To date, my closest friends came at the most integral points of my life.
High school – one friend
University – two friends
First (real) job – one friend
Second job – one friend
Just so you know, these friends aren’t constant. They blow in for a visit, stay for a while, then they blow out again.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships. Trying to make sense of them.
Let me explain and perhaps you’ll find that it’s the same with you. At certain times in my life, a specific friendship assumes more importance than any other. This friend is the person I share everything with. I listen to their dreams, thoughts, fears and hopes and in turn, share mine. At that point, I can’t imagine another friendship assuming more importance than the one I’m currently immersed in.
For you, maybe this happens with romantic relationships. During this time, you may come down with a virus called “name-itis”. What is “name-itis” you ask? Well – name-itis happens when you become so caught up with someone else that all you do is mention their name.
Y said the funniest thing.
Y was telling me that….
Y did ….!
Hey, don’t be embarrassed! We’ve all been there.
Then – the unimaginable happens.
Something flippant is said. Something happens. And suddenly my feelings are under assault. My friend has packed their suitcase and it’s now standing by the door.
The question is, did I see them differently from how they saw me? Was this friendship more meaningful to me than to them?
After shifting the focus on my lens, I become acutely aware that we are, in fact, two separate people, not sharing one mind, thoughts, and forevers as I’d believed. I’m also acutely aware that I am, in fact, very much an island.
Oddly enough, this phenomenon is also true for children. As children, we’re fickle when it comes to whom we love and hate. But as adults, are we truly different? Sure, we learn skills that make us more able to listen and make bygones out of hurts. But we’re not really that different.
Recently, someone told me (and this was how I interpreted what they said) that everyone has multiple “voices”. During a lifetime, we may only ever witness one voice from a friend. It’s the voice we grow to know, the voice we associate with them. But it’s not their only voice. Imagine the surprise when we find that someone who’s always been supportive of us, and complimentary is nit-picky and critical towards someone else.
So, when their suitcase is packed and waiting by the door, don’t be upset. They haven’t changed. Just assume you’re hearing another voice of theirs. Or consider that their suitcase is packed because they heard another voice of yours.