Last night I had a dream about an old and dear friend. We were two peas in a pod for a lot of years. Early in our friendship she was there for me when no one else was. Whatever came our way, whatever separated us-whether boys or miles-we were committed to one another. So last night I dreamed I traveled to visit her and when I arrived she looked at me as though I was dead to her. Life and relationships present their ebbs and flows and I think it’s safe to say she and I have been experiencing an ebb for some time now. I miss her so much. I miss what we were before we became grown ups…before religion and politics reared their ugly heads.
That’s what the ebb is all about you see. When you are kids no one talks about the democrats and republicans or what the bible has to say about homosexuality. When you’re young you share your hopes and dreams, which are always the same. You cheer each other on in the search for love and success. You provide shoulders to cry on when the world breaks your hearts. Most of all you laugh…and laugh…and laugh.
When you’re young you can philosophize and dream together without judgment. I know I had questions as a teen. I know religion didn’t sit well with me. I know that I cared about who was president and what the big issues were. Yet, I don’t remember losing or gaining any friends because of that.
As an adult I’ve found that my political and spiritual beliefs are core to who I am, or at least to the me that reflects out into the world. And I’ve also found that my beliefs don’t mesh with those of friends that I so freely shared my desires and dreams with as a teen and young adult. In ways I could blame Facebook because it has given us a platform to announce our true values and let’s us hide behind the computer screen and not see the reactions of our friends. And for me I have this blog, a place where I write about stuff that I don’t typically share in conversation.
Sometimes I think that my honesty about politics and religion has significantly altered some of my relationships. I feel certain that some think I have changed or abandoned some beliefs I had at one time. The truth is I can go pull out my journal from high school creative writing class and find entries about my support for gays in the military, the right to choose for women, and policies that support public schools. I can also find poems and essays on the hypocrisy I witnessed in the religious people around me. I actually haven’t changed that much at all, it just may be that Coach Walker (my creative writing teacher) was the only one who really knew me back then or maybe as teens we were smart enough to realize we all just wanted the same things.