*this is a photo of my dad’s friends. they’ve been a group since they were 12, thus making it a 40-year friendship and counting. This is my standard of friendship. 🙂
Some people are constant girlfriends, some are constant antagonists. I am a constant friend.
I have been single for most of my life, heck, all my life, up until recent months, and as a side effect, I have had the time and the freedom to fully cultivate my friendships. Not that people in relationships don’t have the time and freedom to be a friend, really, but my pseudo-relationships of my 23 years, have been my friends.
I have been the constant shoulder, the ear, the hand to smack them in the forehead with, and I have always been available, any time, any where when my friends wanted to pick up and talk over a beer, or a coffee, or most likely, a good meal.
Suffice to say there were times I took things too seriously, bemoaning my friends not being available when I was blue, flaking out when I needed an ear. True, when things really mattered, they were there. But to say my friends are in and out of my life on a constant basis is not an exaggeration, but a statement of fact. There are days when suddenly I get texts of wanting to meet in an hour, or sudden houseguests for when i arrive home on a Sunday after church. I love that. I truly believe in the adage “True friends pick up where they left off, no matter how long they’ve been apart or far the distance”.
But singularity and being the token “dependable” wore me down sometimes. I mourned when the friendships I truly wanted to work out didn’t. I desperately tried to fix utterly destroyed ones, only to have other people ask what the point was. And i truly didn’t know, except that I knew I would miss them and still do. Anger got the best of me at times and I lashed out and gave up on others, after months of thinking it over and experiencing just grief and emotional upheaval every time I talked to them.
As hard as I may want to just don’t care about the people that have left, whether in high drama or just quietly, I still get a tug inside when I see them. I have even suppressed their updates on Facebook, as it pains me to see how happy they are going about their lives, even with those I considered near and dear, I’m just the one who’s not there anymore. Juvenile as it seems, part of me still can’t believe how I bent over backward, killed myself over my friendships, to the degree where I could be seen as a complete martyr. But that’s just me.
Have I changed? I guess a little. I’m not as readily available that I rush out the door to be there in 30 minutes when someone needs me. I won’t watch a movie 3 times with 3 different groups coz I have all the free time in the world (Sigh, of all the movies in the world Transformers 2, I still can’t get over with).Â I still will find the time to meet them at my earliest convenient time, or talk over the phone/ym/email. I won’t text “You suck I haven’t seen you in forever” but expect a few once in a while if it’s true. I may not reply in 5 minutes, but I will, and even ask to meet if a friend needs a shoulder or an ear. I won’t try to fix up a friend from one group with a friend from the other (i think we can all heave a sigh of relief about that part). I won’t keep trying to fit in people in my life that don’t want a part of it, and wish them luck on their own lives. Everyone will be happier, I won’t have to be awkwardly saying hi, they don’t have to respond.
As someone told me once, “Why not let it be the other way around? Let them bend over backwards to be your friend and not break yours?” It may sound selfish but hey, a friendship is a relationship is too, and it’s a two-way street. If you’re abandoned, don’t run after them, let them find their way back to you. Try not to hold grudges.
I <3 my friends. They are the weirdest collection of people and I cannot thoroughly explain how we connected. I pick up the strangest connections and the most unique groups. They’re the hardest people to find when you need them, but show up in the best times. I see a few of them everyday, some once in a decade, but I love them equally and miss them all the same.
I am a girlfriend now my friends, but I’m still a friend who won’t forget you. No matter what happens.