Thursday, March 17, 2005

See You at Bingo Night? Maybe, maybe not.

Recently I've been thinking about what it means to be friends and what a friendship really is. I think I may have had it all wrong. My original conception of friendship was that it was based upon an inherent compatability of two individuals irrespective of time and place. This idea grew out of the intense long-lived friendships of early childhood. The problem with this idea is that the inherent nature seems to demand a continued effort and stable connection between those individuals - a feat not easily accomplished in life as people age and disperse. As a result, I sometimes felt a sense of guilt as I lost touch with friends with whom I once was close. It somehow seemed unnatural for me to have no contact with a person I used to talk to daily. This is the same sort of realization that comes at the end of a relationship, but while that can leave a hole, a dissolving friendship can almost go unnoticed until one day you see that the friendship no longer exists. But realistically, it's unreasonable to assume that people can maintain an equally intimate friendship when separated physically by location or under changed circumstances from those that brought them together.

I guess what I've come to accept is that it's okay for friends to serve a purpose for a finite amount of time in life and that it's natural for friendships to wax and wane. As such, I shouldn't feel guilty about the friendships that I allow to lapse. Since most of the people reading this are those I would consider my friends, don't take this personally! That's the point - it's not an active decision to not communicate, rather a passive occurrence that is a natural development. So while the occasional exchange is certainly welcome, it's probably better not to force a rekindling that doesn't develop naturally.

I suspect that there are those friendships which, for lack of a better phrase, can stand the test of time. These are the friends who are indeed inherently compatible, or those with whom the common experience is strong enough. I don't think you can always pick these out of the crowd - I think you have to have a wait-and-see mentality. I wonder who I'll still be friends with 10 years from now? 15? 20? I know that my own sense of aimless, directionless, untied-down-ed-ness makes me want to know these answers now - to be able to say, "well, I'll always have xxxxx." But we can't really ever know that... and maybe it's better not to. Maybe knowing that there will always be new friends (and old) around the corner should be enough.

2 Comments:

At 3:58 PM, March 18, 2005, Blogger snwbdrhoon said...

Anne - As time goes, you will see friends less and less. I feel lucky when I see some friends once a year. Not to be mean, but that's how it goes. When you don't live 5 ft from everyone in college it gets hard. Don't sweat it. We still love you.

 
At 3:52 PM, April 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm. i guess i see why you never returned my phone call.

 

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