I'd been storing it in my gift wrap container for safety's sake..but that was a fail. Parts of the glossy paper had become stuck to others, and it tore as I unrolled it, leaving my image intact but destroying the areas around me.
"Well, I guess that's the Universe telling me to let it go." And I threw it away.
It had been a gift from a fellow actor at a past haunt job. He was a good friend; the poster, a sweet gesture; and while I've purged most of the things from those years of my life, this was one item I'd wanted to keep.
But it made me think about the things we cling to - the physical mementos, the 'wish I'd done that better,' the sadness of lost relationships.
I spent a pretty wonderful span of five days with Bones' family last week, watching how a functional family operates. Part of that was watching how the mix of cousins interact with each other; that, in turn, made me think about my own childhood and lapsed relationships.
I grew up with cousins-by-marriage, older than all of them by a few years, and - as far back as I can remember - never really feeling like I was allowed to view them as family. I didn't know how I fit in, and I wasn't given much of a cluestick to help me figure it out. I loved them, and I appreciate all the good memories, but when I moved out of my father's house at 17, I lost contact with all of them. I searched for years online and couldn't find them. They're some of the reasons I've striven to make myself fairly easy to find online if you really want to do so. I've spent over 20 years hoping that someone would reach out. Now, they're on the Book of Face, and I've sent friend requests...and then canceled them after a few weeks. Because although hope springs eternal..well, 20+ years is a long time to hope. They know where I am. Maybe someday they'll reach back. I do have contact now with blood-relative-cousins, and that's not without its own bit of awkward. We don't share a past, though we do share touchstones of family names. In the end, it's the family connection I longed for as a child, and that means more than I ever articulate.
I watched a pack of cousins play and talk and laugh together this past week. What a precious gift they share!
I watched, and I was tempted - so, so tempted - to write a letter to my three step-cousins.
But..ya know? 20+ years, man. None of us are the kids that played in the back room of Grace's house, or explored the field behind her home. We're all halfway through our adult lives.
I half-wrote that letter in my mind, and then I thought about that destroyed snapshot-poster.
Love doesn't go away just because you aren't smacking someone over the head with it.
Riki, Philip, Sarah - I love y'all. I'm so glad you touched my childhood. I wish I'd had the tools to do things better. I hope Life has had more joy than anything else. Part of me will keep on hoping, because that's who I am, but that letter's going to stay half-written in my mind, and that door in my life will stay cracked open just a touch, but one of the biggest things I've been learning is how to let things go. Because there isn't much joy in angst, and my trying to force a relationship just isn't good for anyone involved.
As obvious as it sounds, I think Life is less about fighting with what is to make it what you want and more about listening and enhancing what you have.
So this is me learning about letting go.
"Drama Free Thursday" is the brainchild of popfiend - visit here for all of his yeah-you-should-read-'em posts.
I'm doing one off schedule because it's been months since I've done one at all, so - la! - you get a surprise DFT. :)
The goal of DRAMA FREE THURSDAY is pretty simple: These are posts that offer a different approach to stressful situations. Drama happens when we react without thinking, when we respond emotionally to a situation.
So! The first rule of DFT is - say it with me - "Your Mileage May Vary." What works for me may not work for you. And that's ok.
Second rule of DFT: YMMV. :)
Third rule of DFT: Discussion good. Drama? Not so good. Let's try to avoid it in the comments. Tell me you don't agree, tell me what the world looks like from your perspective, because I can guarantee you're gonna have something to say that I hadn't considered. This blogger's soapbox is only an inch or so high...so please, share your thoughts and perspectives on whatever is posted here. (That rule goes for my LJ in general, of course, but it makes sense to repeat it here.)