Sometimes in order to move forward more efficiently, you need to let go of things, ideas and notions that you have been holding on to for longer than you should. A plane with too much drag never gets off the runway.
So last time, in our discussion of the scary over-reachingness of AI, I mentioned my friend Joe. Today, let’s talk about Joe.
I met Joe when I was about 23 years old, naive as could be. He must have been almost 30 by then, if not a little older. He smoked, he drank pretty regularly, was working on his Ph.D and hung out with some, we’ll call them “fun people”.
At the same time, I met this guy named Mike who was 27, claimed he was a financial planner, talked a good game about future plans, didn’t smoke, seemed better on paper, so I dated him and not Joe. But Joe and I talked often and became quite close and at one point, I was thinking about breaking up with Mike to date Joe, but again, Mike still looked better on paper and was clearly the “safer” choice, so I stayed with Mike.
Mike ended being his own special kind of shit show and we’ll save that for a different chapter. Obviously, at some point, Mike and I break up and of course, by that point, it’s too late, Joe had moved on and was with someone else ( who, by the way, he ended up marrying).
So the years go by, I go from one heartbreak to the next and in my heart of hearts all this time, I certain that this was the point where my whole life could have been better, could have been different- the summer of 1998 when I picked Mike instead of Joe. If only I had picked Joe.
About 2 years ago, I connected with Joe on Facebook and just quietly lurked. ( full disclosure – he is fully aware of my stalker like behavior) And one Friday night this past fall, fueled by Captain Morgan and my high-jinx partner, Jenny, I direct messaged him on Facebook. And he like instantly responded. We talked that night and it was awesome. It was like no time had passed at all. We communicated daily and it was wonderful.
But, since life isn’t actually a Hallmark Movie, time had passed. We had grown up and found we are different places in our life, both literally and figuratively. He lives on the west coast now and I live in Wisconsin. He’s a Democrat and well, I’m not. So when we saw each other this February, there was no magic reunion. I spent some time with my good friend.
And I realized, in a moment very like a cheesy movie where the main character gets a glimpse at the path not taken, that we don’t always know why, but things work out the way they do for a reason. Joe is in my life to be my very good friend and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Especially when said friend gives you an Echo Dot and I have now Alexia here to bless me every time I sneeze, or need a joke, or the time, or to know if dogs have tonsils ( they do) or when my new toaster is coming.