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Saturday, August 25, 2007

(I think) I'm the friend. I have definite confirmation that I'm not the "bend" or the "end", anyway.

As we grow from kids to teens to undergrads to adults, friendships seem to get both more simplified and more complex. Simplified because it's only natural to have your social life streamline to a degree as couples commit their lives and futures to each other and begin to create their own self-sufficient family units; the double-edge of that sword being that the friendships surviving this new phase become, in certain ways, more complicated to maintain. There are many other priorities and things to focus on.

Before I was 17, I had already moved around the country with my family 5 different times; which taught me the value, importance, and hard work of maintaining friendships. They won't survive on history alone. No glory days are glorious enough to render a truly everlasting friendship that allows people to grow into themselves. One friend can't take on the burden of maintaining a friendship. It never works. If it's a road you'd like to continue on with someone else, you have to realize that the output of energy into your friendship, as with any other kind of relationship, is a two-way street.

Some of my closest friends to this day are the ones I haven't lived in the same town with for 20 years, and thankfully those friendships are based on a long history but aren't dependent on the "old days"-- even if I only speak with them a few times a year--to survive. I can't say the same for some friends I've lost along the way, though, stuck on a page in the past; wrapped up in old stories and glories that they were seemingly (and sadly) never meant to advance beyond.

I'm sure everyone has gone through this kind of thing. My old--and current(!)--friend Amy has recently blogged about it as well. A few years ago (and a few years before that!) I went through some very difficult things involving this subject and am pretty certain I'm the friend she refers to in the opening paragraph.

I'm sharing this link to her post, "Friends, Bends and Ends", in case you are going through something painfully similar and would feel better knowing you aren't alone, because you're definitely not.

But what happens if you find yourself remaining in a friendship with someone with whom you have only one thing in common: history?

photo © ach

1 comment:

Kat said...

I know exactly what you mean. I also noticed that from every "stage" of life only a few relationships survive but these seem to last forever. You cannot be friends with everyone and sometimes people move in different directions but the best friendships I have maintained with friends that live abroad or far away.