Thursday, July 5, 2012

People and Stories

I don't deal well with change. In fact, I'm sure most people have difficulty adapting to something different. For some that means moving or switching to a new job. Maybe its transferring schools or letting go of a habit. In my life, the majority of changes have meant friends moving away. Many of the poems or songs I've written deal with goodbye in some form.

In first grade, my best friend Joel moved away. I still remember hugging him and crying on the last day of school. A few friends left in the following years, but fifth grade proved to be our class's largest population. For the first and only time, the males outnumbered the females. This was a grand happening in our class's history because it never happened again. Michael, Tommy, Casey, and Nathan all left. Nathan stayed around town and was home schooled for awhile before moving to South Carolina in 8th grade. That goodbye was one of the suckiest.

All during grade school, despite my losing friends, there always seemed to be new people that entered my life to help me along. But by the time 7th grade rolled around, I found myself best friends with Thomas who I hadn't even liked that much in our younger days. Nevertheless, we clicked. We also turned to our female friends to fill the void of male presence. Since we'd known some of them for a long time, they were basically guys to us anyways. We also had a Peruvian named Johan join us for awhile. In my 8th grade year, we combined classrooms with the the 7th graders. This allowed for me to connect with more people and broaden my friend horizon. My freshman year separated me from the new 8th graders, but we gained Davis and Trevor who became close friends of mine. In time, Davis left.

Larissa came to CVA my Junior year, and I was just acquaintances with her. She hung out with several people who I was friends with and at some point she ended up at my house cooking eggs and potatoes with me in the middle of the afternoon. I like food... But she loves food... Almost to the point of going to buffets by herself...... Maybe that's a stretch, but regardless, we collaborated on a culinary creation and it was delicious. The next day she left to go back to Brazil for awhile. I remember that hitting me for some reason and bringing me to unexpected tears. Those few droplets of rain out of my clouded mind didn't make sense, and yet they were there. Long after that incident, we did become legitimate friends. Close enough even, that when she left another time, I wrote the song "Dear Sister". The lyrics are on my blog.

At some point in high school I had a girlfriend who -- like Voldemort *gasp*, shan't be named -- I dated long distance for awhile. Any time either of us would visit, the goodbyes were always difficult. Until they weren't. There came a time I was happy to see her leave. Then we broke up. Oops. But, winning.

So aside from the ex-girlfriend anomaly, farewells have put me through the ringer, mentally and emotionally. I've been asked if I have abandonment issues, but I don't think that's the problem. Perhaps its making a big deal out of a regular situation. This year when Alex and Sam left for their respected destinations, it was the same ordeal over again, except for two people at once. I thought Larissa was leaving too, and so I wrote "Destined for Departure" which is on my blog. However, before they left I realized something. When a person exits your life, even for awhile, things change. Everything shifts. It can be like a complete restructuring, a renovation.

When Joel left back in 1st grade, I didn't know what I'd do without my best friend. Who would I trade Pokemon cards with or play on the playground with? Other times when friends would leave, it wasn't nearly as emotional because they weren't as involved in my life. They were important, not intricate. That was why when Nathan left for South Carolina, I became depressed. The two of us had built up plans and goals to reach in movie making. We wrote scripts, filmed stop motion, and brainstormed for hours. In my mind, there was a future and purpose to be fulfilled with our team work. His moving away was like the rug being pulled out from under me at the time. Similarly, at least a month before high school graduation, I'd already begun the grieving process. In my mind, I couldn't see a world beyond CVA life: wrestling in the hallway, building couch sleds, doing little to no homework, and having fun all the time. Michael had been thinking about our class graduating and how his class would be left behind. We'd start talking about how much it'll suck, then we'd get sad and start cussing at each other to forget about the topic. That inspired the song "Bittersweetish", which can be found on my blog as well. The event that was supposed to be a high point didn't feel good at all. I was being forced to write the endnotes on a full four-year long chapter of life. I was venturing into the real world.

If there's one thing I've discovered in the past year or so, its that life moves on, whether you really want to or not. I didn't wanna leave high school, but now I'm in college. I never thought I'd work at McDonald's, but I did for nine months. I used to think life would just end somehow if things changed too much, but it doesn't.

Its like losing a favorite Lego character or piece. The adventures just can't be the same. You aren't able to make the story you think you should, because they were vital to its creation. After awhile of frustration, you begin to see that you can still tell stories with different characters, different pieces. Those first few stories are good ones. Then there comes a point where you realize you're already writing on new pages of the same book as the old stories. One day, these new stories will be the old ones, and the old ones will be fond ancient memory gems. Sometimes you find the old pieces you'd been missing. It might be three months. It might be two whole years. But then you can begin telling brand new stories all over again, almost like they never left.


P.S. Thank you for bearing with me in my blogging drought. It has been nice to have a break, but I'm ready to get back into it and give you guys some great content I hope. I appreciate your fandom and reading :)

"Dear Sister":
"Destined for Departure":


  1. It was the "suckiest" for Nathan to move away as well. He still misses that close friendship. Good writing...keep it up.

  2. I really enjoyed your walk down memory lane, Josh. I have fond memories of my days at HH and CVA, and it was nice to just hear the names and try to put a face to each of them. Like you, I've had to face a lot of good-byes and seen a lot of life changes.

    All I can say is, you will survive them. They make you grow.

    Your former librarian,
    Ms. Thompson

  3. Glad you are back at it. I have missed reading your posts.

  4. ohh how i miss you..

    -Samuli Martti Kalevi Huotari