The ebb and flow of friendship

I am a collector of amazing people. I make friends fairly easily I think. But keeping them, that’s the tricky part. I don’t remember where I heard it, but I have alway believed that people need others in their lives at different times, for different reasons. A friendship that stands the test of time isn’t all intersections or a parallel line. I have been skilled enough to keep relationships for decades, lasting thru schools, geographical distances, boyfriends/girlfriends, marriage, husbands/wives, kids, careers, and deaths (of loved ones, not the primary friend, unfortunately not a medium). Each one of these incredible people, have been there for me at one time or another, and I have been able to reciprocate. Now of course our relationships haven’t had a steady intensity, they have risen and fallen. Not everyone was there for me when I had my breakdown, they were involved in their own lives, marriage problems, a new baby, a move and career change. Comparatively I wasn’t in a place where I could be there for them. life is not a straight line, wavering, stalling, sometimes it shoots off quickly and other times it crawls. Any of these people I haven’t talked to for a few weeks, or months, some even years, do I love them any less? Absolutely not. They, each one of the people that have come into my life at one time or another have shaped me into who I am today. And I like the person I have become. Recently a long lime friend lost her Dad. He was diagnosed with cancer in the spring, and fought a hard and fast battle. Vicious Cancer overpowered him by fall. She and I were close, we spent day after day together, went out all the time, were accused of being “twins” not because we looked anything alike but because a few times we dressed the same. Exactly the same. Accidentally of course. She would come home from school and we would kick around all summer, many adventures to be had, pranks pulled, stuff stolen. I went to visit her at school, we wrote letters, and emails, and made phone calls. In the 90’s/ early 2000’s we used our text devices to make voice calls, so crazy… I know.
A few months after my ex and I broke up, she and another long time friend got married, within a month of each other, and just a couple months after my ex moved his stuff out. I was a catastrophe. Sad, fat, and heartbroken. Completely depressed as well, but still in denial about that. I was honoured to be in the wedding parties of both events, public speaking usually my thing, was a daunting undertaking. At this point I cried every day. Every single day. I was not too far off from the “wedding singer” after his cancelled wedding singing love sucks and sniffling into my sleeve. In addition to the sad, the fat, I was horrified that I would be photographed at over 200lbs. My body seemed like it wasn’t mine. I was in a fat suit with the zipper stuck. (I was stressed-cortisol, depressed, and suffering a major hormone imbalance). I sucked it up, I went thru the motions, but I didn’t put together the photos I wanted to, or fully experience the joy I should have for them. I simply wasn’t capable. I felt I failed them.
I am aware now of my raging codependency, and the need to be compassionate to myself primarily. Both things that you could have printed on a metal pipe, and beaned me up side the head, and I still wouldn’t have been able to grasp the concepts. While at the celebration of life for my friends dad, I managed to put my foot in my mouth, I said something thoughtlessly, minimizing her immense loss. Not sure why, as I feel her loss, the thought makes me well with tears now, weeks later. An almost immediate desire to clamp my hand over my mouth struck me, and she laughed it off. What the eff is wrong with me? As I was leaving she said she was sorry we haven’t spent much time lately. Afraid of blurting out something to be misconstrued I simply told her not to worry about it.
What I wanted to say was that I loved her, and would continue to love her regardless of time and distance. I wanted to tell her that our relationship was always going to flow, as a trickling stream or a raging river, and that I would show up anytime day of the night if she needed me, and I could. I wanted to hug her and tell her that I am who I am today because of her love, and time, things that cannot be measured or bought. I wanted to tell her that I will alway root for her happiness and success wether on the side lines or watching on cable, or in the game. The only thing I could think of at the time was that she didn’t need me right now. Which sounded so petty and small. So instead I kept my mouth shut.
I believe that you need different people in your life at different times and for different reasons. I appreciate that as needs evolve and change, so do the people around you. I am thankful for all of my friends old and new, wether we talk every day, or once a year, I know whatever state we are in it will change. And I love that.

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One thought on “The ebb and flow of friendship

  1. NolaM says:

    So print it out and send it to her?
    Some of the best times in a friendship is when you give yourself permission to screw up and do a correction crazy Ivan onto another path.
    It gives them permission to dump some of their inner demons too.
    We all tend to walk around in our own bubble of insecurities and self-talk.
    One of your gifts was always the brash honesty of letting the inside voice come out.
    Funerals suck… they are like emotional black holes and just being there probably meant more than anything you said.
    Just being there says “I love you” And contact a month or two later means even more.
    Yes, you were close… so use your text machine to talk to her again.
    She is probably over thinking what she wished to have happened too. LOL
    It is entertaining to play baby phone roulette… especially if you are not on the screaming end.
    Lot of changes to celebrate and mourn in the last year and the cool part about life challenges is that it makes you grow…
    No sitting around in a kiddy pool drinking the day away anymore.
    People who are being challenged are a lot more interesting because they are dumping baggage, focusing down to essentials, settling priorities.
    And rubbing shoulders with people like that is stimulating.
    You get to cheat, Snitch some ambition and initiative without all the crisis and drama.
    Some of my cheapest lessons were learned from others crisis’s.
    Learning without all the pain can’t be a bad thing.
    We should all do more of that. hug.

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