I’m awake way too early, but I can tell writing/typing is becoming a habit because I’m awake. I had an idea and I’m not going to feel relief until it is properly taken care of [that and the random 29 views in the past five hours is rather…odd].
At the beginning of the month, I spoke about Jo and some adventures in her life. In fact, it’s to the point that Jo actually has her own ‘tag cloud’ along this site. However, I don’t think you, the read, have been properly introduced to this strange creature and why those two letters tend to float throughout this site.
Go figure; it all revolves around relationships.
In 2007, the winter period of college, I was in a rather…intense…relationship with an individual. I worked in the athletic department, she played athletics for the university, and it was my first ‘serious’ relationship, meaning that I also had never felt the pain of heartbreak. I got to experience this horrid sensation for the first time following Thanksgiving of that year. I got dumped [via text message], as a younger version of me, I was completely devastated. I mean, I was a mess. I lost a chunk of ‘mutual friends’, and suddenly I found myself completely alone on this campus. I had few friends, no hobbies, and had just lost a chunk of weight [I know, I know].
I went to Facebook. I started looking through my Facebook friends to see if I could actually form a real friendship with any of them [admit it, you do it too]. That’s when I came across this kid who played soccer for the college, her status I didn’t understand on Facebook because I didn’t recognize the language. I started to work on translating it [Google Translate, not that great in 2007], and it was talking about how this kid was homesick.
I met Jo.
I sent off a Facebook message just to kind of poke at why she was homesick, introduce myself, you know…all those random [creepy] things. Amazingly she actually replied to these message and a HUGE thread developed through Facebook messages. A few months later I walked into the Cat Snak [campus eatery] and saw this blonde haired woman, rocking out to sweats and a hoodie [like all good college athletes], sitting by herself. I recognized her from work; this person was Jo. I stepped up, attempted to swallow my pride, and formally introduced myself. She smiled, laughed, greeted me [awesome accent], and then I got nervous and excused myself to do something ‘important’.
As the dark months of winter progressed I was still reeling from the pain of being dumped. Jo went back home for break, and for hours as the snow would fall back here, I would talk to her through IM and just Facebook messages. I was broken, complaining, and throwing stupidly huge pity-party’s. How she tolerated them [some she didn’t] I’ll never know. For Christmas that year I had to travel south to see my ailing grandfather. On Christmas Eve my Motorola Razr [don’t hate] went off with a text. Who would text me? I have no friends talk to me. The phone number 14 digits long and read, “Merry Christmas!”. It was from Jo, seven time zones away. Another form of communication was opened up that day; cell phones. Amazingly I was not charged extra for those messages. She kept with me while I had the flu that month, my grandfather passed away that month, a blizzard hit that month; December 2007 was rough. She never left my side.
That was four years ago, almost to the day.
Five cell phone and two college graduations later; in many way’s we are inseparable. Even the Atlantic has a problem working against us. We make long distance work, for the most part. We have a very unique friendship, for years I’d stand on the sidelines of soccer matches and just yell, “GO JO!” whether it be on campus, or during away games. She was alone out here, I wanted to be her #1 fan. In turn she listened and tolerated [with some crazy peace] with all my frustrations with relationships. She’d help me with biology and I’d help her with theological study classes. We utilize each other. Most importantly though; we walked.
That is our thing. Since college, we would start walking and talking about everything. Miles later we’d realize it was 1:00am, I was covered in sweat [out of shape], and we’d start our journey back. It was our ‘thing’. It even created some serious conflict [that I learned about much later]. One of the best moments was the night before my wedding. My ex-wife had agreed to let Jo stand as part of my wedding party for the wedding. I was stoked. The night before the wedding, I’m losing my mind because I’m so insanely nervous, I just looked at Jo and said, “Can we go?”
At midnight, the summer heat of June, I found myself walking with my best friend through the hills of an area near a large lake. We talked about the houses, our lives, graduating college, and what the future held. Finally, I looked at her and said, “I’m terrified.” Through broken English [but much better, when I first met her, I couldn’t even get through some of her typed messages], she replied, “You’re fine. This time you get to be happy.”
As this site has pointed towards several times, my ex-wife left me from frustration and the allegations that I cheated on her. She accused Jo of being that person. It turns out that my ex-wife had a serious issue with Jo. I had informed her from the very, very beginning that Jo was my dear friend, one of a very small number of people that have not left my side through some rather horrible ordeals, and I pleaded with her to respect that. She didn’t. She felt threatened by Jo, even though we double dated on a few occasions, and I had a ‘open-book’ policy to my phone, laptop, everything…it wasn’t enough.
Even you, the reader, may be struggling with the justification of this friendship. I’ve had some people tell me, “You shouldn’t be around such a drunk.” [the naive association of a individual drinking their life away], others assumed that I did cheat on my ex-wife with Jo, truthfully; they are some serious ‘haters’ out there.
Let me ask those people this…
Where were you when my world was crumbling to pieces?
Because she was standing by my side.
We don’t agree on everything, and we do get into arguments, and some days we do scratch our heads, wondering if the other was dropped as a child. That’s the expectations and realizations of a friendship.
Current rumors have Jo coming for a visit in January. Don’t for a moment think that I’m not slightly excited about this. It’s the first time I’ll get to see Jo since the divorce [needless to say, she was irate with that moment as well, especially her being one of the focal points of the whole incident].
It definitely must be noted that Jo, while not the ultimate answer for the worlds problems, is hands down one of the biggest blessings my life has ever experienced. It’s those chosen few that you have the opportunity to latch on to, and pray endlessly that you’ll never have to let go of.
…her text message this morning at 5:00am is actually the reason I’m still awake…[I wouldn’t want it any other way]