I’ve been busy. Work is busy. The semester of class is winding up. Life is busy. We go on vacation in just over two weeks. I go back to MD Anderson with my dad in just over a week. But, as I enter a time of year where things try to tie themselves up into bows to relax over the summer, I can’t help but reflect over where I have been, and where I’ve come in a year. Roughly a year ago (I’m not sure of the exact date, but we are right on top of it), Mr. ENFP and I reconnected. At that point, I was lonely. I had nothing pushing me forward. I had a one year old who was almost two, who was as self-sufficient as one year olds are, but who was past the demands of infancy. Life was waiting to open back up past motherhood.
A bit of a tangent, but everyone always talks about how much work it is to be a parent. While I won’t disagree with that, to me, it’s not about it being so much work, but more this all-consuming life shift. You go from being an individual to a mother. Suddenly this little life is your responsibility. You have to make sure it’s fed, and rested, has clean clothes and a clean diaper, and you also have to provide for its safety and well-being. Sometimes a baby just needs and wants to be held. Though toddlers want that less, they still need it too. Having come so early, he came with many complications, all of which have seamlessly resolved, but the suction into motherhood was hard and solid.
Anyway, you spend the better part of two years of your life in this all-consuming state. Somewhere around the two year mark, the child gets just a little less dependent, or your brain says its had enough, or both. That’s where I was this time last year. My husband hadn’t yet gotten out of this state. I was bored, and lonely, and just under stimulated in every way. Facebook would still occasionally suggest reaching out to people during this period, and while I didn’t do it when Facebook suggested that I reach out to Mr. ENFP, Facebook did suggest we reconnect. It had annoyingly reminded me of his birthday. 10+ years of nothing from Mr. ENFP, and all of a sudden I would see when he liked or posted stuff. Mr. Zuckerberg’s crew had ideas. So I messaged him. Apparently, I messaged him at the worst point in his life. His marriage had fallen apart. By all standards, his life was in a shambles. As he entered summer, he entered this vast wasteland of nothing to do except drink and be miserable.
I am not prone to meddling in people’s business, but for whatever reason, I asked what happened, and probably pushed a little bit. He’s always been more prone to sharing than I was, but shared he did. Then I was involved. My friend was floundering, and while I couldn’t necessarily make anything better, I could make sure that he didn’t get lost in the abyss. The hours I have spent consoling and dissecting life with Mr. ENFP are real. Looking back, he probably didn’t want to share with those too close to him, but he had to share with someone. Someone who he’s known since high school who happens to be 1200 miles away was probably a safe bet. I remember him dropping the gauntlet over Facebook messenger while I was at work, and me literally pushing the chair back, having to digest out of shock.
So a year later, he’s a much shinier version of himself. He’s doing well. Really well. Maybe he’s not where he wants to be, but I’m not totally sure he knows where exactly that is yet. There’s all of this potential and energy bubbling just under the surface, waiting to explode. He’s worried about summer as last summer was such awash on the things he wanted to do, yet didn’t. And while nobody ever does all that they want all the time (I mean, what would be left to do if we did?), I do fully believe he will, at the very least lay, the groundwork for something phenomenal this summer. I have a lot of pride in seeing how far he has come.
Our friendship has made several significant evolutions over the year. When I reached out to him, I don’t think I was looking for an affair, but I needed something. I felt like I was mentally wasting away. Admittedly, feelings from the past were resurrected, but those have burned and cooled. There is a great amount of love there, I believe on both sides, but it’s the love of great friends. It’s familial. I defend him much like I’d defend a sibling (except I can’t stand my little brother, so really it’s what I imagine defending a sibling would be like). There was a lot of insecurity at the beginning, and really until recently, on my part. It’s not often that I open up to people. It’s less often that I allow myself to need them. Mr. ENFP pushed me to get back into music. He pushed me to begin the work towards paralegal certification when I decided I had too much on my plate. He pushed me to try to make friends with people. While I don’t have a bursting circle of people around me, I do have more friends than I did a year ago. One of them didn’t make the cut (ESFP + INTJ = loads of frustration), but not all friendships do. Now, a year later, I’m mostly confident most of the time that Mr. ENFP is just my friend, and will always be my friend, whether we talk 15 times a day or 1 time a week. That security will be put to the test in a few months, but that’s not now.
Likewise, my husband and I have made great strides over the past year. We’re more intimate with each other. We have more frequent and better sex than we did a year ago. We haven’t made it back to the position of team, but we are both working towards that. I am interested in seeing how our vacation will be. We’ve never taken a vacation with just the three of us, and our son has never been to the beach. It should be both a wonderful and exhausting experience. Usually I read about 6 books on the beach. My goal is 1-2 this year. I have been forewarned many times that going to the beach with a toddler is an entirely different experience than going to the beach as an adult. I feel like there is a whole world of possibility brimming with us as well. Time will tell. We’ve both decided we are in this for the long haul, and the long haul is never a quick journey.
As for me, a year later, I still feel some unrest sometimes. I’m in a phase of growth. I can’t do real paralegal work until I am certified. That leaves a certain amount of boredom at work. Unfortunately, there’s still at least another year and a half of class for that. Growth musically is slow and connections based. The connections were dormant for so long that they take a while to push back together, but it’s coming. My dad is still alive. The trips to Houston are every other month. They’re exhausting, but he is still alive and working, which is better than we were a year ago. All in all, I’m in a better spot than I was a year ago. Frankly, I have Mr. ENFP to thank for a lot of that. Sure I had to do the leg work, as did he in his own life, but it’s nice to have an advocate who will both cheer you on relentlessly and call you out when necessary.