It's funny, I was going through some old CD's and I stumbled upon Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee's last solo album Tommyland: The Ride released in 2005 in conjunction with the book he wrote and released around the same time. I remember one of the songs on the album always had me singing along. Say Goodbye featuring (of all people) Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter on acoustic guitar and backing vocals (despite the group he's associated with, he does lend his vocals nicely to the song during the chorus).
Now, you can knock me for liking a song featuring a member of a boy band, but this is a rock ballad. Different genre.
Regardless, this song really brought to mind some thoughts I've been having. I'll try to go in order, but in order to get to the exact thought that was at the root of it all, I'll have to take you on a journey. Who knows, this may be the most I feel comfortable in terms of opening up.
When it comes to my life, I've always been (for a lack of a better term) a loner. I do fine by myself, and rather enjoy my time alone. Because of this, it's also become hard for me to open up to a lot of people, and thus I live my life rather guarded. What you learn about me is what I allow you to learn. Growing up, there were always a lot of rumors concerning the finer aspects of my life, and I would always say to those who would hear such rumors that if they ever wanted to know the truth of something to ask me, and I would provide them with the truth if I felt they needed to know it.
Needless to say, once I graduated High School, I chose to cut myself off from nearly everyone I knew. The only people I really associated with were a couple of friends, and this girl I dated for (technically) four and a half months following my high school graduation. I put technically in there because for the last few weeks of our relationship, I moved to a town an hour away due to a job I had taken. We didn't see each other in that time until I came home for a weekend in which we went to a wedding for one of her family members, and promptly broke up afterwords.
With the breakup, I continued working in that other town for another couple of months before transferring back to my hometown. After I moved back, I would see her once or thrice at local hockey games. Talk about awkward moments. It's funny how we got together, at least I find it that way looking back. She was sitting at the same table the gang I used to hang out at sat about a week and a half before prom, and I made mention that I wasn't going to be going as I didn't have a date. I was going to ask my boss to work that night. She quipped up saying that she would go with me, so not only did I have 10 days to find a suit (had to get it custom made, too! Damn thick neck), I had to figure out all that dumb flower/corset crap.
On the way to the prom, she dropped the line "You do realize this kind of makes us boyfriend and girlfriend, right?" Me, being the dumbass I was, simply said "Cool." If anything, I lost so much money on her, that I was lucky I had money for myself...especially after my boss cut me to 5 hours/week after I said that I could work full-time again. Honestly, the move was a breath of fresh air.
The thing is, while I'm not the same person I was in high school, there are still some things the same. I keep my inner circle to a limited number of people, and if you plan to break into it, it takes A LOT of work. I might let you in a little bit, but I'll keep you at arm's length when it comes to the deep stuff. There are many layers to me, my personality, and my being. I don't often use this phrase anymore, but it still holds true to me. "To know me will take a lifetime. To understand me will take forever."
To date, I truly feel only two people understand me. My father, and someone I deeply, truly love and respect on a level that goes beyond any label of friendship. Going to the layer above understanding to knowing, including the two that I feel understand me, I add my mother, my surviving grandparents, a couple of cousins, and a few friends. While I love my mother more than I could ever put into words, there are little traits in both our personalities that keep her from moving into the understanding category. I hope she doesn't take offense to this, because none is meant. She and I both know that there are times where both our personalities clash, and it's because we both lack a deeper understanding of each other.
Now, we get to the reason I decided to write this blog entry. When I become friends with someone, I'm someone who'll be there for that person. If I can help them, I will. However, I do have my limits, whether it be physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, or otherwise. The friend I mentioned in the understanding category above asked me for a major favor. I couldn't give a response right then and there, because there are so many factors I'd have to work out. Would I be working? Would I be able to afford it? Would my knee (which to this day, six years after seriously injuring it still bothers me) hold up? Would I be able to handle travelling back alone? I can't answer those right now, and thus I haven't given my friend an answer.
That, and the fact that some of the people I've befriended over the past year have brought me to a feeling that they don't give off the feeling as though we're still friends brought me to completely distance myself from them, and depart from their lives so that our respective lives may continue down whatever seperate paths they may lead to. Should our paths converge again in the future, I'll still treat those people as a friend. They've done nothing to deserve nothing less. I just feel that for now, our lives are best spent apart. I wish those people who are walking those paths away from the one I'm on nothing but peace, happiness, and prosperity. One only knows they deserve it.
However, no matter how we look at it, there's a time when the chorus to that Tommy Lee song Say Goodbye ring true. I'll leave them with you.
Every time I walk away I see a picture of a face
It's a photograph that makes me wonder why
Now I stand here on my own
And I'm finally letting go
Its time to say goodbye