Tuesday, December 21, 2010

a visit with friends

"You know what the great thing about life is?"
How do I answer this question? He sits back, arms crossed in his typical plaid shirt. We still look the same with a few more crows feet lines. His laugh still makes me laugh and my wit can match his; Something he appreciates and we both treasure.
"You don't have to win at it," he says. And I smile. There are not many people my age who say something that I haven't heard before or thought of myself. I am not trying to sound condescending, but it is rare that I have a peer that says something that opens up my mind just a little further. And the beauty of his truth is that it is the same thing I have been coming to terms with this year but never expressed so eloquently. To hear this at a moment where I feel like I am losing the career game is comforting. The race is long and in the end it's only with yourself.  He is a friend I never see and have had moments in our past where I didn't care for him. But unlike most people who if they hurt my feelings once I write them off, I have always let my NYU Friends back in for some unexplainable reason. Perhaps because it is nice to struggle with people who all have the same dream.
I tell him I have had a hard year but a good year because when something big happens, something traumatic, all the bullshit melts away. What matters comes into sharp focus. I remember another piece of wisdom from a peer, one that she gave me a year ago and has stuck with me: "Tend to your own garden."
I am really good at pulling at weeds in other people's gardens only to find they keep on letting the weeds grow. They may not want those weeds pulled or maybe they see the weeds as wildflowers. I have had to give up on some relationships in order to focus on myself. Maybe giving up is the wrong word, but letting go is more accurate.
We walk through the subway.
"We graduated a long time ago," he tells me.
"I know! I had the same sobering moment this past weekend!" I tell him.
"Did he tell you we went to the NYU bookstore?" His beautiful wife tells me as she opens up a bag. She has outed him.
He laughs, "I bought myself an NYU shirt."
We laugh together at the confession.
"I want one, too," I tell him.

No comments: