There are moments in your life when you have to just stop and think for a short time. Do you ever get those? It could be about times that you need to make a decision about a new job, or buying a new car, or just one of those many “things” that cause you to stop and think.
Tonight I had one of those moments. It actually caught me by surprise, as my evening had been full of fun with some friends, and it wasn’t until that moment occurred that I started to think, not just about that moment and what was happening, but other moments in my life over the past twelve months. Moments relating to my friendships.
As many of my friends and family know, Chris and I had a very close relationship with another couple that had lasted many years (I think over 12 or so). We did everything together, as best friends often do. What most don’t know, though may be aware of, is that friendship ended just over twelve months ago. Without going into the details of why that ended, let’s just say that we simply stopped being friends. When we saw each other, we were courteous towards the other and carried on superficial chit chat, and the like. But as devastating as this change in our life was at the time, we adjusted.
Well we adjusted slowly. What only a few people (i.e. family) really know is that it took us a long time to get over this sudden change in our life. We did try to understand why this had happened, but were never really clear, and the reasons seemed to change each time. There have been veiled attempts to see if the option to re-connect as friends was there, but these were unsuccessful (one of those moments that I spoke of before sent a very clear message to us that the relationship was gone), so you stop trying. It is true that a relationship can end as quickly as it starts, it’s the bit in the middle that determines how long it lasts.
Naturally, when you have a friendship that has lasted so long, your circle of friends is often intermingled very tightly. Chris and I had a core group of friends for so long that we did pretty much everything with, and those friends remain friends with this couple. Again, for the most part, this has not been an issue. While we have never really talked with our friends about how that friendship ended we have tried to keep engaged socially, while working to fill the void that we had experienced. Similar to a divorce, friends are often put in the awkward position to keep the friendship going with both parties, spending time with each and adjusting themselves to this new reality. For the most part our mutual friends did just that, but without really understanding (from our view) why this reality existed.
So now we get back to this “moment in time” that I spoke of earlier. It’s funny how a picture can tell a story (what is the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words) and sometimes the story it tells to one person is not the actual story. Of course, perception is often a veiled view of the real reality, so the story this picture was telling me caused me concern, worry and sadness.
Many of my friends and family would say that I am not an emotional person, which is untrue. I simply choose to shield my emotions. That being said, I value my friendships, and can be very protective of them, which can be emotional at times. The feeling that you have to work doubly hard to keep a friendship makes sense to me, as that is what friends do (in my reality). Of course, I’ve had my reality challenged in the past twelve months with the demise of our other friendship, and this has perhaps caused a more heightened level of concern – which up until this point I have not really been worried about.
So in this picture, there are two friends of mine, somewhere I didn’t expect them to be, based on communications with one of them. Where I thought they should be made complete sense, and was a reason to not join us in our evening with friends. Where the picture put them, told me a whole different story. So here I sit gazing into my navel contemplating friendships and sometimes how they can disappoint you.
Makes you really think.