I’m at an age now when I no longer believe in a lot of my younger idealistic notions. Life can be a cruel mistress and every hard lesson leaves a scar. Unfortunately I’m sometimes so naive and trusting that I have to be slapped down several times before I really “get” the lesson. And I’m really building up a lot of scar tissue.
For example, when a friend says to me, “I’ll always be here for you. You’re the sister I always wished for,” that doesn’t really mean she’ll really always be there for me. I’ve learned that, as wonderful as that sounds and feels and as much as I’d love to believe it, that same person can, without any warning, disappear from my life without a qualm. It hurts a lot, but it is a lesson learned…the hard way.
I also learned that when my baby sister said, “Don’t worry. I’ve got your back,” that didn’t mean she truly did. It meant that she had my back until her other sisters applied pressure, and then she threw me to the dogs. It was so easy for her to “forget” everything we had meant to each other, all the memories we shared. I didn’t think that was possible. I really didn’t! Lesson learned…again.
And then there were my “happy ever after” dreams, the ones in which I’d be surrounded by loved ones in my later years. They, too, got sidetracked, leaving me with no lover, no children, no family. It wasn’t supposed to be this way, but you can’t always control fate.
But that lesson cuts both ways. You can’t foretell the future. Thus, a man who used to be my boss at work retired and, over many, many years has become one of my best, most trusted friends. Another person I worked with but never knew that well, retired about the same time I did and ended up being the kind of cherished friend who has stood by me time and time again when I needed her the most. Another friend I had hurt in the past, forgave me immediately when I sought her out and came back into my life, bringing me much joy and laughter. And A feisty woman I moved next door to somehow magically morphed from being a neighbor into a dear friend.
So…lessons learned. And not all of them bad. But I guess the most important one is: You never really know what will happen next. I guess that’s what makes life an adventure.