Friends come and go …

such is one of the intricacies of life.  Sometimes, the best of friends can become separated for one reason or another.   It is difficult to come to terms with such things, but there is no avoiding it.  Not everyone you expect to be there for you will be there for you.  It is best to learn this early in life so that later on, it doesn’t come as a shock when you realize that people fade from your life.

If you give everything you have to a friendship, you should be aware that the possibility of disappointment, betrayal, hurt and denial are viable options.  It happens.  It doesn’t mean that you, or they, have done anything wrong, but have simply drifted apart to the point that there is nothing left in common.  Having a conversation with someone you have nothing in common with is like being skewered by a porcupine.  It hurts everywhere, all at the same time, and the reason often goes unknown.   I would like to say it is not a reflection on ourselves, but sometimes it is.  Sometimes our selfishness and desire to know that our friends understand us gets in the way of understanding that they, too, need validation and understanding.

There are people from my past that I loved dearly, but haven’t spoken to them in years.  It isn’t because I didn’t want to talk to them, but that our lives took different paths and there came a time when there was nothing left to say.  I find that many people distance themselves from me because I am completely different from what they have become accustomed to.  I am about plain speech, brutal honesty and speaking my mind.  I am both weak and strong, both intelligent and ignorant and at times, a seemingly unworkable puzzle.  Often, the filter between my brain and mouth fails.  When someone asks me for an opinion, I give it.  Truthfully.  There are those who don’t want the truth, but an illusion.  I don’t do illusions.

It is enough, for me, to know that there are people who understand that I am not like them, not like their other friends, not like anyone they know.  That doesn’t stop them, though, from being there when I need them.  It doesn’t stop them from loving me when I yell, cry and meltdown right in front of their eyes.  It doesn’t stop them from asking questions that may possibly have an answer they didn’t expect to hear.  It doesn’t change who they are or how they interact.   They take it in stride and see it as no more than what it is.  Me being me.  Those are the people I cling to.  The ones I message in the middle of the night with random thoughts that, quite possibly cross a multitude of boundaries … at times, I get an answer, but, some days feel as though I am no more than a vapor in the wind; conversations deferred until they have the mindset to go one on one with me … They are the ones who hear what I say and accept it, although it may perplex them but they do it without judgement, advise or trying to fix me.  I’m not a broken doll who needs her arms glued back on, but, just someone whose mind sometimes goes faster than what the rest of me can keep up with.  It is a fallacy and unthinkable injustice to think that they, who give of themselves, do  not need the same.

It is an implausible thought to believe that our friends think of us all the time.  Maybe some of them do and just forget to say so.  Maybe they outgrow us and find that there isn’t any common ground left … sometimes, yes, but not always.  Our minds have a way of distorting things and making judgements that are unjust and just plain false and when we do that, we ostracize ourselves because of our imagined ignorance.

While it is true that there are times when I ask more of my friends than they are able to give; the ones who truly want to be in my life say so.  They tell me that I’ve pushed the envelope over the boundaries and need to take a step back.  I need, as much as I give, honesty when it comes to my dearest friends.  I don’t ask for unconditional devotion.  That is an unrealistic expectation and should be met with opposition, but I do expect honesty.

Our friends are not merely there to stroke our ego or soothe ruffled feathers.  If that is all they do, eventually, they will become disillusioned and separate themselves for our lives.  I have caused that a few times.  Been too much work and not, in the grand scheme of things,  important enough to understand on a level that may never be achieved.

I am thankful for my friends.  My dearest friends know who I am and if they don’t, then it is as much my failure as theirs.  It is, indeed, a bitter pill to swallow when you realize that someone has distanced themselves from me simply because I don’t fit the mold they have cast for a friend.  It took me years to find myself, and even now, I am still learning and as long as I live,  if I have my mind, I will continue to learn.

Yes, friends in our lives will continue to come and go, but the ones who are true will be there when you need them.  That is not a supposition, it is a fact.  So for the handful of friends that I have who are not daunted by my mood swings, months of dis-communication,  missed birthdays, forgotten anniversaries and, at times, bombardment of questions, accusations and needs, know this;  I am thankful for you.  And, when the time comes that I can be there when you need me, know without a doubt, that I am on my way.

Thankful for my real friends and, surprisingly to some, my family, and even more thankful that they know not only who they are and what moves them, but find that they, even if they didn’t realize it earlier, know who I am.  Being understood is one of life’s most cherished blessing and while many of us go our entire life without finding that bond, the rest of us realize that the blessing is astronomical.  I am grateful for my friends.  I am thankful that, though I am different, they accept me.  I find it hard, though I may want more, to ask for more.  I am curios in a way that only a Sagittarian can be.  I have wants and desires, but won’t bash my head against a brick wall to get fulfillment.  There will come a time when I will, because it is in my nature, move on.

I think it is safe to say that the “I want it yesterday” world we live in is a hindrance.  Not everyone follows those same rules, the code of immediacy is not their own. It doesn’t make them a bad friend.  It makes them dependable and loyal.  It is hard to wish for more than loyalty, dependability and honesty in our friends.   Asking more is selfish and self-centered and will, in time, result in the disintegration of the friendship.   When you ask for more than someone can give and then hold it against them, the burden is of our own design.  At times, just knowing, whether they say so or not, that my friends think of me on occasion is enough; sometimes it isn’t.  We all need validation on some level, need to know that what we have isn’t one-sided and wasted on those who don’t really understand us and have no desire to.  But there will be ones like that, in those times, who become water under the bridge.  We learn lessons that will help us be better people in the future.  I have friends that I talk to on occasion, but the connection is one that, irregardless of excuses, stand the test of time.  They know more about me than anyone and they are the ones, being honest here, who hurt me most.  It isn’t their fault, but my own unattainable expectations that play tricks on my mind and make me doubt when there is no valid reason to do so.

I am thankful for my  real, honest to goodness friends.  As long as they are in my life, in some capacity, I can deal with nearly anything.  I know their weaknesses and disappointments even as they know mine.  Such intimacy in a friendship is hard to find and should not be taken for granted.  Be a friend, a loyal, trustworthy friend, and inevitably, you will reciprocate the same.  It is the way the world works.

frombehind_2009

Proverbs 27:17 ~  Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

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