Even with the advent of Facebook, there are still old friends I cannot find. I cannot help wondering where close friends from my past in Japan have ventured off to? I want to tell them: you made such a big impact on my life. It might not matter that I have to tell them they rescued me at a certain crucial juncture in my childhood/teenage years. They might already be aware of their importance in the nirvana of life. However, I wish I could see them again.
I like to hold onto things: friendships, stories, facial expressions, difficult to describe emotions. I want to capture and replay the new moments, weird happenings, and shifts in reality that make one feel as if they were in a film and not in real life. Sometimes the light in my classroom will play with a student’s visage enough for me to get an eerie sense of deja vu.
Half of my life has been spent outside of a native English speaking country. I can’t help be convinced it has affected my grammar adversely; however, it has made certain moments more poignant and friendships resemble family. Family is called “the tie that binds” whereas I believe friendships can be the ties that give us a closer perspective on who we can be at different stages of our lives. Friends know us at his different intervals and can appreciate us in ways that sometimes family cannot, because they remember the “old” you and perhaps the old you wasn’t so clever, helpful, or kind.
I’ve also experienced the betrayal that comes from certain types of friendships and relationships that can wound as much or more than family. My students daily battle this out in ways only middle schoolers can as they try to find how they want to fit into the world and whether or not they want society to tell them who they ought to be.
At a point where I’m stuck in my house more often than I’d necessarily like to be, I’m thankful for friendships, phone calls, and the daily visits that come from those who love me. Gratitude cannot express the devotion I feel to those who accept me for who I am and who are also interested in making me a better person, writer and teacher.