Most of the friendships I have made throughout life’s journey have been pretty amazing. I have been extremely blessed to have met so many good people who have remained my friend, despite the fact that we are often thousands of miles apart. And now that I live in the UK I have met and become very close to some very special people. So much so that the thought of moving back to Canada is hard to think about at times, even though I know deep down that that is where my heart still remains. (I’m sure I’ve mentioned it more than once on this blog.)
Tasha (my step-daughter) has been talking to me quite a bit recently about a friendship she has that seems to be breaking down and how she’s not so sure she wants to work at keeping it afloat; I understand where she is coming from. Friendships shouldn’t have to be hard work, however like any relationship they don’t come without a modicum of effort. It’s down to us how much effort we are willing to expend for different people. I have had many types of friendships i.e. work related, casual and very intimate. I often only manage to see or talk to the majority of my friends rarely yet when I do reconnect with most of them, it’s like we were never apart; to me this is what constitutes real friendship. What does niggle me about the odd friendship or two though, is when it seems to always be one person that has to make the effort. I tend to give up on those friendships after awhile, once I’ve determined exactly how long it takes for said friend to actually re-engage. So we drift; it's sad but unfortunately it happens.
I’ve been fairly lucky though when it comes to 'the staying in touch aspect' of friendship. I’d like to think it’s been an even playing field for the most part, yet sometimes I know I’m the one who is guilty of not making a phone call or sending a text just to say hello.
I’ve also had friendships that I thought were long over, that had fallen (or been pushed) off a cliff never to be recovered, only to find out after a few years that it had landed on a ledge and was going to be saved. Those friendships have been hard to climb back into, especially when years had passed and momentous events had taken place in both our lives. I don’t think they have ever quite gotten back to the comfortable, easy place they’d been initially, which is understandable in one way considering the miles that separate us; anyone would understand that building bridges aren’t so easy from opposite sides of the Atlantic ocean.
I have one friend though who I had been incredibly close to since the age of 15 and our friendship ended abruptly 11 years after it began. To this day (10 years on) I still don’t know why. She’d stopped talking to me once before over a guy (I won’t go into the reasons, this post is long enough), however once she decided she was no longer angry at me I let her come back because I missed her. However I informed her that I wouldn’t be able to go through something like that again. And I meant it, because when she tried to make contact about five years ago I couldn’t bring myself to go down that road again. It’s different when you have a falling out with someone and actually know why a friendship ends, but when you are cut off, with no explanation as to why, well that’s a hard one to get over. No break up with a man has ever caused me so much grief. I was left in limbo with no clue to as to what I’d done. When I’ve done something wrong I often fess up and can admit it, even if I’m not sorry. I honestly couldn’t find any memory (and still can’t) of what I could have done to upset her in such a way that she wanted nothing to do with me again. I only have a vague suspicion, a reason I grasped at that might possibly explain her actions, but who really knows except her? I know this happens in many relationships, though mainly between couples who are involved romantically. And trust me, I’ve had a few difficult break-ups with men, yet they were only in my life for a short time compared to this friend. It took me a long time to get past it and I don’t think I’ve ever really gotten over it. I think if she’d tried to reconnect sooner I might have been able to consider the possibility but not since moving overseas and starting a whole new life; one that she really has no place in anymore.
So when I hear Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye, a song that I adore, it makes me think of her and not an old boyfriend. And although I love the song, it makes me sad that it reminds me of her.
This verse especially brings so much back:
But you didn't have to cut me off
Make it like it never happened and that we were nothing
And I don't even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough
And you didn't have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number
I guess that I don't need that though
Now you're just somebody that I used to know.
Friendships: they can be as risky as any relationship yet worth the risk and effort of letting someone new into your life, especially when they turn out to be life-long. Some are definitely easier to get over then others when they end, yet one might come along that doesn’t work out and you will spend your life trying to forget it. You can chuck someone out of your life but forgetting them is easier said than done.