Some Thoughts on Friendship
I had been struggling lately (and not for the first time) with friendships, wondering why some friends are now more acquaintances, how people keep lifelong friends, and why some friendships didn’t progress in the way I had hoped. Even after 41 years on this spinning sphere, friendships are not one of my strong suits. It feels weird and a bit sad to say that, but it’s true. I’ve made a lot of mistakes.
One thing I have done in particular, which I’m aiming to not repeat, is taking on more than my share of the blame for relationships that fizzle or end or have issues that need to be worked through. For I tend to take on pretty much all of it. In retrospect, that was rather narcissistic/egotistical of me. I mean seriously – how much power do I think I yield? And if I do indeed have such wells of influence at my disposal, why aren’t I using them for good in terms of my relationships? It makes me think of this guy, and while he’s amusing to watch in episodic format, I really don’t want to emulate someone who is so power hungry he will attempt to invade his home planet.
Besides which, taking on all this blame and internalizing many of my relational struggles has left me jealous of people who do have deep, lasting friendships. Not one of my finer moments, to be sure. But there honestly have been times when I have looked at my Facebook newsfeed at pictures and status updates showing childhood friends who are still friends as they now raise their own children, and I have either thought they were still living in the past or wondered “How do they do it? They are so lucky to have those kinds of relationships.” I mean I didn’t even invite anyone I spent kindergarten through grade 12 with to my wedding. (My husband and I had reasons that seemed good at the time, but we’ve regretted it in retrospect.)
So the goal now, moving forward, is to open myself more to people, to allow them past the surface and to take the chance this may hurt and possibly not work out, but at least I tried. Because I don’t want to be jealous of other people – I want instead to be thankful for what I do have and for what is being built and celebrate along with others in regards to their own successes.
And to the people where I have, in one way or several, been a crappy friend to you – I’m sorry. I’m sorry for losing touch and being shortsighted, and every other thing I have done wrong. But I’m not carrying that guilt and sadness any longer. It’s time to be brave and move forward and to quit being the one living in the past.