Right now I am sitting at my friend Noah’s house where he and my friend Cheyne live. I’ve been here for a few hours now, just hanging out. They are both leaving for Rwanda tomorrow. (Our other friend Jordan is going with them, and they are going to visit our other friend AJ who has been in Rwanda for almost 2 years in the Peace Core) I wouldn’t say I have been helping them pack, because I’ve really been more distracting. Plus they were both almost finished packing already.
And now Cheyne is preparing to cut Noah’s hair with clippers.
I know, I usually don’t write my posts by describing what I am actually doing, this minute. But what my friends are doing right now is actually more interesting than what I am doing.
Anyway, it’s Independence Day, and I am glad I’m not doing anything “special”. I don’t need to set off fireworks or drink beer in order to prove that I am proud of my country. And while I am grateful for all of the privilege that living in a 1st world country provides for me, there is a part of me that would rather live in Canada, the UK, or somewhere else in Europe. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not one of those ultra-liberal America-Haters who take advantage of everything this country has to offer while constantly complaining about how terrible their lives are. I am proud of our country in a lot of ways, and I would really like to see our political system improve. And I know that will never happen if all of the young people give up and become apathetic or leave the country.
But enough political stuff.
I spent my morning doing some unpacking and a bit of clean-up. I didn’t quite finish settling in last night. So my morning routine was a little thrown off. But eventually I got back on track and did my Tai Chi and my other exercises and meditation… yeah, you regular readers already know what my daily routine is like.
Right now, I am struggling because a huge part of me wishes I could be going on this trip with my friends. There are five of us, all friends since our sophomore or junior year of high school, and all of them will be there but me. I know that it would have been impossible for me to go, and that, probably, even if it was possible, it wouldn’t be the best thing for me to do. Running around Africa in a questionably sanitary environment would probably be difficult for me. Besides the fact that I doubt I would be able to maintain my diet or my sobriety. There would be no set routine, and I would most likely lose all that I have gained over the past month.
The question I have to ask myself is: “so why do I still want to go?”
The answer is probably obvious to you. It’s because I feel left out. I feel like me not being there means that I am no longer one of the group. But that is, unfortunately, a little true. I may still be friends with Noah and Cheyne, but I am no longer as close with either of them as I used to be. During my drug use I distanced myself so much from everyone that I really was cut off from all social interaction, especially from those who truly care about me (which Cheyne and Noah do).
I am amazed and grateful that both Cheyne and Noah have stuck with me and continued to be my friends and to support me through everything. But it will be a while before I am able to really rebuild the friendship to the point it was even a year ago.
But no matter how long it takes I am determined to put in the effort that true friendship requires. Because, frankly, things have been a bit one sided for a while.
So, on this Independence Day, 2012, I want to propose a toast. So pick up whatever beverage you’re drinking right now, and if you don’t have one, go pour a glass of water for goodness sake, and raise your glass to freedom and friendship, and say “cheers” to the country that provides you many opportunities and the friends who stick with you through good times and bad.
Happy Fourth of July,