Tuesday, January 10, 2012

dropping the string.

I've been thinking about friendship a lot lately.

I usually do, because I pull myself thinly in every direction in a never ending battle to stay in touch with all of the people that I care about. Not just in touch, but to stay friends with. To span the miles. To span the time apart. To be a viable person to pick up the phone and call.

As much as I hate to admit it, it's harder when you're in a romantic relationship. These things take time to upkeep, force things that were once in the foreground out into the periphery. I've struggled with that a lot since Matt and I got together. Before, I was mostly single for two years, and before that, I was always sort of a rolling stone anyway. I'd prioritize girl time above all else. Now, it's different. Not worse or better. Just different.

I heard once that we only have the emotional capacity to really engage in a limited number of relationships at once. Like theater seating almost. You have your front row, the next row, and everything else receding behind it tapers in importance and investment. I just try to stretch the limit.

I always want more.

It's not really THAT many people, because I am a bit of a friend snob. I always have been. I've never been incredibly popular, or the person that everyone orbits around, the glue. But I have a discerning eye when it comes to forming relationships. I'll hold out when I have to. I'll cut people out without warning when the situation requires. 

I don't trust easily.

The people that I surround myself with, they're my heart. In return I'll give you my last dollar, tissue, minute of free time, gallon of gas, and I'll love you. I'll love you the best I can, which admittedly sometimes falls a bit short. But I try. God, do I try.

I've missed things, gatherings. Whole weeks I could have spent within a tight circle of gal pals, sleepovers and wine nights and movies. I've missed things, I know I have. But in as many more times I've risked the peace of my relationship to stay relevant within the group. I strive for the balance, even if I've fallen short. And I'm quick to say "I'm sorry" when I feel I haven't upheld my end of the unspoken agreement, when I've lacked in some way at being a good and decent friend.

I'm an introvert. When I make connections with people, they mean everything to me. I'll turn a single exchange over and over in my head trying to make sense of it. I'm slow with friendship. I'll build it, patiently, defying my usual nownownow outlook on life. Most importantly, I make sure it's built strongly. With the best materials- double, triple reinforced.

I have honed my skill, when it comes to picking out people to trust. I rarely make mistakes now. I rarely waste my time. I'm efficient when it comes to relationships, if nothing else. It's not about judgement, it's about knowing you could trust a person not to crush you. It's about being willing and able to give and receive friendship. Holding a bond, the other end of the string. Trust.

Sure, I've been crushed, I've made mistakes in choosing friends. Who hasn't?

But I've been right more than I've been wrong. It's one of the few skills of mine that I truly treasure. I know a good person. I can see right through.

Recently, though, I've had a sneaking suspicion that I've made a huge mistake.

That something, someone I put so much faith and time and effort into maintaining a friendship with, they're just slipping away.

And no matter how far I try to reach to meet them halfway, they're walking in the other direction.
To be rocked this way, to be wrong, it feels almost like a breakup, although there will be no closure. No conversation. No confrontation.

In some ways ending a friendship is so much more painful than ending a romantic relationship. Sure, you don't have to show up with a box of things to return, necessarily. Divvy up the memories to 'yours' and 'mine.' With friendship, I've found things fade away. Lose their luster. The tide recedes back into the rest of the ocean. There's not really a point in confrontation, because at best, things are never as effortless as they once were, and at worst, it's an awkward conversation or disagreement that creates and chism between the entire group. There's simply no end. Just the haunted feeling that even though you grasp your end of the string with all your might, the other person has let go, wandered off.

We'll still see each other at group gatherings. I'll still laugh at her jokes. 

But I don't see how I could let her in again. It's not even really a choice. I just can't.

I'm just tired, so tired of exhausting myself and fretting over what I could have done to salvage it.

I'm done. The string? It's probably floating around in oblivion somewhere, with no one left to anchor it. The pictures? They can stay.

No comments:

Post a Comment