Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Golden Memories

Four years ago at this time I was a few months into what would turn out to be the last year of my relationship with my ex-boyfriend.  We'd already reached a point in which we needed to go our separate ways, but I wasn't ready to admit it yet.  

I couldn't convince myself that he would never love me the way I wanted to be loved.  We were growing more and more emotionally distant and becoming angry more often and for longer times. 

Meanwhile, a month and a half earlier, right around New Years, I'd begun talking to some new people in the chatroom of the photography website of which we were all members.  

There were three of us, total, who'd become instant friends despite physical distance.  Me (obviously), Joe, and Sky.  You've seen me write about them here often.  Almost immediately we became inseparable . . . well, as inseparable as you can get when you mode of socialization is a forum and a chatroom.  We'd talk everyday, for hours.  About photography.  About cars.  About food.  About life.  About my withering relationship.  I didn't know until then how close of a relationship you could form with someone over the internet.  

Little did I know, but the bond I was forming with Joe and Sky was allowing me to slowly let go of the toxic relationship that was dragging me down and holding me back from truly being happy, though it would take the better part of a year before I finally broke away.  

Some of my earliest and best memories of my friendship with Joe and Sky was during the 2006 Winter Olympics.  The three of us would watch the events together, each of us in our own corner of the country, connected via our computers.  I remember staying up until 4 in the morning talking a few times, even, and this was smack dab in the middle of the long stretch in which I had no insomnia problems.  

When the 2010 Olympics started this past Friday, the memories of the early days of our friendship came flooding back, particularly my memories of the person whom I consider to be my best friend, Joe.  Because of this, I've found that I'm more into the Olympics than I ever have been before.  I suddenly started to remember names of athletes I hadn't thought of for four years.  Bode Miller.  Shaun White.  And my favorite, Apolo Ohno.  

On Saturday, I even got the chance to relive the memory.  For the entire day -- I in smalltown Illinois, and Joe in Baltimore -- watched skiing, speed skating, and biathlon.  I screamed over MSN when Apolo Ohno overtook an entire group of skaters with one swift move . . . of course, thanks to his satellite feed, I had to wait seven seconds before I 'screamed' at Joe, so I wouldn't give anything away.  

We haven't been able to talk much lately, so it was wonderful to be able to spend so much quality time conversing with him.  I've been happy and introspective ever since.  Remembering more about that time of my life everyday.  Analyzing the events that occurred then and since and how they have shaped my life.  

The Winter Olympics have turned into something a little more special to me . . . a symbol of the friendship that saved my life.  

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