Let’s talk about friends. Are we friends? What makes a friend and how do I fit someone into that category of ‘friend’? Do you maintain that relationship, and if so, how?
I’ve migrated a few times, have had friends move from state to state, as I’m sure many of you have as well. This is a common life concept – the whole moving away [physically or emotionally] from your roots and setting up shop elsewhere. When I was a kid there was a song that said, “Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other’s gold.” Anyone, anyone? There’s definitely value to both kinds of friendships, but sometimes’s it’s hard to keep the old or maintain what was once there.
Concentric circles are often used to illustrate relationships where the people in your life can move about the different circles, further or closer to your heart. I totally agree with this model and believe that relationships are meant to change over time and are never in the same place once, but I’ve also determined that they can either be active or passive. The active friendships are the ones you constantly [or at least somewhat consistently] maintain – the people you live your daily life with or keep up with often from a distance in whatever medium you choose. The passive friendships are the ones where you may go months and months without talking and when you see each other it’s like no time has passed. They don’t really take maintenance per se because your history and level of friendship has already been established. There’s nothing wrong with these relationships, in fact there’s something quite sweet about them, but the passive ones are the kind I struggle with the most and I haven’t quite figured out why [though I'm fairly certain it has to do with my self worth insecurities]. I think part of it is realizing the hard truth that relationships are frequently lopsided – that one person may care more and thus put in more effort than the other to maintain or grow it, and it’s dreadfully painful to be on that end of it but hey…it happens. To me, putting in the effort from afar shows how much you value that friendship, but of course we all have different love languages so at the end of the day it’s truly hard to gauge and I should just let it go, love regardless of reciprocated efforts, and live on. So that’s what I’ve been doing and will continue to do – live on. Cheers to friends!
[ photo by momomi ]