Read more about the Having It Both Ways project here.
When someone you love gets murdered it fucks you up. It’s more than 4 years later and quite honestly I’ve never dealt with my friend’s death, despite the fact that I think about it several times a week and I feel guilty I haven’t done enough with her foundation…
I never talk about her – most of my friends didn’t know about her until I did the blog post about emotional manipulation being a form of abuse and some of my closest friends told me they never knew. I don’t talk about it beyond the “cause” element of it – which is just a way that I can put it in a nice non-profit box and pretend like it’s about someone else and not my friend.
But, the reality is that when my friend Jana was murdered it changed the way I view everything in my world. I use to be so full of ambition and professional drive. I use to want to be a big deal and had an ego that needed to be stroked. I wanted my picture taken with famous politicians – and believe me… I have a ton of them… I wanted money and power and control and all of the things that most people in politics want. When Jana was killed I realized none of those things will ever make me happy. It doesn’t matter anymore. In fact nothing does. I use to want a convertible because I thought I would look cuter with big round sunglasses and the top down. But the reality is that it isn’t the convertible I want – its the feeling of freedom I wanted… the wind in my hair and the sun on my face and that you feel like you’re going faster because the wind is swooshing past. I just wanted the feeling of freedom.
For the past several years since Jana I’ve been floundering around asking myself over and over again “what the hell am I doing?” Like I’m having a midlife crisis. The only thing that matters to me anymore are people. Not Bertha the big fancy TV that lives in my living room or my very nice Italian leather sofa… not having the best shoes or the nicest dress, not having the best job, not power, not recognition, not control…. nothing. Just friends, experiences, fun, and happiness. And its made me really really resistant to let new people into my life. Already I had trust issues – already I didn’t let people close enough… now I’m even worse than I was before.
At the same time my normally cautious candyass ways have turned into a thrill seeking world. I’ll jump out or off of anything, I’ll climb up anything, I’ll do anything once, twice if you’re lucky, and I crave adventure. Grabbing life by the testies, eat sleep and be merry for tomorrow we may die….. because tomorrow we may…. we really might just…. because it happened to her.
I mention this because I split with another man friend this week. It’s been a long time coming, but 50 has been so distant and non-responsive that I’m starting to feel like he was just going to use me without being a friend. The thing about being a friend with benefits is you can trust your friend… its a friend… a buddy you have an honest relationship with. Only… seems good old 50 just wanted to screw with no buddy. I have trust issues… no friend… no benefits…. For the first few months it was all buddy… after that… nothin’. So I didn’t respond to his latest email… and I’m not gonna.
When I think about him it’s so frustrating because… of all people who is wasting his life after not getting what he needed after years and years of being everything for everyone, it’s him. You’d think at some point he’d wake up and go “shit… I’m getting on in years… I don’t have much more time I can’t do this, I really need to figure out what I want to get out of life before the clock runs out!” I’m not talking about him doing this with me here – just … anyone or alone… anything.
I feel sad for him, everyone deserves to be happy, to do what they’ve always wanted to do before the die, or be able to have an opportunity to get what they’ve always wanted… within reason of course. A chance to achieve their dream. Who knows, maybe he’s already achieved his. Maybe it was an occupational thing or raising his son… who knows. I think it’s the Humanist nature of me to wish that everyone have a shot at happiness and being able to have what they’ve always wanted. I wrote about him last week – I think he’s lying to himself about a lot – but I wish he could be happy and have all that he’s ever wanted. I just have no hope that he’s reached a point where the experience that changes you into being an life grabbing adventurer. And he might not ever reach it. I don’t know that everyone does – not that I recommend it because… it’s clearly fucked me up far more than I was before.
The worst part about 50 is that for a few months he was my buddy and I was stupid enough to trust I was his. When the reality is of course I wasn’t…. of course… I wasn’t. Whole thing just makes me feel like a trusting fool who was duped.