Shifting Friendships

Sometimes friendships just fizzle out, and others just go dormant.  Sometimes lukewarm  acquaintances develop into all out friendships, and these are all a part of the ebb and flow of friends.  This is normal, but doesn’t stop me from being caught off guard.

I have a friend of almost 20 years who, over the past 5 years or so, has been slowly fading out of the picture. She has been around since the most turbulent times of our lives, our 20s.  I happily leave that time of discomfort and instability behind and never look back. My friend desperately wishes she were 20 again, and tries to recreate the experience now, 20 years later. I don’t care about anything that I cared about way back then. My life is so different now and you couldn’t pay me to go backwards.  The two of us have nothing in common except the past and until her recent defriending of me on a social network I hadn’t really faced that truth.

So where do we go from here? We didn’t really have a fight.  We still care deeply about one another.  But our conversations have lost the excitement of the past.  We went from seeing each other once every couple of weeks to once ever 3 months or more.  I’m pretty sure that she’s annoyed with me because I pointed out some ugly realities.  I’m frustrated with her (from my perspective) lifestyle stagnation.  Like when you are getting a shot and you see the needle moving towards your arm and you cringe and wait for the pain only to find out it’s all over and it didn’t even hurt, I’m not upset by this breakup.  In a way, I’m relieved that I no longer cringe and anticipate the ending of this friendship.

On the very same day of that boot to my butt, someone I’ve known for about 6 years or so, a good friend of a good friend, whom I always thought was an interesting and fun person but we never really hung out together reached out to me.  Come to find out, this person is going through some large-scale friend shifting herself.  We had a nice conversation and discovered new things we have in common.  We have plans to get together soon.

My new-found friendship will never replace my long time friendship.  The only relationship between these two events is their proximity in time.  That proximity in time only highlighted to me what was inevitable:  Time to express gratitude and  let go, time to embrace and move forward with the ever-evolving friendship flow.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. suzi israel
    Aug 23, 2010 @ 12:49:01

    Thanks to Manda for sharing your blog with me. This is certainly relatable for me too!!

    Reply

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