Growing Pains — And Not Even the Kind With Alan Thicke

small__2784224532Is it in your head yet? Show me that smile again… Don’t waste another minute on your crying… (As a kid, I always legitimately thought Alan Thicke was singing that. It’s really just the guy who sang “Rain Drops Keep Falling on my Head” though.)

So I did a horrible job titling this post because Growing Pains isn’t actually even the TV show I’d like to discuss here. I have at least four other things I should be writing right now, but something I read earlier hit me with a sucker punch, and I’ve been mulling over it ever since then. Seemed like I should come here to mull, clear it out, and then get on with my other writing. What I actually want to talk about is Friends (the people and the TV show).

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A Living Suicide

When someone dies, we mourn for the life lost, sure, but more for ourselves.

For our loss.

We inherently understand that we’ll never see that person again. We’ll never talk to them, joke with them, hear them laugh or see them smile. We’ll never have the chance to be there for them again when they need us.

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Reach Out and Spurn Someone

I’ve read a number of blogs lately with the theme of not being afraid to reach out when you need someone. These posts typically include lines like, “We may have never met, but if you feel like you’ve got no where else to go, please talk to me” or “I’m always here.” Pretty standard stuff.

This is, I assume, at least in part because the social media circles with which I have affiliated myself over the past year have seen a number of suicides recently, which has everyone shaken up. Oddly enough, this is the second community I’ve belonged to in the past year that has seen an unusually high number of suicides. The town where I live saw three of them in 6 months — all teenagers. The students rallied for some kind of support group. The administration largely ignored them.

Imagine that. One group of people reaches out for another, and is promptly bitten in the hand.

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Goodbye, Borders. Godspeed.

When I read the news that Borders would be closing its doors for good, I cried. Not sobbing uncontrollably, but my eyes filled with tears. That might seem like a bit of a strong reaction, but I think it might be more about what this symbolizes. Sometimes I really fear for literacy, and I mean that.

You also never realize how much something meant to you until it’s gone.

Growing up in the middle of nowhere, we didn’t have trendy bookshops. We didn’t have large retail chains like Barnes & Noble, although on special occasions we’d visit the one an hour away. No, we had a shopping center with a small retailer called The Book Store that was hit or miss, and we had a shopping mall with a Waldenbooks, a subsidiary of Borders. So many of my best childhood memories involve books and begging my parents to take me to buy them. It follows, then, that this bookstore in particular has brought me much joy in my life.

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Friendship is a Six-Lane Highway [*Free-written]

I know, I know. I need to stop with the thinking and get back to writing about writing – and I will. Next week. Promise. In the meantime, you can (and should) view this post as a writing exercise. It’s basically totally free-written, which means that it’s raw and I’m writing what I think as it comes out and not really editing much. It’s all a thought to get down.

Next, I want to preface this post by saying that I have a lot of really great friends and, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m proud of them and I kind of like to brag about them when they do awesome things (or even when they don’t). This drives people crazy (a lot of things I do drive people crazy), but if you are my friend and you’re good to me, I will be one of the most loyal friends you have, doing whatever I can to help you out.

My last post generated quite a bit of traffic and resulted in several conversations regarding Facebook friends – deleting them, blocking them, ignoring them. I started thinking about how much I absolutely hate to lose friends and how I work hard at keeping my friendships. If I grow apart from some people, particularly those I never see (it’s inevitable), I feel okay, as long as I still talk to them sometimes and still consider them a friend. I’m obviously not going to be really close to everyone, but even with those friends with whom I don’t hang out very often (“often” to me these days is 4-5 times a year or more), I try to at least keep in touch periodically. I send a text or leave a Facebook comment to say hello or something just to let them know I haven’t forgotten about them. Last night I was thinking about the old saying “Friendship is a two-way street,” and while I agree, I started thinking beyond that. I think friendship is a six-lane highway. Continue reading