Making Private Things Public

Do you remember a week or two ago when I talked about my decidedly poor reaction to something good happening to a good friend? Fast-forward to the present, where that story is on the internet for anyone to read, including another friend who had something good happen to him and had to watch my probably sad version of "congratulations" when he told me. He handled it kindly, of course, but me knowing he's aware of that post (as far as I know, he's a regular reader) added a new level of guilt to the whole experience this time around. Because when you already know you're responding like a jerk, and then you know that someone else knows you're responding like a jerk, it doesn't actually make you feel any less jerk-like. You're just a visible jerk. A jerk that people can point to and say "hey, that's a jerk."

So let me say this, because it's worth saying. I'm happy that you get to follow your dreams across the country. That's it. No clauses, no conditions. Anything else I'm feeling is mine and not yours to deal with. I'm sorry I didn't respond that way, the way I should have, right away.

I prided myself when I was younger on being unreadable. You couldn't make me break my straight face with a smile unless I wanted you to. I was stupid then, but that's not the point. The point is that this writing I do has made me soften. Real friends, good friends, made me soften. Even love, as hard as it's tended to be, has softened me.

I wish I was good enough to only smile when you tell me good news that feels bad to me. I wish your good news didn't feel bad to me to begin with. But it's because of having friends like you close that I'm able to sense what it'll feel like when you're not.