this blog post has been brought to you in part by an unwitting accomplice, someone whose mind is somewhere around 90% compatible with mine.
Q: "Where is the line between blaming somebody for something and giving negative credit where credit is due?"
A: i could not have answered this before i was married. but now the answer jumps up and down like Donkey. "pick me! pick me!!!"
to answer this question for thyself, thou needst only answer these two questions: 1) what is your attitude, i.e. heart, toward the person being 'credited'? 2) what is it that gives you the responsibility to determine who is to be credited with what?
Q: "Why do you want to pick up our friendship again? I never could, even back then, figure out why you chose to hang out with me. What did you get out of it?"
A: this answer could easily be its own post. but i'll take this opportunizzle to practice something i usually succ at: succinctness. i hope it won't be perceived as a lack of mental or emotional investment on my part.
1) i really don't know why it was so easy to be-friended by you initially, since your energy level and straightforward style of social interaction don't seem (on the surface) to be compatible with mine. and when i say straightforward style of social interaction, i am not referring only to your signature greeting: the tackle-hug. it's more than that.
i detect in you this important isaiac compat-ability: to hover between extraversion and introversion. between the outwardly-focused and the inwardly-. between the restless adventurer and the still-waters-run-deep contemplator (pronounce it "con-TEMP-luh-tor" for hoity-toity points). those in my life who have most easily developed the most closeness, have been such tweeners: Andrew Peterson. Brandon Scott. Caleb Werner. Jerad Mendel. Danica Overton. Reelika Muraško.
2) you showed almost immediately a genuine, healthfully selfish interest in me as a person, and soon followed it with the essential complementary trait: genuine, healthfully selfless care for me. this reacted with my low opinion of myself, as well as my need for closeness, which is not easily met.
3) i've said many times that i get along better with girls. well, you get along better with guys, so... yup.
4) we have some very significant commonality in values, interests, and modes of operation: the Christian faith. vocal music (especially its creation, and not just consumption). self-expression through athleticism. partiality toward nocturnality. desire to better oneself. introspection. and others.
Q: "You had mentioned, initially, that you were worried/feared something with contacting me - what were you afraid of?"
A: that i would rock whatever boat you might now be comfortably sailing. that you would [rightfully?] 'credit' me with our friendship's blackout. that you would assume i had an ignoble motive of some kind.
and now for a fun trick: a question of my own, which is actually a response to the answer you gave before i now ask it.
iQ: what do you get out of this friendship?
A: "I always knew I appreciated that about you- the time and effort you would put into helping me, exploring my mind and my heart, piecing me together like a jigsaw puzzle, pushing me to new limits. (I know you got a certain satisfaction from it, though I could never pinpoint exactly why.) I never realized how much I valued that (in general and with you specifically) until it was no longer available. I wanted to thank you, the kind of thank you where one makes eye contact that speaks to the soul of the listener from the soul of the speaker. I mentioned to my mother yesterday how you have always had the talent of challenging me; emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally in ways that few to none ever have before or since. You have a way of stretching, challenging, expanding, and enlightening me in a way that pushes me to my limits but I enjoy the discomfort and the adrenaline and the pain in the same fashion that one feels while working out. It is terrible in the best and worst ways simultaneously and the outcome is always worth it. For this- for bringing out the best, and my favorite version of myself when I am with you- and even to an extent when I am not- and for the rest of everything that you are and do as my friend for the last decade plus- I thank you, my dear friend, genuinely."
it has been (and i hope it will continue to be) my great pleasure and privilege to do so.
p.s. in keeping with my penchant (pronounce it "paw-shaw" for exotic hoity-toity points) for challenging and pushing you, i will post this now, and ask your permission / forgiveness afterward. #sorrynotsorry #barewithme #fearonlyfear