I feel that there is a telling letter that I wrote to a long lost friend that found me on facebook the other day. I wanted to share the letter with you, my diary and my readers.
I'm sorry about the passing of your dad, and I'm sorry about what you and your mom are now going through; I remember them quite well. If I had the ability, I would drive over there just to say hello even knowing I wouldn't be recognized.
I don't think my life has been difficult with things I couldn't handle, nor do I think there was much hardship in terms of tragedies, just one thing after another that I had to muster strength to overcome, and the problems appeared to pass with time, each one on its own. Since you know me before anything happened, I'm sure we have a lot to talk about, just as I'm sure there's a lot to discuss with your experiences. On the career and reaching for your dreams front, with hindsight my experience was that pretty much every time I reached for something, I was struck down, as if G-d was pushing me away from achievements that weren't meant to be mine. But that doesn't mean life wasn't full of its interesting experiences. One for example was that the work we did together led to me having starring roles at The Opera House [obviously I changed the name for privacy purposes], an experience that led to others and almost being in a movie (the name of which escapes me). But for whatever reason, that whole life fizzled out, partly around the time my parents divorced. Then started the struggles with school, trying to get good grades but only achieving mediocre grades, getting into second-class colleges, etc. which brings me where I am today which to some is really far from where I was, but in my estimations definitely far away from where I hoped I would be. I really don't care what people think about my life (even though my wife says everyone thinks it is perfect); there is a deep discontinuity between the life I live today based on the decisions I made over the years and the life I saw for myself when I was younger. I try not to think about that much because it only causes regret and I try not to dwell on negative things because they hurt too much.
But I am grateful for my family which is more of a gift than an achievement. Interestingly enough, while I have a billion acquaintances and one or two best friends (one is in Iraq and the other I don't speak much with as much as I would like), my wife says that she thinks it is funny that after all I've been through, my friendships are for the most part shallow. Obviously you could dispute that because you are one of many people I will have deep friendships with forever regardless of whether we got back in touch today or twenty years from now. Same with Bill, Joanne, and many other people from camp, college, yeshiva and beyond. I guess what I am sharing is that despite all the things I've accomplished, in sharing my history since you knew me, people and friends have come and gone and I never took the time to develop meaningful and lasting friendships with any of them (and I ended up even burning bridges with most of them as I moved onto the next chapter of my life) which has left me today without people I can call friends who have anything to do with the daily runnings of our lives. That's just an interesting side effect of my life, and something I need to figure out and fix over the coming months and years.
So you live in [blanked out location and state], eh? ...the farthest train stop and the only place in the world people don't visit or pass through on a daily basis during their daily commutes. How in the WORLD did you end up there? (That being said, I considered moving there in 2005 because I wanted to seclude myself from society and create a life where I determine the outcome of it rather than needing to go along with the rat race that forces my hand at every turn -- you could see I wasn't successful in that task.)
By the way, I think I made a mistake just now and I was referring to [blank], not [blank], although you ARE pretty far out there. Anyway, I am hours away from you, but we are not tied here and in fact, I am literally one thread away from being fired from my attorney job here because there is not enough work and so in order to fill my days, I need to work longer on the projects I have which is affecting my efficiency and thus I am always days or weeks away from being fired. That being said, my wife and I are considering moving to your state so that I can finish an electrical engineering degree I've been working on, or California which is where my wife's family is from -- that is the more likely option since her parents are there and they would make eager and enthusiastic grandparents, something we could really use.