A Season of Stuff is a writing challenge that I will be doing for the length of Spring 2016. The plan – to pick some object from within my personal possessions each day and write about it – its history, its significance, etc. Come on in – check out my stuff.
2001 was a tough year. The first year of the G.W.Bush years, 9/11, etc. I remember it being a year where I was a bit confused, lost, etc. I was at a job working at CMU that I wasn’t liking anymore. I had been dating Deanna for a few years at that point and I think we were getting to the point where we realized we were great friends, but that our romantic relationship was coming to an end. We moved into a new place in Wilkinsburg and almost immediately called it a day on our relationship. Despite being committed to remaining friends, it made for a somewhat awkward living situation. I got real down on myself and had a lot of those “i’ll never fall in love. i’m an ugly loser. blah blah blah” type feelings.
I think there were ultimately a few things that helped turn my general world view around but mostly I think it was a couple different relationships that developed at this time. One was with this woman Selena who I would end up having an intense, if relatively short, relationship with over several months. While we were both shy and reserved in our own ways, Selena had a way of being very open and intense, especially in certain forums, primarily her music. She was also very open and engaging on a relationship level in a way that I had not really experienced to that point. I think she was one of the first people to really essentially say to me “You think you’re so easy to read. You think you’re pretty simple and transparent. But there’s more to you than you let on.” And she strove to find out what that was. And I think that was a struggle for her because at that time i’m not sure how ready I was to dig into that myself. But I tried.
Ultimately I would break things off with her in a pretty shitty way, but I think that short relationship really helped me understand what I needed to have a happy and successful relationship in the future. It really helped me see the value of vulnerability and honesty and I think has been a great value to all my relationships since then.
So anyway, this is a little metal charm that Selena gave me. I’m not really sure where it came from but it resided on my keychain for many years. I took it off for awhile and then earlier last year I stumbled upon it, strangely shortly after Selena made her way back to living in Pittsburgh after years of being away. Seeing her and seeing this charm were both good reminders of the value that a relationship can have on a life, even when the major activities of that relationship are short lived. So since I probably never adequately thanked her since — thank you Selena, you were a good friend and you changed my world.