Thursday, August 02, 2007

Friendship

So. I realized that I haven't written anything very personal lately. And I realized that I've been avoiding doing so, telling myself that 'gosh, nothing much is going on in my life, I've just got nothing to say.' The truth is, I have a lot to say, I just keep stumbling over the words. I worry too much about expressing myself properly and clearly. I worry too much period.

There has been a lot going on in my life - there always is. There is something big looming, but I'll be a tease and just say that I don't want to talk about it yet but, fingers crossed, I can do so soon. And no, I am not with child - I'll nip that train of thought right in the bud (how's that for a mixed metaphor).

The big topic on my mind tonight is friends. And since I can't summarize my thoughts well on friends, I'll just tip the brimming cup over (alas, more metaphors). I wish I had more, friends that is, not cups. I don't feel I'm a very good friend (and no, I'm honestly not looking for sympathy and cries of 'but Cora, you're a fantastic friend!'). I'm jealous of the good friends of my good friends - I want them all to myself, even though I realize that would make them not be the friend I love - I still irrationally want their undivided attention. I don't feel I ever learned how to be a good friend - never had good friend role models, but learned to be excellent at developing co-dependent relationships. It hurts to open up and be vulnerable. And I'm afraid if I do open up, I'll sound like one of those people who tell you their whole messy life story when you've simply asked how their day is going. I worry about making new friends and being disloyal to my existing friends. I feel I just don't know how this friendship thing works.

I did buy a book - my solution to any problem, read a book! But seriously, it's SARK's new book, Fabulous Friendship Festival: Loving Wildly, Learning Deeply, Living Fully with Our Friends. I haven't read it yet. So, until then, I have a question for you, dear reader - how do you define a friend? What makes some friends better friends than other friends? And, if we are friends, how would you describe our friendship and what is one thing you would change about it?

That's quite a lot to ask I know, and I'm resisting taking it back and saying, 'oh, don't worry about it, you don't have to answer them.' Well, you don't have to answer those questions but I sure would appreciate it. Thanks.

3 comments:

liv said...

i don't know that i have a definition of the word friend. to me people come in and out of your life for a reason. some stake a claim and no matter where you/they are in the world, they are your friend forever. i also believe there are levels of friendship, which i think is perfectly ok and even necessary. i have a very close inner circle of people that i trust with my deepest darkest secrets, for the most part. (i am still working on giving more of my personal self and not just being a good listener - cause to build trust you do have to give some of yourself!) then there are the people i that are some where between friend and acquaintances. lastly, for me, there are the situational friends. these are folks that i enjoy and share some sort of bond with, but not on a regular basis.

as for what makes friends better or worse, for me it's about trust. i have built trusting relationships with people and know that if/when i ever need them, they will be their. some of my inner circle i don't see/talk to for weeks, but when we do it's as if we just spoke moments ago. that's what makes them so wonderful!

and yes - we are friends! great friends in fact. i would say you are just about there on the inner circle. i trust you. i think you are wise, caring, thoughtful, passionate, full of integrity, GOOFY and just generally a joy to be around. i wish we could have spent more time together when you were here. now, we'll just have to plan adventures together to make up for it! xo

amandanator said...

I guess being a friend is being there in times of need. Like Mulder and Scully. Always there to help, and give advice when asked, etc.

And when no matter how crazy or wierd that person is you still really enjoy their company (wink, wink).

So are we friends...absolutely! Could we be closer...absolutely! It's hard to put yourself out there, but I love being around you and that crazy J of yours! I love knowing that no matter the drama of our lives, we can come for a visit and chill, and know we will have a wonderful time with good friends.

Nanimal said...

wow, seeing as I just got home from 2 weeks of faraway friend world this question has intrigued me. Mind you, I have slept very little in the last 3 days and jet lag is keeping me from sleep now...

I have a very hard time letting down my guard and trusting that someone is there - for good, and I think that is quite bizarre considering I feel I have friends I actually consider family.
For me that is a true friend - one that you can fight with and love.
I think that friends like that are sometimes made in crisis. In hospital halls spent while someone is hurt and you open up a bit more than usual and fill a need for humanity in eachother. Or when you do something that is horrible and they tell you 'your an asshole and I need some time away from you - but I still love you'. I think sometimes this can backfire and friendships made in crisis crumble after, the pain of the crisis being mixed in with the friend.
I do believe very very much that you have to give and not just fake give - but selfless give to get back. You have to give emotionally and know you could get hurt - but not in a creepy stalker way :)
Sometimes you have to be tough love and know you could be ending a friendship - but if you don't end it - it does get stonger.
You can't lie, but you also have to be aware of people's feelings and be nice - and those two are not always the same. I find the whole "do unto others as you would have done unto you" works really well. I have sifted through many aquaintances to find the ones I have - and I have gotten to be a ruthless house cleaner. I don't keep someone around just to have friends and I think that has always kept open space in my life for the right people.
I do think I am uncommanly lucky and most people do not have what I have in friends... but I suppose a lot of people may think that way.

I don't think friendship is forever, I have had many people come and go... but certain friendships are forever and I cannot imagine life without them - even if I only talk to them once a year. Some friendships change over time and perhaps become caustic - like some lovers and moving on must be done.

My mother is not the kind of friend I am. I have tried to take better care of my friends. I made a choice to be a different kind of friend.

and I think this post is brave and curious and honest... I hold my friendships very close to my heart and make sure to care for them. These people are my chosen family and without then I would not be who I am. period.
I imagine you are on a path and being aware of what you want will make you more able to let people in. You are a joy to be around.

Isn't it funny how sometimes we set out our own limitations and what's cooler is that we can change them - but most people don't.
Rock on girl!
OH! and thanks for my tank top, my new friend I am glad to have the opportunity to become involved in your life.

OK well I blathered on quite a bit... hope it makes sense, what a great topic!