Sunday, July 31, 2016

Lessons Learned

I had a friend, who I felt very close to. We talked for hours about nothing at all, and had quite a bit of things in common. I enjoyed her company and I thought she enjoyed mine. We talked about our mutual thorn in the side, and our kids. Our kids were siblings, you see.  It's a weird relationships, and it's understandable that it would eventually fall apart- which it did. 

Several memories flash across my mind: kids at the kiddie park eating ice cream, playing cards against humanity and changing one of the card to "his name" so the game would be funnier.  We had a great laugh; we laughed until we cried! It was a great time.  I was there for her, letting her stay at my place when things hit the fan for her in her life. She stayed a few days, with the siblings hanging out doing what kids do. We laughed, we watched the TV, ate dinner together and talked. We had a great time. But, eventually the sun sets. She went back home, and tried to work things out. 

We had troubles of our own- The house was falling apart. I worked like a dog, saving every extra cent I made so I could get my family out of that house. The land lord refused to fix it, and the ceiling was caving in and the walls were removing themselves from the floor. It was scary and I started having nightmares that the ceiling caved while we were asleep. When we have what we felt was enough, we contacted a realtor (a referral from a coworker) and started looking. We looked in Bulverde, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Leander, and finally Georgetown. We put money down on two homes before we found a brand new, never owned home. We fell in love with the backyard and put our money on it. It was ours a few weeks later. During this time, my friend quit returning my calls, and texts.  I figured she was dealing with troubles of her own. 

Once we were settled, I tried to contact her a few times and experienced the same result: she just didn't seem interested in being my friend anymore. Friends return calls, right? Or perhaps she was busy. That must have been it, right?  She did have her own problems, too.  I tried to be there for her, letting her know that I was still here and that she could talk to me. I let her know I moved, and she didn't seem too excited about us getting out of that crappy house we were in. 

It became clear that things weren't the same, when after a year, we still haven't talked on the phone. We went from talking daily, for several hours at a time, to nothing in just a few weeks. What could have caused that? What have I done to anger her?  The answer- it turns out- was nothing at all. I did nothing wrong. 

Since she isn't here to defend her actions, I won't be overly harsh.  She did what she did, and that's that.  "Friends" are different than "acquaintances".   I learned that you never can tell who your true friends are- except with time. I figured 3 years was enough time, but then again, perhaps not. She gave me several gifts that I will not soon forget: 

I figured out what my strengths are.  I figured out that I am strong both mentally and emotionally, and I am not the broken teenager that I once was.  I have grown up, woken up and am able to voice my needs and desires, as well as the facts under stressful and tense situations.  I am able to laugh when times are tough.  I enjoy a good night out with the girls, talking over a glass of wine. I am a nerd, and that's ok. I like talking about a wide range of topics, and each one is ok. There is no need to justify your existence, nor to seek approval.  As one of her quotes go "worrying about what (so and so, insert a name of your choice here) thinks of me is like worrying about what bacteria thinks of me- I don't really care". 

I learned that there are some things you trust with a few people, and that you can't trust everyone with everything. It's ok to talk to a friend about one thing, and not with another. That conversation may be boring to them. Take things slow, and pay attention to their actions, not just their words. Words can be covered in sugar, yet slice you in half, and their actions may be only to serve them, and not the friendship relationship as a unit. 

I also learned that sometimes, the person you call a friend, may one day be the one to tear apart your heartstrings. Treasure the time, and treasure the memories. Some people come in as lesson, some come as blessings, and for mine: she was both. I learned so much with her, and I felt beautiful. Thank you.  Thanks for the lessons, and thanks for the memories. 

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