Thursday, January 8, 2009

TJ's Week One: write a letter to an old friend

This week, I started small but bravely by writing a letter to my childhood best friend whom I haven't spoken to in maybe 8 years. It wasn't like we had a big falling out or anything; we just lost touch like you do when you go off to different colleges and such. But thinking about our formative years and everything got me thinking, and since I'm already in such a nostalgic mood from having the big Two-Five birthday and all, the letter had much more impact on me than I expected.

I would be lying if I said I didn't cry like a blubbering baby while writing the damn thing.

Here's a little bit of the letter, leaving out the more soppy parts:

I know it's been a long time since we saw each other, but I've recently found myself thinking about a lot of people I haven't seen in a long time, and I thought it might be time to write to you. I'm sorry if this is way too long; please don't feel any pressure to read the whole thing if you're busy. I can just give you the Cliff's Notes version: I just wanted to say hi.

I spent a long bus ride from DC to New York composing most of this letter in my head, so I hope it comes out correctly, though I'm afraid it's going to sound either too weird or too formal and stilted or something. I hope that's not the case, but it's all my fault if it does.

Mom told me maybe a year or more ago that she ran into you at the Walgreens on the corner on Prima Vista and Bayshore, and that you were a manager there. At the time I wondered if I should call you up and say hello, but I thought so much time had passed that we'd have nothing to talk about, and maybe that's true, but maybe I was just being lazy. I am sorry about that.

I don't want to spend this whole letter talking about myself and what I've been doing since high school, but I'm also afraid of spending this whole letter on "remember when, remember when, remember when?" junk. I just turned 25 and I guess, as stupid as it is, I feel nostalgic about a lot of things now. You must be turning 25 soon, too. I don't remember what day your birthday is, but I remember you're an Aries, right? So it must be soon. Maybe you're feeling something similar.

One of the things I find myself thinking about a lot lately is how I never told you I was a lesbian. I don't think this is a big shock for you, or maybe it is. But you must have seen my Facebook page or run into someone we knew in school, so I guess you must know. I just want you to know, first thing, that the reason I never told you wasn't that I didn't trust you. I can't ever remember you saying anything that would lead me to believe you're uncomfortable with gay people, or maybe you are and I just never knew, and if that's the case I'm sorry I just brought it up. My point is, I never told you because I didn't want it to be this big thing (like I'm sort of making it now?), and because I thought that maybe it would go away eventually and I wouldn't have to worry about it. I thought if I told you, the one person who seemed to know all my awful, embarrassing secrets, that it would be something permanent and I'd never be able to get rid of it.

I'm really pleased with this first project. It felt very cleansing to do, a good way to start the year, and a great way to prove to myself that I'm brave enough to do all sorts of awesome things this year.

1 comment:

  1. TJ-this is an AWESOME project! I am inspired. I got a library card this weekend--can that count as my week one awesome task?