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“Something’s come over me, and I don’t know what to feel.”

There is a difference between loving someone and being in love with them just as there is a difference between sadness and depression. I was walking to my car last night when I met up with a friend of mine. We chatted for a while in the parking lot. It’s difficult to talk to him because English isn’t his first language and I don’t speak Spanish. Eventually I found out what his plans for the evening were and when I realized that he was going to Miller Park to clean up after the baseball game I felt very small and shabby since I myself was tired after working only one job late last night. I couldn’t imagine getting off of one job and going straight to another even though I had two or sometimes even three jobs at a time when I was in college.

I drove home thinking about that man and what he does. He cleans at the mall where I work and I noticed him primarily because he takes pride in himself and the things he does. He waves at me when I walk past and perhaps this is my imagination but it seems to me as if he makes an extra effort to make sure our storefront area is clean and the trash emptied regularly. He’s just one of the many friends I’ve made since I’ve started working. I tend to make friends easily but as I grow older I realize that there are levels of friends, friendship and very different levels of caring involved.

“I heard the sound of voices in the night. Spellbound, there was someone calling. I looked around. No one was in sight. Pulled down and I kept on falling.”

Saying goodbye to people who have been your friends is a very difficult thing to do. You wonder what you could have said and done differently. You wonder if it’s you or them and a part of you realizes that this is a very imperfect world and saying goodbye to people who are no longer investing in you is a sign of your own personal growth even as you reach for yet another tissue. I look back on the people I have treated poorly and now that I’m hurting it’s hard to believe that I was deliberately cruel to people that I loved and called friends.

“Maybe I just see what I want I want it to be.”

There are two sides to every story. Everyone has their own reality and their own perception. I put my own spin on things and events. My emotions run high and I tend to be overly dramatic. I’m not an easy person to live with. I’m demanding. I’m controlling. I’m emotionally needy and I’m critical. That’s something I’ve been working on just like I’ve been trying to stay away from the computer because I have an addictive personality and what I want to avoid are the extremes. I’m not the type of person who can have just one glass of Merlot or go online just to quick check my messages. I’m intense. I’m stubborn. I don’t listen to other people and their advice. I have to make my own mistakes and the pain that comes from ignoring well-intentioned people who love and care for me is my own.

“You are in every face I see.”

It’s hard to watch the couples walking down the street holding hands. Once upon a time I was the girl people were holding and kissing and smiling down at. There is a difference between desire and being desired but the line is a fine one and things seen through the blur of tears aren’t as sharp as things seen through eyes that are young and fresh and bright. No one has to celebrate their anniversary but it’s sad that people who have been married for years can’t set aside one night a year to celebrate each other and the love they share. I can’t afford to give my boss and her husband a night out for their anniversary but now that I work in the mall I can stop by and pick up a card for them because I think that it is the little things that count in life.

“Running through my memory.”

It’s funny how my mind wants to remember the good times. I can’t remember crying like this before. I’ve been sad but I’ve never cried for days at a time and I know that this too shall pass but in the meantime I feel battered, bruised and broken. I have a loving supportive family. They’re stuck with me but my friends choose to love and support me. I haven’t always treated either group the way that I should have but in times of crisis you find out who your real friends are and you find that the bonds of friendship are strengthened by teary evenings on the couch and getting up at four in the morning just to be with someone who is sad and can’t sleep.

“Do you remember me? So good, like we never parted.”

Time goes on and life goes on and there are always new people to meet and new places to see and there are old friends that you can reconnect with. I have a lot of casual friends. Friends I go to lunch with or go shopping with. I like those people but I need the kind of people who aren’t afraid to share their hearts and souls with me. Those are the people that I keep coming back to and when they leave or that friendship dissolves everyone loses.

Part of me can’t believe that I’m throwing away eleven years of marriage and more than fourteen years of friendship. I’m crying now but since I made the decision to leave things have been better and maybe a cooling off period will help both of us see some of the good the other person has in them. I know it won’t be easy but I believe that this is the right thing to do or I wouldn’t be doing it. I don’t want my children growing up in the kind of household I grew up in. I want them to be as healthy and as happy as possible and the cold tension and latent hostility they’ve been exposed to hasn’t been good for anyone. I took my girls shopping the other day and I’ve made more of an effort to spend some quality mother/daughter time with them because time is precious, it’s a gift and none of us knows how much of it we’ll be given to spend on this earth.

“Will we ever meet again?”

I believe in dreams and I believe that there is a time for everything. Maybe it won’t be today, it may not be tomorrow but I know that people can and do change because I myself have changed. I am a better and happier person for many reasons. Maybe you were part of that change and I’m not going to mourn the past because it’s built me into the person I am today and for today I can appreciate and love the good in myself. Happiness isn’t a new pair of sandals and dark red toe polish but going to the store with my daughter and having her help me choose some new things to wear was a day I’ll never forget. My children are a product of their environment and I never thought I’d be taking fashion advice from a seven year old but that’s the sort of thing that motherhood is built on and I want those memories for her as well as for myself.

“You can be who you want to be. On the street of dreams. I hear you calling me. On the street of dreams. I know you have always been. On the street of dreams.”

I don't know how all of this will turn out. Perhaps this is something I'll look back on and regret. I have to admit I'm scared of the future and what it holds for me and my family but I believe that life is a journey and this is one of those unexpected turns I've decided to take. I've made mistakes before. I know I'll make them again but as I walk down my street of dreams I realize that it’s not a trip I have to take by myself.

“This is my fantasy. Meet me, on the street of dreams.”

Currently, I'm sitting on the dirty, stained carpet in my living room. This is not because I enjoy sitting on a dirty stained carpet. Nor do I enjoy having a dirty stained carpet. But that's not what I'm here to talk about today.

The reason I'm sitting on the floor is because I'm sadly watching two sweaty guys move the living room furniture out. Today is moving day for my roommate, and it just so happens that she also owns all of our living room furniture.

My roommate moving out marks the end of many things.

Three years ago, we met. She was one of my assigned roommates in our dorm my Sophomore year. I thought she was a bit weird, mostly because she shook my hand when I met her. Apparently she thought I was weird, probably because I was wearing a skirt and 5 inch platform boots.

Perhaps it was the mutual love of Friends, which we watched on DVD constantly, or maybe it was the fact that I'd wake up next to her on our kitchen floor after we'd somehow separately pass out there after a night of collegiate level binge drinking. But after I watched her get robbed at machete point, it was undeniable that we were friends.

We continued to bond the following year after we both realized we hated our other two roommates in our next apartment. Every other day we would have to figure out a way to make living with "The Kellys" (Yes, they were both named Kelly) slightly less than terrible. We dreamed of the day we would move into a place for just the two of us. When we found it, we were thrilled. The price was good, the apartment was not disgusting or falling apart, and there would be no booty shaking whores in our living room at 3am on a Tuesday night. We hung out constantly outside of our terrible apartment. She became my best friend here, and when we moved into our current apartment, it was great.

A year ago we moved in. And now she's moving home. I feel so sad to see her leave. She helped me through some really difficult times. And she and I have had so much fun doing almost nothing. I understand that she has to, but it's not easy to accept the fact that I won't be seeing her every day anymore.

And sitting on the floor is gonna get real old, real fast.

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