Sunday, August 30, 2009

Learning about friendship

I'm not sure where to start. This blog has been in my head for days, and I've been dying to write it. So now, even though it's almost 11PM on a Sunday night and I have to work tomorrow, I think I'll put on some Norah Jones and start writing.

I've been thinking lately about friendship. A lot has happened in that aspect of our lives lately.

I'll be honest; I had a much nastier blog to post on this subject. However, after just writing it out I felt better and decided not to post it. My husband also had a long email to send, but didn't. Personally, I am trying to deal with hurt and frustration differently than I've done in the past, and not continually argue meaninglessly over things that have happened years ago, or things that have no relevance to the subject at hand.

I have to say, after giving myself a weekend to think and enjoy company with my friends and family, I realized how trivial and petty the things I wanted to say were. Do I still wish I could say those things and would I feel justified in saying them? Of course. How I wish they knew how I really felt. But it doesn't matter. There are more important things in life - such as drinking wine and eating pizza with a good friend... chasing my nephew around for hours on end... and having lunch with a friend I've known for years, catching up on each others lives. One decision at a time I hope to become a better person.

It's amazing how bitter and angry one can be... and how quickly this ruins friendships... from long-term friends of 13 years to new friends of a year or so. It also amazes me that someone can claim to be a friend (best friend, even) and yet refuse to listen, hear both sides, and and work out conflict. There are two sides to every story, and no one person is ever fully justified to point fingers and place blame.

I'm finding that Facebook has an evil side. It becomes a sort of altered-reality for a lot of people... people who think that by clicking "delete friend" that friend is somehow erased from their life. Really, all you've done is bring your friend count down by one. True reality will never allow that friend to be erased from your life.

I'm also learning how much I would regret saying a few choice words to someone, if tomorrow happened to be their last day. Fights, disagreements, and past problems fade into oblivion when put into perspective of the fragility of life. Really, being in the military we should feel this truth even deeper than most. Absolutely nothing is more important than relationships when you no longer have an opportunity to mend them. I have been opening my eyes beyond my own hurts and realizing there are oh, so many more places to focus my energy. I for one, know I would regret hurtful words I said in the heat of the moment; so I just don't say them.

As my friend wisely reminded me, "You will never regret not sending a letter written in anger."

I don't think I am better than anyone, nor do I look down upon anyone. I only live my life and purse things I'm passionate about. I have never purposefully tried to one-up anyone, nor do I belittle anyone. I make my own decisions and live with them. As do you.

I love my husband, and our life together. We are happy. We have friends who are supportive, encouraging, and as committed to the friendship as we are. There is nothing more hurtful than a one-sided friendship. True friendship exists where there is committment to work through issues, to talk to each other, and to swallow our pride and bite our tongue.

I've been learning a lot... a lot about myself, about people I know, and about human nature. It's not exactly pretty, but it's enlightening.

"The friendship that can cease has never been real."
- Saint Jerome


  1. Im proud of you!

    Hey who is that wise friend of yours?? she sounds very wise and amazing :D lol

  2. "I have been opening my eyes beyond my own hurts and realizing there are oh, so many more places to focus my energy."

    I like that. I'm learning that too, not necessarily just in relationships. There are a lot of things that I waste my energy on that just aren't important in the grand scheme of things. I'd rather focus in on things that matter to me, to Joe, to God.

  3. WOW! This is really powerfull! Its amazing how much we can not think of these things when were in the "heat" of the moment!

  4. You always have done such a good job of holding your tongue and carefully wording what you do have to say. I've always tried to learn from you in this aspect. You know it's not one of my best qualities...

    I actually found your book Burn the other day. Wow. I have had your book WAY to long. Will you fb me your mailing addy? I want to get it back to you. So sorry!

    Love you, girl!