you don’t have to hold on to people to hold on to the experience…

i have been enjoying all these random Tennessee snow days.  this morning work told us we would be coming in late, so i was sitting on my couch, enjoying a cup of coffee and cooking some irish oats…just appreciating the slowness of the morning.

i looked over at my bookshelf and saw an old book, one that i have had on my shelf for 14 years.  all this nostalgia came flooding back to me.  i got this book when i was in a missions program in Texas right out of high school.  it was a different world, and feels like a lifetime away.  the people i met there were wonderful, unique, and a true variety of personalities.  of course, like most people, you tend to create a “group” of friends.  while i had a couple different “groups”, this one in particular challenged me.  we would sit around, read poetry (yes, i was that girl…fine art major, duh guys), discuss books, paint with our fingers, sing worship songs and just think.  this book, in particular, was one that we wanted to read.

when i saw it on my shelf, i felt an ache for their friendships again.  i wondered where they were, what had become of them and if they ever thought of those times we had with each other.  i wanted them back in my life…today…right now.  but honestly, that is not a reality.  last time i checked, one was living in New York, one in California, and one still in Texas where we had all met.  for the most part, we are out of touch.  our lives have moved on in very different directions.

i felt like a piece of me had been ripped away and ruined by the thought that i couldn’t have them back.  then a calm feeling came over me.  you don’t have to hold on to people to hold on to the experience.  i may not have these friends in my life now, but i DID have them at one point, and they are part of what shaped me.  i don’t have to seek them out and maintain a shallow friendship across the miles…you know the ones i am talking about, those friendships you don’t let go of on principal.  you think that you HAVE to hold on, but if it isn’t working, and if your lives are moving apart, that’s ok.  it doesn’t mean you have lost that part of you.

life is a journey.  on journeys you see things that you may never see again, taste things that are a one-time indulgence, and experience life in a way that is unique to that moment.

hold on to your memories rather than trying to force these things to happen again.  it happened, and it is a part of you, and it’s ok if you have to let go to move forward.

maybe no one in the world is like me on this, but i’m sure there is someone out there that struggles with this.  i grew up in the same town and basically lived here my whole life.  i don’t let go of people easily.  it hurts, and it feels like if i let go, i lose that part of my past and who i am.  it makes me feel hollow sometimes…sad.  this morning it felt different.  the memories felt complete and warm, and i remembered those times fondly, seeing clearly how it had become a piece of my life, and i did not fear the loss, but embraced it as a step along my journey.the divine conspiracy

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