Friday, October 14, 2011

Why is this friendship thing so hard?

I happened across this post that I started back in March and find the subject still screaming at me loudly. I guess that means it is time to address it. Somehow spitting these things out on "paper" helps me sort through them in my mind. So here it goes...

Friendship is so complicated. So full of emotions and expectations and evolutions. I WANT it to always be effortless and sweet and mutually fulfilling. I don't want much, do I?

In a world of limited time and energy, I find that I am needing to modify my "friend list". I want to stop wasting time and energy on people I don't enjoy. I want to focus on the friendships I deeply value, some old and some new. I am just not exactly sure how to cut through the rest. "The rest" aren't necessarily bad people. I just want to focus on feeding the good parts of me and certain people are better at helping me do that than others.

I was recently talking to a long-time friend about losing Laurel. He didn't know her well (friends from different life seasons), and I was trying to identify what it was about her that had such a profound effect on me. What came out was that she just was so good at helping me be more of what *I* wanted to be. She made me stop and think about what was at the core of me and what I wanted and then nudged me down that path without judgment or argument. She just made me want to live a bigger life and be a better me. I haven't ever met anyone else who was quite as good at that as she was. I miss knowing that she has my back.

Which brings me to the "seasonal" nature of friendship. The friendships that develop because of an association in time or place are quite disturbing to me in a lot of ways. I tend to bond intensely and then mourn the loss of that bond as time and/or distance erodes it. Not to say that all of those friendships disappear or even really lessen, but the evolution of the nature of the bond is hard for me to handle. It makes me feel like a failure. Like I haven't done enough to nurture the friendships that are/were so valuable to me. Or, even worse, like I picked badly when I realize it is time for me to let a friendship go - that the "season" has passed and for one reason or another that particular friendship is no longer valuable to me. It is hard to let go.

So I guess the deal is this...I need to figure out a way to draw those people that feed my soul closer to me and cut the others loose. And then in return, I need to figure out how to help those people become more of who they want to be. Because Laurel taught me that THAT is the kind of friend I want to be. Now to figure out how to accomplish that.

Why is this friendship thing so hard?