Saturday, December 27, 2014

No Broken Bridges

Christmas has come. It’s been a wonderful year for myself and for Mormon Geeks. This was the first year we were given press passes for both Fantasy Con and Salt Lake Comic Con. We’ve continued our little blog with a lot of fun commentary and have appreciated all of the input from you, our readers. New Years is now coming up and I’m very excited for 2015. I’ll be in the last semester before my senior year and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me and for my favorite blog. It is during New Years that I get a little extra pensive and think about where I’m at and what has happened in my life. My grandmother on the Larsen side once told me she hated the song Auld Lang Syne. “No one ever knows the lyrics. The tune is always sung poorly. And no one even knows what it means.” At the time, I didn’t even know the song she was talking about and had to look it up. When I did I thought to myself, “Oh, that song.” I have to agree with her. The few times this has been sung at parties it’s usually been poorly played, poorly sung, and the lyrics are usually mumbled. Still, there is something about the song that resonated with me. It wasn’t until I heard it by Dougie Maclean that I felt I heard the song as it was intended.
You may watch this with the lyrics and think, “That is very nice but I still don’t know what the lyrics mean.” Well, allow me to provide an English translation.
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?

Should old acquaintance be forgot,

And times long past.

Chorus
And for times long past, my dear
For times long past,

We'll take a cup of kindness yet,

For times long past

And surely youll buy your pint-jug!

And surely I'll buy mine!

And we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
For times long past.
Chorus

We two have run about the hills
And pulled the daisies fine;
But we've wandered manys the weary foot
Since times long past.
Chorus

We two have paddled in the stream,

From morning sun till dine;

But seas between us broad have roared

Since times long past.

Chorus

And there's a hand, my trusty friend!
And give us a hand of yours!
And we'll take a deep draught of good-will

For times long past.

Chorus
The song is about loss and restoration in friendship. Sometimes we get busy with our lives, or have human errors, or sometimes we die. Auld lang syne is about reconnecting and forgiveness. It’s recognizing, if nothing else, what was once shared even if it isn’t shared again. The narrator talks about drinks that he shares with his friend. They both bought their own drinks. One didn’t buy for the other. To me, this says that there is still bad blood between them or a change in their friendship. Despite that, they both drink to the memory of what they shared. They respect what was between them even if they have gone separate ways. Social media makes it easy to “reconnect” with friends or even disconnect from them. If we leave our new connection as simply facebook friends than we do ourselves a disservice. Every now and then we should send a message and see how they are doing and how their new baby is. I’ve reconnected with long lost friends and though our friendship may be different now, we celebrated what we once shared. I’ve also blocked and been blocked by friends before. In some cases, it was to take care of myself. In others, it was my pride. I imagine it must have been the case for others as well. I’ve lost a lot of friends over the years. In some situations it was a good thing and wasn’t a healthy friendship. After one or two cry sessions, they were pretty easy to get over. I mean, I lost an unhealthy “friendship.” That’s a great thing. Not gonna miss something that’s bad for me. The ones that hurt the most are the friendships with meaning and that were healthy. A song like this means something to me because it gives me hope that bad blood can wash away and something new can begin--even if it wasn’t what was before. When I’ve been in these experiences, I’ve wondered if what I did was really the right decision. Was it really kind of me to detach entirely from someone? A block on facebook for me usually meant a block in real life too. Did I really have to do that to take care of myself from people that hurt me or annoyed me? Did those friends really have to do that to me? Being on the receiving end recently caused me to think about how I take care of myself in relation to those around me. It’s helped reinforce a decision I made this year.


I don’t believe in broken bridges. I don’t need to break bridges with someone (ie: never talk to them ever again and close off any way for them to contact me) in order to take care of myself. Every now and then there may be an exception to this rule but generally, I want to make things work and only give up when to not do so would be toxic for me. There is a friend that I have that has a severe bipolar disorder. When he’s hit a manic phase he can say the worst of unkind things. He can be annoying and emotionally volatile. It can be like dealing with a pouty child. When he’s depressive he’s self destructive and emotionally enmeshed. I have friends that have blocked him to take care of themselves. I don’t blame them. I still chose to be his friend. I’ve chosen to be his friend even if he’s a bit much sometimes. I may not be the close friend he wants but I’ll always be a friend and will always be the best friend I can possibly be. I may only see him once every two months. I may be careful in being emotionally vulnerable with him. And despite how he is, I still love him. I still look forward to seeing him. It isn’t like with one of my closer friends but that doesn’t take away from how genuine it is. This open door policy has made me a better friend to me. I like who I am because of this. It has taught me patience, charity, and a greater power to forgive. It gives me confidence knowing that I take care of myself and also love others unconditionally. It gives me hope that what was lost may someday be restored. It does take work to rebuild a broken bridge. It may take time, patience, and humility. It may not even necessarily be easier if one side still stands. Despite all this, I know it is worth it. I know that I am worth it. I hope we take New Years to reconnect with old friends we haven’t seen in a while. I hope we forgive others and find closure in any losses we may have experienced. I know that if we do this we will be blessed. Let’s start this new year right. Happy New Year
-Stephen

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