this is more complicated than the manual let on

This is terrible, but I only knew it was my Japanese best friend’s birthday because I was notified it’s also a certain K-pop star’s birthday by the internet.

My heart dropped out of my chest when I typed her into Facebook, and she didn’t come up.

Now, Facebook isn’t really as big in Japan, from what I can tell. And we haven’t been in good touch, though I got a present from her earlier this year, when my mom came back from a visit to our old town there.

But I went scrolling through a mutual friend’s Facebook friends list to check and see if she had unfriended me, or just left Facebook.

In one way I was relieved that she’s just not on Facebook. (I don’t think there was any reason for her to block me.)

In another way, even if she’s just lost interest and deleted her account… it hurt to have her go.

I try not to overemphasize the way being in Japan as a teen affected me, and I’ve tried to acknowledge the grief of leaving that life enough to put it to rest. So the pain somewhat blindsides me, in these little moments.

I cried bitterly the last time we saw each other. I was 17, sure, but it was real heartbreak.

Didn’t I already process this?

I keep trying to say that these losses are behind me. Try to justify why they hurt so much, because they don’t seem ENOUGH for what I feel about them.

I don’t like holding my pains up against other peoples for comparison. First, won’t they be mad? And second, how does that even get tallied?

I’m not really sad, is the funny thing. It’s just that for a while my chest caught with old hurt resonating under my ribcage. I remember, oh, yes. That is still there. Funny!

Happy birthday (a day late, due to time zones) to my friend.

I still love you enough it hurt I don’t get to say that to your face! That much Japanese I can probably manage even out loud. X)

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