn’t ready to come out for another 12 years. In fact, his uncle came out and he straight up asked me “don’t come out too, I can’t handle anyone else yet.” Those words put me in a straight jacket.
John was my longest friend but like every friend I ever had I was forced to walk away from him. Walking away from him was the final blow, the last piece of my soul that believed in friendship. It’s not easy to walk away from someone you truly love, it hurts more than anything and I was willing to do almost anything to not confront that pain again- to include hate the very word friend. It wasn’t until a rather unpleasant run-in with my therapist that I even thought about it. Before that all I knew was that friends meant temporary and when someone called me sister it clicked something inside my brain so that now I felt I could get close to them. I suppose when I look at my history I can see why, I feel a little foolish for not catching on sooner. I’ve thrown away so many wonderful opportunities, so many wonderful people have crossed my path that I couldn’t bring myself to love back.
Interesting that I have spent my entire life in a sea of people feeling like the most lonely person in the world, except for when 2 people were in it. Do you want to know who they are? John and Q. I’ve learned that my self-worth and sense of self isn’t tied to a person, nor is it okay to go through life without being vulnerable… or hurt. One of them I told how I felt, one I did not. I made the mistake of silence with the first one and missed an opportunity to understand myself, out of fear. The second one I waited, perhaps a bit too long, but I told him nonetheless and its okay he wasn’t interested (anymore), maybe that wasn’t the point. Maybe the point was to till the soil of my heart once more, thaw it out and make it ready for love again, reclaim friendship in my life. After all, I can love a friend and not ‘be’ in love with them.
I think a key word here is balance. Life has to be balanced. Right this second I’ve never felt more fulfilled and content and yet I’m in the most tumult I’ve ever felt and I truly feel great. Challenges come and each one is a blessing, I mean that. I don’t know every detail of my future, I’ve traded the pursuit of perfection for the chance at happiness. Good trade.
As for Q and John, well, I don’t know. A man once told me “the only way I know a girl loves me is if I cheat on her and she don’t leave me”. I’d say this, If that love is meant to be, they’ll come back after being let go. If not, well, there’s lots more people out there. I made my mistakes, then I learned from them, now I move on with an open heart. At least a little more prepared to give all this woman to someone special and there sure is a lot of special someone’s out there…
…isn’t there. I look forward to meeting you, or re-meeting you, Special.
Feel free to contact me, a little human contact is always welcome
Ruth Utnage fka jeff 823469 C-601-2
PO Box 888
Monroe, WA. 98272
or via Jpay email service (you have to use my birth name, but, please do not call me by it, my new legal name is Ruth)