“Seeing Joy”

Reconnecting with a friend is always a bit nerve-racking — especially if it’s been 5 years since you last saw them. I use to see her every week and on Thursdays if my memory is anything to brag about. PCC days are getting fuzzier every year, but I tend to remember people I befriended more so than any other memory. The days leading up to tonight, I gave her a warning, “I’ve changed a lot since you last saw me. I’m not the same person.”

It’s interesting to reminisce about the past and poke each other’s brains to see how much of you they remember. She said back then I was clean cut and nothing like how I look now. I suppose earrings, tattoos and leather jacket gives off that type of vibe. To her, I could fit right in as a member of a k-pop band. Gee, thanks. She mentioned she often wondered about me and if I would be that person she thought I’d be. I remember one time she asked if I wanted to go on a hike together with some friends and I completely blew her off. Sorry about that.

I told her everything. Where I work, what I do, who I’ve dated — essentially, the whole nine yards. I’m usually a bit hesitant to talk about myself in that manner. I think it’s not too polite to talk about yourself, but if you ask, I’ll give in and make an exception. I often wonder about the people I used to see regularly too — if they are the same, where they’ve gone, and what their lives are like now. You miss who you don’t see anymore — which is a good thing. It shows how much they mean to you. You don’t miss everyone — just the ones you really care about.

Talking about the past conjures up a few unwanted thoughts. Bad breakups, hard times, days where the weight of the world was on your shoulders, times where you tried and failed miserably. Part of me wishes I forgot, but that would be cheating. Knowing where you were then keeps you grounded now. Habits die quickly if you take control of your life and start living how you see fit. Old me didn’t know that and got stepped on.

I suppose to a lot of people who get reintroduced to my new self find it fascinating. Her surprised and often constant eye contact says a lot about how she’s reacting to your response. Me — I’m just honest. I’ll tell you everything and anything if you care enough to listen — including the good, bad, and down right ugly. The only topic I was apprehensive to mention was how I once was abusing drugs and alcohol to the point of it destroying my health. It amazes people if they’re willing to believe I was able to stop cold turkey without any intervention or outside assistance. Some call it will, I call it quitting while you’re ahead.

One thing I’ve come to realize after seeing the ever so lovely CJ is I have it alright. I’m quite fortunate to be in the position I am in life and should be a bit more grateful. I’m not and I admittedly, I need to work on that. I know. Happiness is elusive, but I’m only after feeling content. She demanded I text her if I ever have another ill-advised thought. That’s what friends are for, right? She’s really something else and for that, I’m truly thankful there are friends who have my best interests in mind.

Everyone is full of surprises and I just love that.

Later world.

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