In my last blog, I sort of left you all hanging. Perhaps some of you weren't sure what you should do with your hands.
**Inside joke...as always say (in awkward moments) 'I don't know what to do with my hands.'**
So what I am about to say, took awhile to formulate in my brain. There have many thought provoking conversations....with myself...usually in the shower. Yep, that's where I do about 65.7% of my thinking. The rest is broken down during driving, and staring off into space at work during infrequent moments of downtime. In all honestly, I don't even know if I want to talk about this anymore. Mostly because I feel somewhat fired up these days--and I am not in the right kind of mood....but, I must deliver---so here it goes.
I guess what I really want to talk about, is a certain aspect of character. Or maybe I should call it a piece of human nature? Either way you want to look at it, I suppose I want to talk about friendship. How we build and maintain them, what goes wrong and what goes right.
In my last post, I told the story of my friend 'Jane.' If you didn't read, the short version mine and Jane's story is that we were friends that grew up together. We only got along on her terms, she was mean, I bent over backwards to try and be her friend---and in the end I realized it wasn't worth it and basically cut off all contact with Jane. The end. The truth of the matter is, we all encounter tough relationships at one point or another. Unless you're a hermit, or a complete recluse, you've most likely come into contact with some kind of conflict with another human being. In all honesty, who likes conflict? It's uncomfortable, and, either one--or even all of the individuals involved in the disagreement are to blame. It's tough and it can be tumultous...causing that firey feeling in your stomach.
To me, friendships are important--because they're people you can turn to during some of the worst times. Not that I am discounting family--because mine has definitely been there for me this past year and a half. Friendship is different, because you build them based off of your identity. To me, you grow into your friendships, and, sometimes you unfortunately grow out of them. Much like that favorite shirt you once had as a child. It once fit you perfectly, and now it's too short, or too tight. The fact of the matter is, it just doesn't fit you anymore--and that's that.
I'm not writing this because I'm currently in conflict with anyone. I'm writing this because I've been very reflective (lately) when it comes to friendship--and how mine have changed over the past 26 years of my life. You make friends in grade school, and when you get to high school, they act like they don't know you when you pass them in the hall. You go to college, and you make friends in dorms and in classes--some of which you still speak to this very day. You get into a relationship with someone, and when things go South, some of those friendships are lost. I've been very lucky on that front, however, because those continue to be very strong (with most). All in all, your relationships change, just as you change. It's part of life.
However, the dynamic of friendships do become very interesting (also) over time--much like a relationship. You see, the more time you spend with someone, the more you get to know the true person. Over time you get to see if they're loyal, honest and unfaltering. Most of us are lucky to have friends like that. Yet, sometimes you get the friends that are manipulative. Those are the worst kind, because you never know where they're coming from. Are they honest in what they're saying, or are they trying to find a way to use you to their advantage? These people, will do anything in their power to make themselves look better--no matter what the cost--these people will always come out on top. Manipulative people, much like Jane was, are in their very nature weak humans. They feed off of others, who might be vulnerable in their own way in order to make themselves stronger. After Jane, I had a friend like this. A person with whom I had a connection through a mutal friend. Most would think that I learned from my past friendship experience(s). However, I mostly let this individual get away with anything. Until one day, I wasn't really sad about the friendship and the way it was going. I was pissed. I didn't care if this person was in my life anymore because when it really came down to it, I could live without the constant back and forth. I could contribute that to a lot of things, and many of the changes I went through the past year. Even so, at the end of the day--I just didn't give a shit. I didn't give a shit about this person, I didn't give a shit about our friendship--and honestly didn't shed any tears over the posibility of never seeing this friend again.
I didn't give a shit, and I don't.
It's funny, because I used to. I give a shit about many things--and I still let people get under my skin. ALL OF THE TIME. That's the person I am I guess. I have said it before: I care too much about what other people think. I've been somewhat of a doormat--and I will be the first to admit it. Yet, a recent situation forced me to really think about who I want to be and how I want to be perceived by others. After much reflection, I came to a conclusion:
If I don't WANT to do something, I am just not going to do it. End of story. Plain and simple.
I've never been a difficult person, and I will give you the shirt off of my back if you need it--and I care about you (as long as I am wearing a tank top or something--because walking around topless in just a bra is both weird and uncomfortable). I have just come to the realization that, I don't have to do everything that a person asks, especially if I don't want to, and especially if it puts me out.
At the end of the day, the advice I can offer you is this:
Friendship is a beautiful thing, but it's all about give and take. It's also about understanding the give and take--and learning how to balance each. Without balance, resentment is inevitable. Either way, balance is always a good thing. Give and take, win some lose some, etc., etc.
Hope everyone has a fantabulous Valentine's Day. I'll be reminiscing about Al Capone, and my blog around this time last year. Mostly, I'll be thinking about how much I've grown--and how proud I am of the person I am becoming each and every day.