Last night, I had an intensely emotional dream. The kind of dream where the feelings and the heartbreak stick with you long after waking and invade an otherwise perfectly pleasant day. Hours later, I feel so raw that tears are pooling in my eyes. And the subject matter and the fact that I feel so ridiculous that it could still have such an effect on me just make it hurt more.
I dreamed about people I used to work with. Between 2001 and 2003 I worked in retail. It was by far the most fun job I've ever held. I was young, and it was my equivalent to the experience a lot of people have in college. I made good friends, we hung out, I lived in a new place and did new things. I lived with Justin, but he traveled a lot for work, and during the time he was gone I spent a lot of time at work and with my co-workers. I met my best friend there. I worked on a team for a while with people I considered my closest friends. It was fun.
I got involved with people. The boy who lived in the same apartment complex as me. We talked at work, chatted online, went to movies together, carpooled, and had lunches and dinners together. I helped him through times he was sick - physically and in his heart. The girl who would eventually become his wife, who I talked to on the phone in the freezing cold for an hour during one of his ridiculous breakups with her. The boy who worked on my team with my best friend and I, with his volatile personality and inability to talk about his feelings. The boy with the long hair who I developed a huge, pre-wedding jitters crush on.
These were people who were very central to my life during that time. People who I deeply cared for, and apparently still do. But it became very clear upon time passing after none of us worked together anymore that I was more invested than any of them. I guess I'm not surprised, it's not as if I'd never found myself in that position before. I tend to give my whole heart to people, and for some reason keep expecting them to give theirs in return.
This dream last night involved some of these people. There was fighting, screaming, crying, and rushes of all of these feelings and my desire to know why? Why didn't they care about me? Why don't they think about me still? When I dream about these people, or other friends I've lost, the feelings are intense and real, and still very close. Why don't I matter to them?
As if the dreams are not bad enough, I find myself pulling the past back into my life. Why do I do it? Read old emails? Peruse their photos on Facebook, watch them together and wish I was there too? Maybe I am just kidding myself in thinking that we were so close. Maybe I was just in too different a place, not fun enough... Maybe it's out of sight, out of mind.
I open my old email account because I'm trying to figure out where the hell E-bay is sending my forgotten password emails. I sort through the hundreds of junk messages in my inbox, keeping only about 10.
And somehow, I just can't help opening the folders. My old emails, still there.
I read, because I can't seem to help myself. I am taken back to the times when I supported people through their own moments of emotion and feeling so unsure. They are there, in words, people I don't see. People I was once close with and no longer speak to. And it tugs at my heart.
I am an internet voyeur and Facebook lets me in to their lives just enough. Just enough to keep that longing alive. To wish I'd been invited to their weddings. To feel a pang of ridiculous jealousy when they message each other, but never me. When I see them planning to hang out.
I find myself feeling hurt and completely ridiculous all at once. What is the point of this longing? Even if we'd stayed in touch, these are people who are not married, or just getting married. I am like an old maid - I am a stay at home mom with two kids. I don't work anymore, and I don't have the freedom to go out whenever I want. It makes me feel like my feelings are even more irrelevant. Yet, their intensity remains.
Would it be easier just to cut myself off completely? I know from other ended friendships that I would still wonder. I know that cutting myself off that way would not end the longing, or the wondering, or the pieces of my heart that I've left behind with these people. But perhaps the past would pull a little less hard.
Do you have lost friendships that you still feel pulling on your heart? People who you no longer see who hold pieces of your heart? How do you deal with it?