Importing my archives by hand has forced me to read through them chronologically, and it’s given me a lot to think about. For starters, I think my writing has improved a lot – I tend to use fewer exclamation points, anyway. That can only be a good thing, even if I’ve traded those happy points of joy for dramatic pauses in the form of the almighty dash.
While I wrote a little less back then than I do now, I also think I had a lot more fun. It seems that almost every entry was a recap of some fun, exciting thing I had done – whether it was driving out to Banff to play in the snow in the middle of August, or going to Edmonton for a LAN party, or getting one of my many tattoos – there was just an overall sense of doing. I like doing. It makes me feel very accomplished.
Another thing I can sense in my words from Back Then is just how close a friendship Ali and I had. We were very, very close – for two friends living almost a thousand miles apart, we were damn near inseparable for many years. It brings a funny little pang to my heart to realize that we lived so far from each other but saw each other monthly – and in many cases, damn near weekly – and now that we’re only 3 hours apart, we often go 6 or 7 months without seeing each other without a second thought.
We’ve both changed, of course. We run in different circles now, and her life is almost the complete opposite of mine. I don’t think either of us would change that for the world, but for a few years there, we were practically the same person – and now we’re really quite different, and the gap seems to widen every day.
My back hurts, so I’m feeling all introspective – you’ll have to bear with me, okay?
All the thinkie thoughts I’ve had about friends and relationships in the last little while sort of came to a head this afternoon, when reading about Ali’s upcoming dinner adventure. I’ll readily admit that my insides deflated and went “oh, boo” when I read about the big dinner out with friends both local and afar, because Ed and I – once among the bestest of friends – were not invited. I don’t begrudge either Ali or Doug that at all – let’s face it, we aren’t as close as we all once were – but in trying to think about it in a constructive way, I realized something important:
I don’t WANT to go; so there.
I love Ali and Doug. I love Seattle, and dinners out. However .. I don’t love people I don’t know. I don’t love pedicures. I don’t love small children .. and I don’t love being completely out of my element. Ali and Doug invited close friends, people with similar lifestyles and interests. I don’t know most of their friends, and from what I saw at the last New Year’s party, I don’t fit in with the ones I DO know very well. I haven’t changed very much since the days of yore – my priorities are still the same: have fun, ride a scooter, drink Diet Coke, get tattoos, live in Vancouver. It’s awesome – I like my life very much – and yet I know that the people who did get the birthday dinner invite have vastly different priorities from my own.
That doesn’t make them bad people and it doesn’t make me an irresponsible twit (shut up), it’s just .. different. And they’re what Ali and Doug need right now: people who are like them, who have the same goals and lifestyles and hopes and dreams. I don’t fit in with that crowd very well, and it’s rude to roll your eyes when people are animatedly discussing potty training and summer homes out in the country.
I love you guys and always will, but I don’t want to go to your grown-up dinner party. It’s good that you didn’t invite me, and I really do mean that. Ed is a different story – I have my sneaking suspicions that the man I married would much rather have that life than the one I’m trying to steer him towards – but it’s okay. We’ll still be here when the diaper smoke has cleared.
Diapers DO smoke, don’t they?
Anyway, I’ll be over here in the corner, playing video games and eating popsicles for dinner.