Things always work out. Every single time you think they aren't going to, that this, this will be the time that something doesn't turn out, that it's bad, and sad, and undeniably unfixable, and you're going to die--it always works out, even if it takes a while. If you believe it will work out, it will. Things work out. Every time you go through some kind of situation that you think won't turn out well, it does, somehow. I know some of you are shaking your heads already, maybe even clicking dramatically out of this window, off to be bitter, because you think I'm wrong and you're even more dramatic than I am, which is a feat. I congratulate you. But I'm not wrong. And I'm not saying that things work out the way you want them to, either. I'm just saying that they work out. Even if it's in a way you always thought you wouldn't be able to bear, it does work out. You do bear it, though. You have to. And it's often a hundred times better than the way it would have been had it turned out the way you wanted it to at first.
Sometimes it takes years for things to be OK. Sometimes it goes up and down over the time period that it's becoming OK, and is OK sometimes, and then bad again, and back and forth, before it levels out. I've only had a couple of experiences that took more than a year to become OK, because, after all, I'm only twenty, and there haven't been many spans of anything over any large amount of time for me yet, besides School and Church. I'm sure many will come. I haven't had any kind of situation really truly fail yet. Everything bad that happens has had something better to come along and remedy it almost immediately for me, or, the badness has turned good and sweet and better than before after a while. Nothing has happened that has cemented itself into being irreversibly bad. Everything turns out, and while some things haven't turned out yet, I know they will.
Someone I loved very much more than anyone else I ever had at the very young age of seventeen came zillions of miles to visit me this past week.
OK, in reality, they came to visit their family. But I was here too. I haven't seen them since last year for a week's time, and before that, I didn't see them for two years. When they opened the door on the first day they were here, my eyes welled up with tears and I fell into their long sinewy arms and breathed with my lungs again and another one of those little strings fell again from around my heart. Automatically. Effortlessly. One of the last ones, too.
You can go through so much with people, hate them, have them hate you back, say amazingly nasty things about each other. You can be terribly in love and end it in a two-minute phone conversation or other form of unemotionally cruel communication without explanation or understanding or a chance and feel like regretting that for the rest of your life. You can ruin friendships for each other and stop talking for years and be vindictive and awful and childish. You can fight over people and try to get as many on your side as you can, you can make up stories (guilty!) and act like big babies and use other people to get back at each other. You can cling to the badness stubbornly, refusing to see the good, and torture yourselves about it and cry without moving forward. With some people, this happens, and you do end up hating each other forever, or pining, or something pathetic like that, because one or both of you is too damned selfish to stop and try to work on it for a second. You never talk again and it's awkward and miserable, not to mention, extremely childish. But you don't want those relationships anyways. Phooey to those relationships.
BECAUSE if you've made a real, caring, mature-as-you-could-be, loving, unselfish emotional connection with someone in your life, at any point, and you've really given everything you can, both of you, and you really care more for each other than for yourselves, the bond doesn't go away. Ever. At least, not in my experience. Forgiveness is the easiest thing in the world. After five years of friendship, you can meet again and take care of each other and spend precious time together, you can sit in a beanbag and watch a movie and suddenly none of those awful things ever happened. You can wake sleepily up from a nap to find your visiting half, who probably thinks you're still asleep, carefully rearranging your blanket around both of you and spooning up against your back. You can smilingly recognize the other person's soft snoring, their strange mannerisms, you can drive in the car through a tunnel up the canyon and make a ridiculously hopeful wish when you hold your breath in the tunnel, and get lovingly annoyed at this person who STILL knows EVERY WORD to EVERY SONG and points out their SEVEN FAVORITE PARTS in each stanza of the seventeen-track CD they burned for this specific car trip.
They're such brilliance, these relationships you have with people. They're brilliance because they never change. While addresses may be different, zillions of miles apart, while you both may have changed priorities, goals, beliefs, personalities, political views, spiritual understandings, while you may have nothing in common anymore, your friendship continues, eternally precious, because of the love you have for each other.
Junior prom, circa 2006
Thanks to Allie for finding this picture
Thanks to Allie for finding this picture