Gosh it’s been awhile! I’ve been extra busy with school, and that will continue through the end of the year. But I’ve also been busy keeping resolutions this year. One of the biggest ones was being a good friend. By that, I mean making time for people in a day and age where everyone is busy, and no one seems to really have time for what they want to do anymore.
Earlier this year, I made a split second decision to go down to Florida to see one of my oldest and dearest friends between school semesters. We were on the phone, and she simply said “God, I just miss you so much.” I realized in that moment how much I missed her too, and it couldn’t wait another moment. A great deal on Delta fell into my lap and a month later, I was on a nonstop flight from Detroit to Orlando. With zero regrets. I didn’t want to see Disney, I didn’t need to be wined and dined, I needed to see my friend. I needed to regale the stories of our lives, order blinds, lie by the pool, have drinks on the lanai with neighbors, and hear her laugh again. It was perfection. She took time off of her new job, and I took time off of mine. We made time for each other. Four days in fact.
Soon after my return, with barely a moment to catch my breath, I was scurrying through another semester. I looked up my oldest friend, the one I’ve known longer than anyone on the planet, and made a coffee date. It lasted over four hours. It was if a moment hadn’t passed, despite the fact we had not seen each other in years. She’s busy. I’m busy. We made time for each other when neither one of us really had it to spare. It was time well spent. Again, zero regrets and efforts to do better the next time were made.
So when does a friendship lose its value? When does the effort stop to get on a plane, or drive for an hour to meet someone for coffee? Sometimes the things that hold you together no longer serve you, I suppose. As a writer, I find that the bulk of my friendships run deep. I’m an open book, as “punny” as that is, and tend to form very deep, solid, committed relationships. When you have a relationship that is one sided, the well runs dry. You should never, in ANY type of relationship, have to force it or beg for someone’s time. If you have the sort of relationships I have, you should never feel like the last important thing in someone’s life. I found myself in that situation recently. I found myself begging for someone’s time. For months.
Whenever I run into obstacles in life, I tend to take the same advice that I give to others who seek it. I try to step outside myself and imagine, if my best friend asked me what to do, what I would tell them? It was like a light bulb the moment I realized if the friend wanted to be with me, they would make time. And they wouldn’t. In fact, they would choose to instead act as if I were trying to be a victim. You realize that friends show up for the funeral, but true friends are around two weeks later when the real grieving starts. You realize that true friends don’t have to be begged for attention, they are so happy that you called! You realize that maybe, just maybe, the person who continually rejects you just simply doesn’t enjoy your company anymore. It happens. Like a tired marriage, they quit caring.
I find I do best with people who are creative, thoughtful, quirky, funny, honest folks who can bare their souls. Not just to me, but to themselves too. It’s called getting real. I don’t do well with someone with walls up so high no one can ever get over them. After 40 years, those walls shouldn’t stand in between us, but they do. I am a good friend. I am loyal to the ones I love. I will fly across the country to see you and I will drive across the state to have coffee with you. And I will always have your back. When you no longer have mine…. well, it’s not hard to figure out the ending.
It’s hard to say good bye. Anytime. In love, in friendship, in families, in life and in death. It’s really hard to say good bye. It’s hard to imagine, as you rise up to the most amazing parts of your life, that the one friend will no longer be there to savor those successes with you because they simply don’t care anymore. It’s tough to realize one of the few people on the planet who knows so much about you, and who you share so much with, will only read about it through social media, blogs, or your first book, if they should even be bothered to read it.
For sure. It’s hard to say good bye.