I have been blessed in my life. I have had the chance to discover different people from all over the world and to become friends with those people, for however long we had. I have also lost more than a few, as we all have, due to moves or school or work changes or unfortunately, death. Through the wonders of social media I have rediscovered many of them, and found out along the way that we both thought of one another for all that time in between. We didn’t feel a huge loss at the time, or maybe we did and kept going, but we always understood that loss was part of life, and that was okay. Whatever the outcome, these individuals are links to the history of me, the good times and bad, and all of the lessons that made us who we are today. They are invaluable pieces of my life and I love them each in their own way.
About 6 years ago I was at the beginning of my process of self-discovery and as part of that I began a job at Harley Davidson. Although I did not stay with the company, I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity to meet the biker community – an amazing, dynamic and free-spirited bunch the likes of which, in my opinion, cannot be equaled. They are the kind of people you would never take from without asking, but who would give you the shirt off their backs without thinking. Within a year and a half, complete strangers converted me into a lover of ‘the wind’ and the lifestyle. Many of them became riding buddies after I bought my Harley, but my outward style still did not yet reflect the wild spirit I had brewing inside, and I could feel it longing to get out.
In she walked one day. That friend – if you’ve met him or her in your own travels you’re lucky. This is not your ‘bestie’ necessarily. This is the person in your life who blows in like a storm, reaches into you like they were born to do it and pulls the best parts of you to the surface. They wear their soul like its their skin, and they are contagious – not just to you but to everyone they encounter… and there she was. I admit, for a while I had no idea what to do so I followed her lead, but eventually I learned how to let myself out. We were inseparable, and through thick and thin we laughed and drank and rode hard through life. This person who radiated freedom and soul and fearlessness was sitting next to me and thought that I was pretty great too. We were unstoppable.
And I loved her. And I miss her every day.
She and I endured moving in together and moving out again. We endured several failed relationships on both our parts. We endured jealousy and competition, financial hardship, distance and more than a few disagreements regarding each of our life choices. Our friendship even endured more than enough drunkenness, some really bad dancing, an unexpected game of bumper cars and a bar fight or two. We survived all of the obstacles life handed to us, but whatever the reasons the day came that a misunderstanding was not followed by forgiveness, and I lost her. Just like that. I have apologized. I have made space. I have asked mutual friends for help, but she has made her decision. I still cannot come to terms with it; the one who has moved all over the world; the one who is never attached to anything or anyone. Even when she is not in my thoughts, she is in my dreams more often that you’d imagine. She left as quickly as she came, my own personal tornado, and she changed my life immeasurably. As heartbroken as I am I hope she knows I love her and I can never repay the privilege of those years we shared as friends.