the things left behind
i went to see my beloved pal and stylist yesterday for a hairdo upgrade in honor of friday's graduation, or more specifically, the post graduation cocktail party. since our friendship's roots are in my improvising past
, it was only natural that i get a sort of status check on what she was up to in that realm, and a little 411 on some old pals. turns out another pair got hitched--the bride having been once upon a time someone i thought was a dear and close friend to me. i guess if you have to find out over a year later that nuptials were said and you weren't invited to watch, well, so much for the dear and close friend theory.
this left me smarting just a tad, a little indignant, thinking, "hey, what'd i do wrong?" out loud to my stylist i said: "well, i guess life happens without me around."
i suppose we all have things we've left behind. this week, when we'd begun to reassemble our living room after the great redo of 2006, housemate angel bunny mentioned that once upon a time she'd had to leave all the books she owned behind in san francisco. me, i've never left a book behind anywhere my whole life. i carry them from place to place. it's usually people and communities and relationships that get left, and i carry the memories. sometimes they're fantastically warm memories spiked with laughter and big smiles and hugs, and sometimes they sting, like the emails i re-read this morning from about three years ago
, when my life made a very perceptible shift from what i knew then to what i had to go through to get to where i am now.
don't get me wrong. where i am now is where i am supposed to be, and where i want to be, too. i look at those words someone once wrote me, words carefully chosen that succinctly evaluated me, tore me down, and put me in my place. at the time i was outraged. now i wish i could hit reply and say to them: "well, you're right. and thanks." but i'm not going to. i can't. when you've gone so far forward there's just no sense in going back.
the person i am now doesn't miss who i was then, but misses the people i used to know. i miss improvising, and wish that i could do the impossible and rewind time so that the 2006 me could have a go at the 2002 life.
but that wouldn't get me anywhere.
what i left behind when my life moved were a bunch of really cool people. they were inspiring, fun, and great teachers and mentors. some of them were intimidating, distant, and standoffish. i thought so many of them were my friends, but as it turns out, few are. so i sit in my redone living room, on this june sunday in 2006, and i use the internets to see just where some of them are now. they're all over town, doing shows and classes and gigs and all the improvising stuff i thought i was all about three years ago. until i got called on it. so this is me, hitting reply, saying: "well, you're right. thanks." it wasn't for me, after all. and if i really missed improv so much, couldn't i go back to it? sure. if it was improv that i wanted. i don't think it is. i think it's what it represented to me. and that part of my life is over. its job is done. and i'm the better now for it, hard lessons and all.
what i am about now, the work, the play, the people i'm surrounded by--they are for me. the 2002 me would be floundering in my 2006 shoes, shy and uncertain and insecure. way over her head. and even on days when i'm feeling a little lost, i have a parcel of people--friends--who help me stay afloat.
well, whadda ya know? every one else's life happens without me. i'm just glad mine doesn't.