The hardest thing about being away from people I love is not simply missing things I've already experienced with them. I miss the progression of my relationships. Even after knowing people for years I still experience grand momments of revelation about that person and about our relationship. It happens in times of great stress and in times of peace. It is like a giant light bulb turns on inside of you and you not only understand your friend better, you understand a universal truth that consumes you for a few momments and then never leaves you.
Miss Johnita Morton knows exactly what I am talking about. I thought I understood who she was when I first met her in the dorms. Boy was I wrong. And then I thought that I had experienced the great revelation right before Christmas when I realized she was my friend. For months later I was surprised time and again by her true character- how beautiful and dynamic she truly was. We've had the same heated discussions over and over again, but instead of giving up we pushed through it and we learned a little bit more each time. I know I talk about her all the time, but she has really helped me learn how to be in a friendship, especially what a poisonous thing selfishness can be, and (on the flip side) how a person can love another through pain and sadness.
A lot of people came before Jita with whom I had pretty good friendships. The amazing thing about revelation in relationships is that once you learn something with one person, that quality can be applied in every other friendship you are a part of.
I would have been in for an even harder shock if I hadn't roomed with my sister Clara Ann the year before I roomed with Jita. My relationship with Clara taught me that you can truly love anybody if you desire it enough, even if you think you hate them. I guess part of why I always explain to people that I used to hate Jita before we became friends is because I've experienced that process with both of my sisters and I feel even stronger that Jita is a sister to me.
Liz Baker took care of me very well in high school. She was very good to me and spent too much money on me. I've always loved her, but I failed to really connect with her. I just whined a lot and needed some one to be around. Flash forward to last summer (the crappy summer). I met Aaron while working in the MTC dish room. It was a comic book/TV based friendship. He was someone to be around and someone to whine to. One day I realized that I need the friendship on a deeper level. I had to invest myself or I wouldn't ever have a stronger friendship than those I had in high school. And I truly became his friend by simply deciding that I would. And I'm sitting here after reading Aaron's email, waiting for Liz to come over, and I'm glad that I need both of them to be my friends.
In my friendship with Bradley I've been able to apply everything I've learned with others and the result is an awesome friendship. He's taught me some things, though, that I haven't been able to apply to anyone else. At times that really gets confusing because I'm not sure what that will mean to me. My vacation with him was excellent. I miss him. But more than I miss being around him, I miss the ease of discussion whilst being around him. I miss learning with him and with a lot of my friends that I'm not currently around.
Progression is such a funny thing. For a while I thought that me and Alyssa had reached a point where we really couldn't get any closer. For a while I thought that mine and Jita's friendship had simply died. I've gotten to that place about a million times with Bradley. Whenever I reach a point like that, I decide to have faith in my friendship and know that it is worth the temporary dissatisfaction or pain. Faith in God makes sense because I know that he will always be good to me. Faith in friendship is harder than faith in God because I don't know what my friends will do. They could hurt me and leave me. But because I make my own decisions, I choose to let the wounds that others have inflicted upon me to heal without scar. And then after a little while the sun comes out and I'll love my friends even deeper than before.
I guess my faith in God helps me have faith in my friends. The atonement was the greatest act of love. I know that the atonement is infinite in so many ways. I know that love is infinite; it never has to stop growing.