Love Labor's Lost

volumes of mis-adventures

Defining a Fromance.

on February 21, 2012

I had the privilege of spending my weekend in a world created for Aromatherapy. Sweet scents of the most colorful flowers, with equal parts sugar and spice in every breath. With the San Bernardino Mountains backdropping  a foreground of cacti and palm trees, Palm Springs,CA is nothing short of a picturesque paradise in February, this side of the world. Averaging seventy degrees during the day and a ‘chilled’ fifty-five in the sun’s wake, I had the pleasure of running every morning with blissful ease and pleasure, comforting myself that the half-marathon I have been training for is actually  within my reach. While Palm Springs is beautiful, it is remiss of entertainment and devoid of activities, so Saturday evening I ventured out to San Diego to visit family friends, and specifically, my dear friend Hank*. I knew Hank before I knew, that I knew Hank. Our parents are friends from the ‘Old Country’ and have stayed close. As a result, Hank and I have grown up together becoming an amalgam of personalities, love, friendship, and support. Despite the constant distance of our geographic location, we have maintained what I have become increasingly certain will be a life long friendship. That being said, Hank isn’t just a great friend, he’s always been a human interest piece in my own confusion. My feelings have existed on a spectrum from orange soda to flat tonic water; I have crushed on him harder than waves on the shores during a Tsunami, while also having bouts of platonic emotions.  While my crush existed when I was younger, it was hard to shake. As of late, with distance, experience, and perspective, I see our friendship for what it really is a fromance (a friendship romance, duh!). Hank is about 5’8” black hair, currently sporting a closely kept beard, and he still has ocean eyes (that blue/green color with hints of orange and brown surrounding the pupil; eyes the color of distraction, for certain.) Hank and I have always been flirty, joked, had outings akin to some greats dates, and conversations that last through the night, but at the end of the day we are somewhere between siblings and friends. He’s the perfect partner in commiseration, compassion, and camaraderie. We have similar backgrounds, similar upbringings, and receive identical looks of disappointments from our parental units when it comes to our life decisions and desires. We are different in many ways, but in the end I love him. He’s encouraging, optimistic, athletic, charismatic, exuberant, entertaining, intelligent (to a level that continues to baffle me), adventurous, and, above all, ambitious; if he wills it, he will accomplish it.

As we were catching up this weekend he asked the obvious question about my pending Thesis, and then the despised follow-up ‘so what’s next?’ My response was as formulaic as ever: “I’m going to get a job, like a real job.” His response was simple: “For why?” Me: “Because I feel like that’s what I’m supposed to do.” Hank chuckled; I realized how constructed that sounded, and smiled with a sigh of uncertainty.

Hank is on a journey of passion. Trying to live life off the beaten path (to his parents’ dismay) and I could not be more excited for him. He’s doing everything on his own terms. In the next 8 months, he will bike up the coast to Portland, spend a month in Portland working on an art-car for Burning Man, go on Birthright Israel, move in with his Ladyfriend, and live life to the absolute fullest. Right now, my life is in a bit of a transition period. There is a large abyss, foggy and uncertain, to be sure, awaiting me after the end of my thesis writing (maybe that’s why I’m prolonging the project), I’m scared, terrified in fact. I’m not sure what I WANT to do, I’m certain of what I’m SUPPOSED to do, but want is a whole different level of understanding which is just above my 5’3” stature. More than anything, I’m scared that time is winning a race in which I have a sprained ankle. I don’t want to wake up old and unaccomplished.

I look around myself and see my friends and loved ones moving forward, while I feel stagnant. Hank is on a journey. My friend Hannah* has been traveling around this planet, but at this moment I can’t say for certain where she is. My friends have relationships, are going back to grad school, and getting married, while I have the same routine in and out. Am I bored? no, not really. Am I anxious? Absolutely. I want out of my cookie cutter routine. So, here is my promise: Come June I WILL be done with my thesis. Come June I am taking a month to travel. Come June I will only read for pleasure. I will only take part in activities that bring a smile to my face. I will only surround myself with laughter. I will not accept scrutiny, skepticism, or disappointment…from anyone.

Words of wisdom from Hank: ‘Just do it, you’re 24 you have NOTHING holding you back, leap and don’t look back.’ If I fall at least I’ll experience the wind against my face.

*name changed

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