Today started like any other day.
The cat temporarily lost her mind and began fussing at the crack of dawn. Muttering under her breath, she squeezed herself between my body and the edge of the bed. As usual, I could feel her curious green eyes boring holes through my head. I opened my left eye ever so slightly. Sure enough, her sweet little face was a mere inch or two away from my nose. She was watching my unmoving face, praying that her presence would be enough to wake me.
Is she awake? I hope she’s awake. I think she should be awake. I want her to be awake. Now.
In an act of self-preservation, I shielded my face with my arm. Right on cue, she pawed at my bare forearm and mewed. I pretended to be asleep, but when she continued to bat at various body parts, I had to maneuver in order to avoid losing an eye… or two. Her nails pricked me several times, so with great regret, I greeted her with a friendly pat on her head. Of course, I had blown my cover, so it was then mandatory for me to get up and let her out of the bedroom.
It is hard to know what sorts of pressing matters my cat has to tend to so early each morning. She’s certainly not heading to work; I’ve been demanding rent since I first met her. Perhaps she runs downstairs to eat dry kibbles, or perhaps she rushes to relieve a full bladder. I really wouldn’t know what is so urgent that it merits me being half mauled to death. I wouldn’t know because it’s too early, and I’m usually too tired to care.
Like any other day, I closed the bedroom door and slowly shuffled to the bathroom. Eyes half shut, I reminded myself of the ignorance of drinking coffee right before bed. Careful not to fall into the toilet in a groggy stupor, I got up, flushed, and washed my hands with my favorite Castile soap. I didn’t turn the bathroom light off because I hadn’t bothered to turn it on in the first place.
Half comatose and yearning for the blissful clouds of my bed, I crawled back under the safe, cool layers of white bedding. For the record, I have THE most comfortable bed ever. The problem is that it is too comfortable; I could easily stay there forever. But despite my bed’s welcoming allure, I rarely fall asleep once woken up. This being said, I am always quick to succumb to the call of my day’s to-do list. The first matter of business? Get caught up on the happenings of the previous night.
This is the part of my morning routine that I enjoy most. I check game notifications. I peruse recent video uploads. Leafing through my emails briefs me on retail sales I want to take advantage of, but won’t because I’m trying to “save money”. If I’m lucky, my favorite bloggers will enchant me with a humorous or insightful post. A daily devotional or two will help to encourage and inspire me (providing I haven’t already read them before going to bed).
Last, but not least, I always end my morning rounds with the top stories of my newsfeed. I skim the headlines, automatically ignoring anything about Trump, politics, violence or other general buffoonery. I might read two or three articles just to keep myself abreast of what’s going on in the world. Once I am satisfied that a zombie apocalypse hasn’t broken out overnight, I typically throw my tablet aside, leap out of bed and get dressed for the day. Yes, this is what I typically do. However, this isn’t what I did today.
When I swiped the screen to check out the morning’s news, I was stopped in my tracks. Something was highlighted at the top of my screen under the calendar header. Well, this surprised me. I mean, I never bother adding things to my tablet’s calendar because I know seeing a list there won’t make me procrastinate any less. I rubbed my eyes and squinted at the ridiculously small print. My stomach dropped as the words came into full view. It was a reminder for my best friend’s 32nd birthday. Excuse me… my former best friend.
This was the first time in over fifteen years that I have failed to wish her a very happy birthday.
It felt very odd and discomfiting.
In the past, today would have been a day of celebration. I probably would have surprised her by driving out to California. More likely, we would have met up somewhere for a joint birthday trip (we are a week apart). Even if we couldn’t get together, I would have at least sent her a wildly decorated package full of unusual gifts.
Today also would have been a day worth getting up early for. I would have rushed to be the first person to send her a birthday text, making sure to fill it with far too many confetti, presents, hearts and dancing lady emojis.
Though we have had estrangements in the past, I never thought I would see the day that we truly stopped being friends. Although we haven’t spoken in several months now, my failure to acknowledge her special day makes everything heartbreakingly real. I no longer have a best friend.
I struggled for the first few hours of my day, wondering if I should send her a text anyway.
In the end, I didn’t.
The truth of the matter is that she made her choices. I, in response, had to make mine. This is one of them.
I so often preach about people loving and respecting themselves. Well, part of that comes in the form of maintaining very clear boundaries with those we associate with. Others can only treat you in the manner you permit them to, so we have to be our own best advocate where this is concerned.
We all deserve friends who support us and treat us well. If you have a friend who gossips about you, routinely treats you poorly or can never be found when you need them most, this person isn’t your friend at all. What you have is an individual who needs to learn what a true friend is… someone who should probably exit your life until they can properly put this into practice.
I know that I am no different than anyone else. I deserve to have people in my life who understand what real friendship is. This is why I chose not to text her. Though this is a girl I once viewed as a member of my family, things change. People change. I’m just sorry that we weren’t exempt from this fact of life.
It’s okay though. I’m willing to be patient and keep faith that things won’t always be this way. One day, there will be other friends. Other birthdays. Other emoji-filled texts. Other ribbon adorned presents and other birthday trips. Other days worth celebrating with a happy heart. Other days spent smiling with people I feel blessed to have in my life.
But for now, today was just like any other day.
Happy Birthday, old friend. ❤
Do any of you have a particular day of the year that saddens you because you’re reminded of a certain person or past event?
I’d love to hear about your experiences and learn what you do to help yourself feel better, so please share your story or comment down below.
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