Naples Pier

In my return to blogging over the last few days (or actually weeks, since that’s when I was working on the site redesign), I came across a draft of a blog post that I had started, apparently in September of 2016. I remember working on this post and never posting it, and I can’t believe it has been that long since I started it. While my thoughts have changed a bit, I still decided it was worth it to revisit and post my current thoughts on the subject matter. So, here is the draft of the post I had from back in 2016:

Sometimes I think I should come with a warning label.

Warning: loyal friend.
Warning: bruises easily.
Warning: forgives just as easily, sometimes to a fault.

I don’t want this to sound like a “poor me” story. It’s actually more of just me voicing my frustrations and lack of understanding. See, I don’t think I really “get” friendship anymore. Maybe I never did. At the very least, I seem to view it much differently than most people.

What does having a friendship mean to you? I think I’m probably too quick to be a friend to people. Especially when I meet people that I seem to click with. I trust easily. I always think that I’m protecting myself, but in the end, I seem to fail at that a lot. Not that I have friends that steal from me or anything like that. I just tend to feel like in the end, I valued the friendship much more than they did. And crap, again it’s already sounding like “poor me”.

I guess it’s better if I just make this about what I think about friendship. To me, a friendship is a relationship. I am quick to become friends with people, but not as quick to have close friends. Those friendships take time. However, I do trust quickly, so if I hit it off with you and you seem to want a friendship with me and to spend time with me, it’s not that difficult to become my close friend, really. I’m a pretty open person. I like most people, and I like to think I have an inviting personality. But maybe I’m wrong.

The reason I’m questioning all of this is because I just don’t seem to be good at keeping friends lately. I do have some good friends that make me think I’m not entirely wrong about friendship

That’s it. Yep, the draft ends in the middle of a sentence. I guess I’m just like that. So where I am at with it all now? 

Well, I STILL don’t “get” friendship. I don’t believe I ever did. I don’t believe I ever WILL. Friendship involves people too much to really understand, since people are all so different. How can you really understand it when everyone has a different idea of what it should look like?

Friendship is more fluid to me than it used to be. I think it used to be those people I spent time with on a regular basis, or even those people I had known for the longest. And don’t worry, those of you that fit into those categories, you still are very much my friends! But as someone who has now lived in three different states, my friends can be found (even geographically) in all different places. I have some friends I’d consider close that I’ve never met in person. I have others that I may not see in person too often, but still talk to every day somehow. And I have friends that I may not talk to every day, but I have known for what feels like forever and that are always still there for me and spend time with me when I’m in their neck of the woods or they’re in mine. Friends don’t have to be there all the time with you physically, or even very often. In fact, most of mine currently aren’t. But they are still just as important to me.

Here’s what I think now. I still believe that maybe I should come with all of those warning labels. I really am a loyal friend who bruises easily and also forgives just as easily. The thing that hurts me most, and what I believe caused this post from 2016 if I remember correctly, is when people walk away, unwilling to embrace confrontation enough to work something out. It’s simply something I don’t understand… how avoiding confrontation is ever more important than people, but I’ve learned that to many it is. And to those of you that it is… well, I’m sorry, but I doubt that we could ever truly be close friends. At least so far I haven’t had a lot of luck with that. I’m not even sure I want to anymore.

In short, I’m still learning. As a result of situations like the one that prompted this post in 2016, I’m really trying to find a balance in my friendships. I can’t push away everyone for fear of them walking away. I can’t be so insecure and accommodating that I don’t even trust them to stick around and continue to be my friend. But I can’t quite completely trust everyone right away either. And it’s in that cross between trust and vulnerability that the friendships that matter the most to me seem to end up. I don’t have a definitive answer. Just a battle, a struggle that I probably take more seriously than most people. That’s just me, and how I am. My friends matter. So the gist of it all is… I’m still working on it, finding that balance. Maybe I always will be, but hopefully that just makes my friendships a higher quality, rather than a lower one. 

Also, I think maybe “Warning: just a little bit crazy.” might not be a bad addition to that label. Oh well.