Last night while I was out at a show for some friends of mine, The Banner Year, the guys started talking to the co workers I came with.
“So how do you know Ritz?”
“Oh I’m not sure… I guess Mike knew her first, then we all became friends, and she came on tour with us a few years ago.”
“You went on tour with them?!”
A few hours later, I got a text from a friend saying, “Why aren’t you responding to my texts?”
I replied with stunning clarity. “I’m having a bit of an identity chrisis. I’ve been doing it to everyone.”
I of course realize the typo and send a follow up “Crisis, I mean.”
“Yeah, Chris is crisis. Is this about that boy?”
Bwaahahaah. Mostly not.
I mean, actually not at all, other than he …or talking about him, rather….. sort of incited the realization.
Really what happened is that a few nights ago I was hanging out with some friends, Hank and Jess, who have known me for years. Because we hadn’t hung since before Christmas, they didn’t know I dated anyone, or that we weren’t still dating. So they got the long version.
Over and over, she kept saying, “He didn’t know ___?”
“He doesn’t know me very well.”
“There’s a lot to know, Ritz. I’ve known you five years and sometimes I’m still surprised. I’m still learning.”
And in some ways, she’s totally right. There are still things she doesn’t know about me.
But I know every member of her family and she mine. I’ve spent Christmases and every other conceivable holiday with them. I was with her (literally, in the house) the week before her wedding, the date of which she moved so I could be in the country when it happened. She knows all my college shenanigans because she was there.
And that’s not true of anyone I consistently see now. No one who is regularly in my life now has known me before two years ago.
And it matters, it matters somehow because by those who know my story, I feel known. And to be honest, there IS a LOT to know. It’s a long, complicated, funny, worth-knowing, but EXHAUSTING TO TELL story. I think about the work it would take for someone to know me that way…. and I get discouraged.
And instead of wrapping it up right now, putting the pretty little Jesus bow on it, I’m going to let myself wonder. I’ve got to wonder:
How much can you possibly love a person
if you don’t know them?