"we can make you feel like everything that's gone wrong happened for a reason..."

All right, so it's been a year and a few days. That's okay.

As you may know, I teach writing to college students. One of the first things I tell them is to get the garbage that is clogging their heads out before attempting to write their essays. Lately, I've had a lot on my mind, so I hope you don't mind me sharing it with you. I promise, it's not really garbage, it's just been cluttering my brain and maybe it can save some of you years of guilt.
As we get close to the new year, I tend to look back at years past. Mostly, I like what I see when I look back, but there is one hiccup - a lost friendship - that often left me feeling sad and guilty.

I lost a friendship eight years ago because I needed to take a step back and take care of myself. The friendship had become too taxing on me and so I did what I needed to do. I'm sure many people have been in that situation, and I hope many friendships can survive; I know that many of my friends right now would have no problem with me needing some space for a while. It's taken until about an hour ago for me to realize that if that lost friend didn't want me to take care of myself, he wasn't really a friend at all. It sounds so simple when placed in the context of a small paragraph, but there has been so much anguish over this friendship in the past eight years.
I thought I was taking a step back from the friendship, and he thought I was walking away. Whatever it was, it was the best thing I could ever have done in my life. I found myself when I stepped away. I'm sure I could have done that and maintained my friendship, but it wasn't meant to be that way. I can now let go of that one last regret - if I hadn't taken those steps, I could not have become the person I am; my experiences since then would be just the littlest bit different, and that littlest bit could have meant a lot.

I hope that friend is happy and I hope he has let go of what came between us, as I am finally able to.

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope only good things come to you in 2010.