A Number From My Past
There it was. That phone number I’ve carried over from one weekly goals sheet to another. Heck, one weekend I even called it. Nobody was home so I left a message. Nobody returned the call. Told myself I would try “One more time” before I wrote it off as a loss.
It stared back at me waiting for me to say or do something. I was frozen with indecision. I couldn’t move until I decided to add it yet again to this week’s list and move on.
What number was that? It was the phone number for my oldest friend’s mom’s house. Why was I calling her? Good question. I was calling her because this friend of mine had gone so far off the grid even his brother didn’t have a number for him. I’m not talking about radical technophobe either. I mean completely withdrawing from his family. This is a guy who I met in kindergarten and stayed friends with beyond high school and even after I got married almost 20 years ago. Throughout this time, he went from a happily married father of three children to a divorced and angry man who did well to stay with a girlfriend for any time at all.
He never abandoned the habits teenagers of my generation would pick up: smoking, drinking, smoking pot and possibly taking acid (although the last one has never been confirmed). He hung around people who did what he did and thought like he did. That must be where we parted ways. I can only guess though. In short, I grew up and he didn’t. Somehow, he got the impression that I thought I was somebody because I’d held a job. I never paraded toys or money in front of him. Mostly because I didn’t really have any of either to speak of. Just the jobs. That’s it. Apparently, that was enough for him to feel lesser than me.
I did have a conversation a few years back with him. This was, of course, after I almost got screened by his girlfriend (it was HER cell phone anyway-LOL!) as a bill collector. At least he still recognized my name when she said it. So, that’s something I guess.
That Damn Number!
Back to this number. As I said, I did try this number a few weeks ago and managed to leave a message on his mother’s voicemail. I know she remembered me because I spent a LOT of time at their house. Even in her advanced age she had remained vital. That’s what the family members said anyway. So, why have I not heard back from anybody?
Let me tell you why I think and then I want to talk about the bigger picture or “elephant in the room” afterward.
I haven’t heard back because his mom passed my number to him and he hasn’t called because I’m sure he still thinks I think I’m somebody. Sorry for the run-on there but that’s how it fell out of my head. His mom, embarrassed by him in probably every possible way, couldn’t bring herself to call me and tell me he’s just not doing well. It’s not her responsibility anyway. He’s a man in his mid fifties for God’s sake! How long can a mother apologize for her child? I think even that has limits, don’t you?
You’re Not Alone
What about you? Do you have that “number” sitting around somewhere? You know, that nagging feeling you’re supposed to do something to regain a part of your past? Are you letting it get in your way or did you give up on that a long time ago? I think we tend to hold on to those things because of how they once made us feel. We want to get back a little of that so we go out of our way to reconnect with our past however we do it.
I think the important question here is do you believe your past or your future holds the greatest happiness for you? Being somebody who has lived a pretty awesome life, I know intellectually the rest of my life will be even more awesome. Still, we waver. We waver because there is at least some part of our past that makes us feel good and we are very stubborn about just chucking it.
Let me make this promise to you and then I’d like to hear some of your promises. I promise that I will call his mother ONE MORE TIME ONLY, leave a message and be done with it! If he musters the nerve to call, I’ll be happy to talk to him. But that number is not going to make it to next week’s goals list. That’s a promise I make to you and (just as importantly) to myself.
I hope this helps you see what you’ve been holding on to and gives you the little boost you need to stop doing that. Honor yourself that much, please!