Thursday, November 29, 2012

Just Friends

You're such a good friend, Nellie!...Laura Ingalls Wilder

Favorite TV show growing up. EVER. Loved the books, the show and the whole part and parcel. I was the only kid on a elementary school field trip who knew how pioneers carried water. Oh, the things I learned from Laura Ingalls Wilder! This iconic scene has stayed with me over many others. Her "friend" Nellie has duped Laura into thinking that she hurt her leg and caused her to be in a wheelchair. Nellie is actually fine, but using the situation to boss Laura around and get attention. Laura finally gets wise to the whole scheme and pushes Nellie down a hill to show she can actually walk yelling "You're such a good friend, Nellie!" Yeah, right.

I was giving some thought this week to friendships. For some reason, I feel the end of the year and the holidays causes me to reflect upon the past year and the changes it has brought. For better or worse I think change actually has the most influence on friendships and relationships because once you evolve people have a new place or sometimes lack there of in your life. Or occasionally, there is that disappointment or the circumstances beyond your control that lead people to walk out of your life. Sad, but true, but honestly how many of us can really say we have the same set of friends we had 10 years ago? Perhaps in a way this is a positive because I know I wouldn't really want to still be the same person that I was all that time ago. I would have hoped I would have evolved somewhat!

During a recent dinner with a friend from high school, we were both sort of discussing that we were a
little the odd ones out. After all, we're both in our 30s and not married, let alone on the precipice of having children. Almost everyone we know from our age group has a toddler bouncing on their knee in a family portrait on Facebook. Since our lives are so different, how can we really continue to hold the same importance in that friend's life when their priorities have been shifted so dramatically. I think it's less on the radar of the person who is navigating their way through change and causes the person left behind to feel, well, a little left behind.  We can never really stop trying to make new connections since our needs change on a reoccurring basis. Who doesn't have the friend who has fallen off the face of the earth with a new beau only to resurface when the relationship is on the rocks or they are single again. No one wants to be alone but how understanding should you be - there is a certain point when there is a shift from empathetic friend to pushover. I certainly don't have the answers but I think it might be stopping the search for the perfect friend or forever friend and know that people will wander in and out of your life based upon the role you need them to fill. There is not one person to fit every need or circumstance. Sometimes the most random people can become our closest unexpected confidants. Whether we realize it or not, we are always in a constant change. Keep the faith, but know we don't all always meet on the same wavelength. Give until it doesn't feel good anymore then allow the tides of change to take care of the rest.

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