It’s always happening.
Sometimes you’re affected and sometimes you’re not, but it’s always there.
I’ve had a lot of change over the past few months. Most recently, I had to say goodbye to one of my favorites…a month after saying goodbye to her husband. This proved to be harder than I expected, when I least expected it. You see, I said
goodbye see-you-later to Bethany on Sunday. I was good. There were no tears. We laughed, we hugged. To the outsider it looked like a normal Sunday. Even Monday morning I woke up and I was fine. I knew she was on the road driving to her sister’s in Florida. I went to work – total normal morning.
Then I got in my car to run some errands on my lunch break. And that’s when my heart decided to catch up with everything else.
I composed myself enough to walk into Target and get what I needed, but the second I got back into my safe zone I was undone again.
When I first met Bethany I had no idea that any of this would be happening. I was actually nervous she wouldn’t like me. I knew her then-boyfriend, now-husband, Patrick first and was used to girlfriends hating me, so that’s what I braced for.
We started to get to know each other and everything seemed to be going well but in the back of my mind I was like “she’s just being nice to me because she feels like she has to. We’re not REAL friends.” Looking back, this was probably because I was crawling my way out of a pit of despair and hurt and was under the impression that complete happiness wasn’t a thing.
And then something happened…she and Patrick got engaged! I was so excited for them, as was everyone. When I thought about their wedding I figured I’d be invited – maybe – but I wasn’t even confident in that. It had been about 3 years but because of the
walls fortress I had built around myself from that pit, I didn’t think I was actually part of this little community.
Well, I was wrong!
That’s Bethany, in the middle. And that’s me, last on the right (looking like I’m trying to choke out the flowers). You guys, this girl that I thought was just putting up with me (thanks to my insecurities) not only liked me, but actually loved me enough to ask me to stand beside her while she got married! I was blown away!
After that I made the decision that I was going to try and knock down my fortress and really let people in. I’m not gonna lie, it was terrifying. But I told Bethany and De (second on the left) that this was my plan and warned them that they may need to fight through some of the walls with me, but that I really did want to change and open up and learn how to actually love people and let them in, not just keep them at an arms length. I still have her response, and it still makes me cry. She ended it with “I really love you, Jess” and for the first time in a long time, I really believed it.
Since then I’ve made incredible strides with the whole fortress fiasco. It’s still a work in progress but, thanks to Bethany and De I had a safe place to figure out this new way of life. I can honestly say I don’t know who I’d be without either of them.
So yes, her location is different now, and there’s a really good chance we’ll never even live in the same state again, let alone close enough to have a spontaneous tea date, and yes I’m sad about that, but that’s ok. Because I know that no matter where we are or what life throws at us, that loving, deep, REAL friendship will always be there.
I was never a feeler, never super emotional (unless my feelings were hurt), but over the past few years that’s what I’ve become. So last night after work, I did the only logical thing. I cried a bit, had dinner with Dave, grabbed a drink and a blanket and sat on the couch with him to watch episodes of FRIENDS until my sides hurt.
It’s scary to let people in past your walls, it opens you up to more hurt; but if you choose the right people the rewards are immeasurable.