Monday, March 26, 2012

Now You're Just Somebody That I Used to Know

* I started this post before Christmas and never got around to finishing it until now so sorry if it seems out of the blue. I'm not in the thick of these feelings now, although there is a bit of lingering hurt, I just hated having it sit there incomplete.*

I read this quote in a magazine recently that really resonated with me. In fact, I tore it out of the magazine and now keep it on my car's dashboard as a reminder (or at least I thought I had, I just looked for it to use it here and it looks like it's become a victim of one of MOTH's car clean outs).  Basically its message was that just because you used to be friends, doesn't mean you have to continue to be friends simply because you have known each other a long time.  You should only continue to be friends with people who make a positive contribution to your life.

As I've gotten older, I've stopped being a friend collector.  At this point I feel like a person is either a good friend or they're not. Generally, I don't burn any bridges, I just let people fade into acquaintance (or less) status and I give people lots of chances.  We're all human, we all mess up sometimes and hurt the people we care about; me included, me especially sometimes it feels like.  But at some point, I do reach a breaking point and say "Enough is enough.  You've hurt me or let me down for the last time."

See, until I moved here, I didn't really know what it was like to have good girl friends. Girls who have your back 100%, girls who don't flake out on you, girls who don't gossip (at least not a lot or in a malicious way, because come on, when you are close to someone, you're bound to get on each others' nerves every once in a while and say something in frustration or the heat of the moment). I'm lucky to have found that in the girls I call friends here.  My life is pretty drama free these days, but if I were to need something, I've got a bunch of girls in my corner I know I could call for help.

From the time she was a young teenager, my sister was fortunate enough to always make really deep and awesome friendships with girls. As her life has changed, she doesn't keep in contact with all of those good friends anymore, but while they were in her life they were in her life and ready to go to bat for her and show up for her whenever she needed them. Her girls were her family when we weren't around. I was always jealous of that. Now, I have that on some level with my friends here, too.

My sister is ballsier than I will ever be in a lot of ways.  She, for example, called out someone who was being a fair weather friend.  The person made a request for her and backed it with a "do this for me because we are friends" plea and Nae flat out said to her, "No, we are not.  A friend has your back no matter what.  A friend shows up.  You are only my friend when it's convenient for you.  You are an acquaintance."  Ouch! Surely that must have stung the person a bit, but you know what?  Sometimes being a good friend is calling people on their shit.

Oh man, how I wish I could say that to a few people!  I think half of me would feel so empowered but maybe the other half of me would feel really crappy?  While saying that to her former friend/current acquaintance may have forced some re-evaluation on the acquaintance's part to try and work back towards a friendship, the people I want to say it to, it just wouldn't make a difference to.

And so I do things my way- I bite my tongue, I let myself be hurt and mourn the loss of what were once important friendships, I let my contact with that person fade, and I focus on all the people I DO have in my life that build me up.

Just because we aren't friends now, doesn't mean you weren't an important person in my life at some point.  And just because you've hurt me, doesn't mean I won't still look back fondly on a lot of the memories we made together.  While we aren't friends any more, I certainly don't want to be enemies either and I think biting my tongue and not expressing my hurt and avoiding potentially saying something that I can't take back is the best way to leave it, even if it doesn't bring any closure to things.

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