I want to talk about friends. I mentioned in my last post that friends are not something I take for granted and I wanted to reiterate that fact. The reason being, I ran into an old friend at the Milwaukee Public Market this past week and I didn't quite know how to react. I think because she's an old college friend and I'm so removed from that time.
So much has happened since then, for me and for her, I'm sure. It was a quick encounter, but I keep running through it in my head because there was a time when our lives ran parallel and now they couldn't be more different. I'm sure that's true for most people after not seeing someone for an extended period of time, but this is one of the rare times this has happened to me, and it inspired me to write.
As I've mentioned before, I spend a lot of time at home in our apartment. I'm fairly disengaged from a lot of the things people find themselves doing in their normal lives. The awkward feeling I had when I ran into my old classmate is really a self-conscious feeling.
I've become far more aware of my faults and any confidence that I had in any area has been greatly deminished. I've lost then gained 50 pounds, I've held then lost three jobs as a designer and one as a photographer... I think anyone would feel this sense of "loss" if this had happened to them, but the thing that ties it all together for me is, obviously, Epilepsy.
The notion that I could have a seizure in public at any time really dampens my willingness to really get out there and take risks. By, risks, I mean socialize, attend events, meet with old friends, and not get all clammy when I run into an old acquaintance. I've had seizures in public before, I know I can't live my life in fear, but I also have to respect the fact that seizures are never convenient.
I have an old fortune cookie message posted on my fridge that reads, "It is during difficult time that true friends become apparent." My readers are not just acquaintances to me. I'm opening up to you the way a lot of people wouldn't even open up to a loved one. I know that by writing, I'm taking a risk. This is us having coffee in a crowded restaurant. This is us at a gallery opening, or concert. This is us running into each other at a public market.
I'm in my pajamas, in front of my computer in a quiet apartment. You could be anywhere you'd like. But, by reading this, we're together. By reading this, you know me.