Friday, July 9, 2010

Sometimes in life we learn who our friends are...

Seems like I spend more time learning who they aren't.

Friendship is a delicate thing. Amazing the ludicrous threads that we use to link ourselves to someone else. For instance, if ‘Sally Sue’ went to my high school, had a membership at my gym, was in a class with me, etc. I may find myself inclined in conversation one day to refer to her as ‘my friend Sally Sue’. But these people that we have frail ties with in the beginning and hardly share any common ground with or common knowledge of are NOT really our friends. If ‘Sally Sue’ got hit by a bus I’d say ‘how sad’ , but I wouldn’t go to her funeral.

A true friend is someone you laugh and cry with in equal measure. A support system. A shelter. A confidant.

You find your true friends in all manners of ways. Regrettably you also find your false friends there too. The trick is to learn to tell the difference. The catch is, sometimes that can take years.

I find myself with very few truly good friends, and an overwhelming number of friendly casual acquaintances. Maybe this is a good thing? Maybe it isn’t. I feel like a magnet with a confused polarity sometimes, pushing people away and pulling them back, I want to have that trust and companionship, but I have trust issues and I’d rather be alone.

It is a good thing that I find myself seeming to touch the lives of everyone around me. Despite my eccentricies, people truly seem to enjoy knowing me. I’m a very outgoing person, I think people are attracted to the way I can seemingly instantly connect with them and relate to their lives. Oftentimes these are the people I seamlessly click into a casual friendly acquaintanceships with. Mostly these people are transitory in our lives, passing through and fading away before we ever really know them. Work friends, lab partners, high school friends; they all have the capacity to eventually turn into ‘that chick I worked with on that project that one time’, or just another facebook friend on your list. Though these acquaintances are meaningful in our lives now, once we stop seeing them everyday they often seem to fade into the background of our thoughts. Sometimes we really connect with these people, and we keep up with one another, and we build a real bonafide friendship out of our time together, it’s possible, with a little effort. But most of the time we lose them from our lives all together.

It is possible to fabricate a friendship out of thin air. But eventually you may find that it holds about the same consequent weight. You can force a friendship, you can fake love for a friend, with every hope that one day it will bloom into something real and profound. Maybe sometimes it works. But maybe it won’t. It is unwise to try to befriend someone for the wrong reasons, and even more ridiculous to try to continue the friendship for them. For instance, if they are friends with your spouse/partner you may try to befriend them to keep an eye on them, especially if they have potential to cause a rift in your relationship, and if you are married or together for too long you may have to continue being ‘friends’ with them. You may have weekly get togethers that you secretly dread. trust me, that’s no way to live. Sometimes you just can’t force love for someone. It just won’t happen. These false friendships are made and broken all the time, for just those reasons.

Then there are your best friends. The ones you tell all your secrets to, cry on their shoulders, be each other’s maid of honors. I have few best friends. Very few. I’m sad to day I have had to replace them as well as my life has changed and advanced. I have too many friends I have simply lost touch with. Although I shared some of the most momentous changes in my life with them, and love them like family, I have come to realize we have grown apart so much that there is no remaining common ground and trying to have a conversation is full of mostly awkward silence. We may pass on the street and exchange hugs and phone numbers, but we never get together.

It is truly a shame to lose your best friend.

We should all take a look around us at the people we give access to our lives. Be thankful for our best friends, as they are precious few. And stop letting those false friends and casual acquaintances hurt or influence us.

If you are reading this, I love you. I am thankful for whatever link we share in life and whatever memories we may make together.



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