I was going through old posts, and found this buried away in the started but never finished section. I wrote it right after my friend Janessa passed away, and being reunited with my high school friends I hadn’t seen in about 18 years.
I didn’t finish or publish it at the time because a lot had just happened emotionally, and I didn’t feel very clear.
I understand the message now. Enjoy……
I’m writing you from a little coffee shop that I love to sit and work in. I am a stickler for bringing headphones with me because I usually become frustrated with all of the distractions. I forgot them today. In fact, I forgot everything – my phone and laptop charger. I guess the stars weren’t aligned.
It’s okay though because I’m not distracted in my usual way. I’m looking around at everyone talking, working away, enjoying their coffee, and I’m appreciating the moment.
I had an old friend from high school pass away this week, and this has stirred up so many emotions that I didn’t even know I could feel. If you asked me a week ago what I thought of high school, I’d tell you they weren’t the best memories. I felt like I didn’t make the best decisions or cultivate the best friendships.
I was so nervous to see everyone when we gathered to celebrate and remember Janessa’s life. And, even though I was holding on so hard to the past, I knew this wasn’t about me and my insecurities. This was about remembering Janessa. This was about letting go of all of the high school shenanigans & becoming a strong unit for her.
After just a few minutes of being reunited, I realized I was the only one that was holding onto anything. Everyone was so open and loving, and only remembered the fun and happy things. I realize now those friendships were the foundation of who I am today. It’s crazy how years have gone by, but I feel such a closeness with these girls that I can’t describe.
The last few years, I’ve spent time letting go of what hasn’t served me, but I really needed to be let go of these stories.
We’ve all grown and changed. I did plenty of things I wasn’t proud of back then, and I was still trying to understand what it meant to be authentic and a true friend.
We all were.
This might be one of the only pictures Janessa and I have together from Middle School.
In fact, everything that I was holding onto was probably all my fault.
I knowingly moved forward on bad decisions. I continuously hung out with people that hurt me. I was so timid and shy, yet wanted so bad to be noticed that I had a hard time saying no to anything.
So, let this post be a reminder to really let go. If you’ve been holding onto anger from old old memories, let those dissolve just like your old self. You can’t erase the past, but you can learn from it.
Let go by forgiving and loving rather than holding a place of anger inside of you.
When you notice yourself judging, or pushing people away for whatever reason, try to find a way to turn that energy into love, gratitude, and compassion.
The last time I hung out with Janessa was right after I started college. I came home for a weekend, and we went out to dinner. It wasn’t a late night of drinking, but just laughing, catching up, and hanging out.
For some reason I didn’t think she’d like the music I was into. We were in my car, and I played Ani DiFranco for her. I kept saying, “I like lots of folky girl music,” and she said, “Hey, I just saw Jewel, and it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to.” I have no idea why I felt like I had to defend or downplay the music I liked!
After that, Janessa and I weren’t in touch for a long time, but then reunited again on Facebook. We hadn’t seen each other in person for many years.
Even though I wish we would have hung out more, I am glad that our last encounter was full of laughter and good conversation. I’ll always remember Janessa’s vibrant personality that lit up every room like a ray of sunshine, and always thank her for teaching me how to let go.
To Folky Girl Music & Good Friends & Sunshine,