Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Chasing Windmills

..."Just a regular ol' Don Quixote chasing windmills"...~Whitley Gilbert of A Different World (played by Jasmine Guy)

I don’t chase windmills.  And by windmills I mean relationships.  And by relationships, I mean anyone relative in the best sense of the word: love, family, friend, acquaintance, co-worker... The list is endless.  By relationship I mean, connection.  In other words, I don’t chase connection.

I was having a conversation with one of my bestie’s, Chandra Sparks Splond—her sister article and perspective “Chasing Friendships” chronicles the same subject matter—about why I specifically tailored the guest list for my Bi-coastal Birthday Bash.  I was specific.  Unless we were currently and directly connected, I’d see you at the next family or high school/college reunions, wedding, funeral or casual hangout.  Fifty has been particularly special for me and started as my decade of renewal and enlightenment.  I wanted to share and celebrate with those who wanted to share and celebrate with me—Me.  No obligation required.

As our conversation proceeded, our talks roll out like a bullet train, we landed at my first stop—regret.  Sure.  There were people I wanted to invite but due to capacity restraints, all would not be included.  Then I remembered one person I didn’t invite because I couldn’t.  I could have invited her, she hasn’t transitioned spiritually, nor has she dissolved into mist and energy now scattered among the universe.  I wouldn’t invite her because she and I are unconnected. I will call her "Jerri".

"I get that."  Sham said.  I didn't have to explain and our conversation propelled forward into the idea about chasing relationships.  We brought up a few specific instances.  I elaborated on "Jerri" the very same grammar school, turned high school, turned college friend who I thought would be my lifetime sister.  

I spoke of my regret that "Jerri's" no longer included in the most defining moments of my life and how I miss her.  I reminisced about what I thought was our friendship.  We’d laugh for hours on end, gut-splitting laughs that had my neighbors requesting my vocal abatement.  It was the in between moments that displayed an uneasy pattern. 

If there were ten calls, nine and a half came from me.  Finally, after about six months of my pouting, "If she's not calling me I'm not calling her..." I'd call and we'd re-connect.  That re-connection was always short-lived and each and every time was only solidified because of my one-sided effort.  I'd ask her about our [her] lack of communication and she'd give me the same old and tired lines. However, I noticed that her interaction with mutual and non-mutual friends was different.  Their interaction lived on a two-way street.  So, I surmised it was me.  I was not on her radar.
During the dawn of what would become a permanent drought, I pondered our friendship.  A moving image materialized.  My friend was well balanced on the blade of a windmill.  As the windmill churned I found myself hopping blades to catch up to her, only never to reach.  Finally, after exhaustion, I stayed put.  Our shadows remained stable on the blades they were planted on, never to touch again.

I have a fierce imagination.  The imagery aided me to figure out that people who desire and choose to be connected, reach out and reach back.  Those who don’t, don’t want to.  This holds true for all of us.
When you don’t want to be connected to me or I’m tertiary, you slip several rungs down the ladder of priority.  I’m not chasing you, even if I desire to be connected to you.  It doesn’t matter who you are: blood relative, friend, lover or chosen relative.  The moment the chase is on I get off.

And miss me with the giant hoop.  I don’t jump through those either.  Not anymore.  

What I know for sure is, if I’m chasing connection, the connector doesn’t desire to be caught.  Relationship isn't nor is it worth a chase... At least for me.

This is Toni Staton Harris Checkin' Up and Checkin' In on how I no longer chase windmills.

Have you ever caught yourself chasing a relationship?  What did it take for you to stop and how did you end the chase?  How did you end a friendship you no longer wanted to be bothered with?  Have you ever missed the sign that someone no longer desires connection with you?


  1. Now that was on point.

  2. Great insight. Very good points. Will this be a book soon?

  3. Yes...I hate that I did, but I definitely learned from it. After not knowing why she stopped calling me I tried to call 3 times. After the third try I just finally accepted that that will be the end of a friendship...