Too many thoughts rattle through my mind when I hear the word friendship, as of recent. The first thing I ponder is what is friendship? Each person has a different idea of what friendship should be. In the past I’ve been carefree about how much time or energy we invest in other people, as I’ve proudly stated that I am a low maintenance friend, yet I find myself questioning my past ways of doing things.
Many of my friends come from an old career and since leaving, I have felt those friendships drift. Perhaps it is because I don’t have the daily interactions that working forces us to have.
Perhaps it is because I have changed.
Yeah, the last one is more accurate. I find myself seeking more meaningful connections. Connections that involve more than general chit chat. I crave being around other “thinkers” who question every assumption we hold. Sure I care about your day and what work is like and how bills are kicking your ass. I also care enough to send texts, messages and invites to the big events in my life, but like so many others, these friends are “busy” with so many things that fostering a friendship is proving low on the totem pole. My expectation isn’t talking everyday. My expectation is just checking in with each other, seeing how life is going and having dinner every now and then, but this seems impossible for so many.
The sad truth is many of my friends seem more like strangers these days than close companions who seem invested in a give and take.
I find it ironic that I tend to be a great friend to people in need, always available when life is difficult, but when things are good in these peoples lives I am rarely a priority …
I’ve been struggling on how to deal with the situation. Call up these friends and express my hurt feelings? Sure, but isn’t that just a symptom of the sickness? Is that not begging the very questions this raises? Or, like I’ve been doing for months, continue in silence and just go along with the program?
Dave, a friend of mine, explained it well many years ago. Those that care will put forth effort, those that are fair weather friends will slowly drift from your life, and perhaps that is for the best. He is usually right. And he’s stayed in contact all these years later. And that truly is the answer isn’t it? You continue to invest in those that invest in you.
Thank you Mike Coyle for your care, concern and presence in my life. Though it may only be a few words on facebook every now and then, a meeting in Salt Lake for lunch, or money for London trip, TRULY, it meant a lot to me.
Thank you William Hobbs, you continually make effort to be a part of my life, even if I can be flaky and forgetful. Thanks for not giving up on me!
In closing I’d love to know what expectations you each have about friendship. Are there boundaries you have and if so what is a deal breaker for you?