My stay at PPFA was short, as most internships are. I didn't keep in touch with Betsy so much, but it had nothing to do with her. The time after I left was rife with drama, trauma, and unrest. I simply didn't have it in me to maintain many relationships. Then I left the country to go live and work in China for a while, came back, sort of reconnected with them both, but didn't make a huge effort to make the relationships deeper. It's funny how we can look back and see things so clearly, wishing we could alter events. But the truth is, most of us just do the best we can at that time, and there is nothing to do but accept that. In a way, I'm glad I didn't pursue anything deeper because I think I might have done more damage than good, and I never want to hurt anyone.
So let's fast forward a few more years. Betsy and I are now friends on Facebook and occasionally comment on each other's posts and all that nonsense. Fast forward a bit more, and suddenly, to my surprise, Betsy is asking me for some info privately. Still, not much came of it. But it's funny how the universe works, and I, who am a die-hard Agnostic, must admit that something was at work here, because she suddenly started posting very deep, meaningful memes that I could relate to 100%. I mean really relate to. It was if we had both gone through the same traumatic event, and though I didn't know if that were true, I felt drawn to her all over again. Years before, I had told my father repeatedly that Betsy was special, and that is an understatement. I have met many people in my life, but very, very few with whom I can be completely comfortable. But it isn't just that; she seems to understand everything, as if she had gone through the exact same experience. I remember talking in our little cubicle space shortly after meeting, and I was overwhelmed by the depth of her compassion, devotion to caring, and her genuine warmth. I felt I could tell her anything. Unless you've met a person like this, it's very hard to understand. I am not simply talking about someone who shows great empathy. I rarely use words like "aura" and "energy". That's just not me. But for lack of better words, Betsy does have an aura about her. I have only felt this from a handful of people, and I told her this yesterday. The last time I knew this kind of serenity surrounding a person, was in a child. I told her that I, the forever Agnostic, have doubts when I am around that boy, and that it's the same when I'm with her. After many years, I was finally able to tell her the impact she's made on my life, even though our time was brief. I know I am not the only one who feels this around her. She exudes something holy. That is the best way to describe her presence, and I am not remotely religious, so I think that says a lot! I told her something similar years ago, but as I said, I was rough around the edges. Having grown a lot, and I mean a LOT, I felt such joy yesterday in fully expressing myself. She was brought to tears. Not my intention, but I saw that I got my point across. We had spent over 6 hours together after 13 years apart and I tell you, there was not one awkward moment. Time flew by as we shared recent life-changing friendship stories, and it was a wonderful, beautiful thing to watch unfold. The beauty was in the depth of mutual understanding, acceptance, and sympathy. We simply understood each other's pain, and isn't that what we all want?
I told her I would love it if we could be closer. In no way can either of us replace what we have lost, and that isn't our goal. I am rarely one to say "Everything happens for a reason". I find that platitude rather obnoxious because it's just a way for people to rationalize suffering. But I do think this re-connection happened for a reason, and I am truly grateful. I cannot wait to see what's ahead! The world is blessed to have this woman. When you encounter a shining star, hold on to it for dear life. These people are truly rare.
The title of this blog is in reference to something she said to me recently. Throughout my life, I have always had trouble knowing where the line is between being a good friend even when you're not getting what you deserve, and letting go for self-protection. When we spoke on the phone last month, shortly before Christine's death (what strange timing to reconnect only a few days beforehand!), she told me that she no longer bothers with anyone who doesn't bring something to the table. You know that moment when you've been thinking and feeling something but haven't made the full emotional commitment to it yet? You know how sometimes all it takes it hearing it from someone else to make it real or final? That was my moment. She said it again yesterday, and something inside me let go. We all have one life. There is no need and no purpose in holding on to something that isn't doing you any benefit. You help no one by being a martyr. People change, relationships end. That's ok! The hurt will pass. The anger will pass. The disappointment will pass. Yes, it's sad when this happens, and it's important to acknowledge the loss, but sometimes you just have to let go. So this is my new motto, because as that [annoying] meme goes: "Ain't nobody got time for that shit!" If you don't bring anything to my table, you can just walk on by (cue song in my head), because I am DONE chasing people.