I don’t want to live a life characterized by anger. It’s why I write, why I move, why I leave. It’s why I value reconciliation, resolution, and reflection. It’s why I consider myself part of the problem first, then work backwards from there. It’s why I don’t watch movies with Kirsten Dunst, Nicolas Cage, or Angelina Jolie: I don’t want to live a life characterized by anger.

For the last few weeks I’ve been working to reduce clutter as a way to reduce stress. I’ve been sorting, organizing, and labeling. I’ve skimmed articles on stress relief, decision-making, and minimalism. I’ve given away clothes, shoes, and books. My precious! The struggle is real.

I ran across some old journals and notebooks in the shuffle. A few young, bad poems on loss and love.

I thought it would be sentimental, but I wasn’t in a sentimental mood. We were childish. Separately in waves, but together always. It made me frustrated. It made me resentful.

I wasn’t in the mood for a socio-political commentary on art, work, and life, narrated by Legos.

I couldn’t pinpoint when the relationship changed, but we were floundering. It wasn’t the first time I’d inherited sisters by way of friends; I understood the seasons. But this loss seemed different, more specific, even personal.

Who’s responsible? For loss, for grief, for suffering? Who should we hold accountable when we cannot be reconciled to each other? Who can we blame?

There is a narrative that says women are in competition with each other and can, therefore, never truly celebrate each other. Our relationships are cloaked in jealously and fraught with scandal. We can’t truly be happy for each other. We can’t be thankful for each other. We can’t mourn with each other, love each other, take care of each other.

We choose to feel slighted, to be envious, and to harbor resentment. We can’t forgive each other. We can’t recover. We can’t persevere together. There just isn’t enough for us all.

I reject this narrative, but I hold myself accountable.

I honor the ghosts of friendships past.

A Friendship, Dying
Perhaps
It has served
Its purpose
Just to know that
You
Are Real,
As am
I

 

 

 

 

 

 

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