I recently went down to North Carolina with the fam (Levi included obv) to visit a long-time friend and her fam. And it struck me that I have had so many amazing friendships in my life, nearly all that I am grateful to tears for, that have come in, and sometimes gone out of presence.
I used to get so hung up on maintaining friendships near and far for no reason other than shared history. Upon self reflection, I was really afraid of what it meant if a friendship didn't last. That, if I couldn't do the work to stay in touch and relevant with someone that it would reflect poorly on me, or that the other person would be upset.
And of course, the story goes... she graduated into her 30's and stopped caring so much about what reflects on whom and who is judging anyways, and why do I care if outsiders understand my rationale?
When you do you, you realize that other people do them. And sometimes, in the reality of individuals being themselves, a connection between them may not persist beyond a specific event, period of time (sometimes crisis), or chapter of your life.
And that's OK. Really.
It took me a long time to convince myself of that.
And it's a good thing that I did, because as an introvert, my energy is limited severely and I like to surround myself with a very small group of close friends, rather than have a widely dispersed group of everyone from close to acquaintance types. I have still approximately 2 friends from high school, 2 from college days, and the rest are friends that I've really had only for the past decade of my life (usually less!)
I don't know what that means. If anything.
But, I do know that I treasure the current relationships I have. My friend from NC who I went to visit is a friend from grad school. She's one of very few friends who have seen me through my life overhaul- consisting of divorce, parent abandonment, same sex relationship, remarriage - and all of the wacko personality changes that have resulted.
I wrote in my very first KayShay code rules that Rule #1 was Be Yourself. And I was challenged to reach back and see how others perceived the change from who I was to who I am. NC friend was one of the people who weighed in on that conversation. Her response, along with several others is posted here. Those responses helped me understand that I didn't change who I was fundamentally, but I changed how I relate to others and what was important to me.
And now, I have no problem understanding what is important to me. And who is important to me. I will guard the relationships I have with those few fiercely and hope that our mutual need for each other never dies.