January 7, 2015

What Friendship Means to Me

Friendship is a generous word. Some people and cultures take it lightly and call everyone they meet and work with friends, and others choose their friends wisely. Whichever group you belong to doesn't matter when it comes to this post. All that matters is that we all long for the same. We all want friends we can spend time with, talk to, laugh with, call, and just be ourselves. It is that simple. 

Some of us go to work and call those colleagues friends. Some go to school and the classmates they talk to the most are their friends, and others even consider their Facebook friends as friends. Honestly, they aren't your friends. They will probably never consider you a friend unless you two are really truly friends...not colleagues, relatives, neighbors, classmates or people you once spend a day with. A friend should be someone you can text at midnight and a text will come back the same day/hour or very early in the morning apologizing for not responding sooner. A friend is someone you can call and talk about private {if not intimate} things with. A friend is someone who will travel for you if time and money allows. Sometimes this will not be possible and as painful as this may be {I have been in this situation twice so far} that friendship will not suffer. That friendship will grow because both sides will understand and continue to live life as beautifully as lived before. 

Personally I can't stand it when B calls his people at work friends. I have to correct him because those people aren't his friends. They never spend time together unless they work together. They never call or text unless it is work related. They never make plans together. They talk at work {and I don't want to know what they talk about} and that is it. There is no real friendship blossoming. Period.

Granted, as bloggers we have come across different kinds of people. We exchange cards, email on a regular basis, share stories, and yes, even meet up. Friendships form, most of them stay simple, others become so grand they become best friends. Friends you meet up with, travel with, text and call and share the same interests at times. Those blog friends turned real life friends are awesome. Kudos to all of us who have experienced this. 

Friendship to me means all that and much more. I have a few friends left in Europe whom I talk to often but nearly not often enough as I would like. We send each other cards, texts, gifts {I am working on a few things at the moment}, and just brighten each other up with stories and the feeling that yes, no matter the distance, we are there for one another.
I also have a few friends here. Unfortunately we don't live close to one another so I am really trying to make it happen and see them as often as I can. I greatly value the same gesture in return. When I moved I left part of me there. I didn't know it would be hard to find new friends. I didn't expect it to be so easy though, therefore, I have been strongly holding on to what I have left behind. With our lives being busy {or are we making them too busy?} makes it challenging to stay in contact BUT when a friendship really matters we make the effort.

I have had a friend who I thought was a great one to me. Yet, I believe the second she realized how I lived my life, how I studied, how I enjoyed the little things {a glass of wine after a long day for example} or just how I was made her judge me and probably made her disapprove of me. I don't know. I have had this feeling for a long time. I never told anyone. I felt betrayed. I felt bad. I felt sad. Yet, at the same time I told myself that no matter what and when I should remain the person I am. I shouldn't change to get her approval back or even our friendship back. I refused to change, and I still do. It pains me to see her do stuff with other people. It pains me to remember that she wanted to do things with me and then went behind my back and did those things with someone else. It is okay but it is not right to betray me that way. In a way I changed our friendship from "great and personal" to "colleague like", so we talk when it conveniences the both of us {or mainly her}. I feel bad, but I am not sorry. We have changed, or maybe we never have but never realized that we were different. Different isn't bad but if one doesn't tolerate the other one or accepts that one as who she/he is than it is not worth it.

This isn't me venting about an old friendship. This is me writing it out and being stronger. This is me living better and making 2015 a fantastic year. This is me getting rid of clutter {friends of all kinds, items, ideas} and making my life simpler, healthier, and above all happier. Isn't that what life is about?!

Friendship to me means being happy with the people I surround myself and share my life with. I won't apologize and I won't budge. It's time to clean my life of all those negative parts, and make room for new things, new friendships, new opportunities.

After all, it is a new year, isn't it?!

images via here and here


Joey said...

It's always hard when people we consider friends somehow turn out not to be friends any more--for whatever reason. I think you're right that you need to stay true to yourself. I hate that the friendship suffered from that though.

Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels said...

Oh, how I can relate. 2014 was a really tough year for me when it came to friendships.
Friendship "clutter", like any kind of relationship "clutter", is the hardest to get rid of. It's incredibly hard, and painful, and it requires a lot of courage and self-respect.

I don't mean to be dismissive of the people I no longer count as my friends, but for the purpose of this comment, clutter would be anything or anyone that does not make a positive contribution to your life. That may sounds selfish, but when you feel judged by someone you think of as a friend, that is not nice. Neither is nice when a "friend" lies to you and treats you as an afterthought.
And as hard as it is, when you recognize that maybe it isn't meant to be, and you are brave enough to let go, it is freeing. I am now the happiest I have ever been, don't feel lonely in the least, even though I have "given up" three close friends last year; because I have made a conscious decision to surround yourself with people who support me and respect me (and vice versa.)

Well done on being strong and brave enough to recognize that, and for respecting yourself enough to let go. You deserve better!


Tobia Nooke said...

Hey Selma,
Oh that is so tough!
My first experience of letting a friend I really cared about was when I was 13/14. It was tough and I believe it has shaped me and any friendship.
Last year I had another really tough one my best/longest friend was not able to commit to my wedding wishes (as of to stay in one hotel for one weekend and not bring her dog as I am scared my those creatures). It was tough for me telling her that I don't compromise on it and it did make a dent in our friendship but we are recovering. However we do live our life's very differently now and most the times we can not relate. But once I had realized that we were able to go forward. What I want to say is - sometimes there is hope but sometimes you just have to let it go.
All the best to you, Tobia

Mellissa "Shia" Rondinelli said...

I'm going through the same thing at the moment. It seems like when we were young it was much easier to make true friends and less complicated. Want to borrow my purple crayon - best friends for life. Now, it just seems that women (or at least a lot I meet) have a hard time being a true friend. I give so much and am the best friend someone could ever ask for but in the end I'm usually just being taken advantage of by someone only focused on their self. I just had to end a "friendship" that in all honesty she was never a friend to me.

Great post!


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