My daughter has some really great friends. They play well, laugh at each other’s jokes, share toys together, and take turns in leadership roles. They have a genuine appreciation and admiration for one another. They love each other. She is a lucky girl, and I am so happy for her.
Looking at her friendships has helped me take stock of my own. This Summer has been one of reflection, extraordinary blessings, and- as it turns out- a summer of assessment. I say assessment because- for better or worse- as time marches on, some friendships flourish and some flounder. Some people put in the time or the thought and some…don’t. Of course, some things are a matter of timing. Busy seasons and conflicting schedules conspire to keep you and your buddy apart, leaving you both constantly coordinating just to play catch up. But sometimes, after one too many justifications or rationalizations, after yet another cancelled call or “txt u 2moro!” without any follow-through, you may be afforded some clarity: this friendship is exhaustingly one-sided; this relationship is not what it used to be; perhaps we need a little space…
Seeing O on an extended playdate with her bf (we are visiting him- and his family!- in Cape Cod), I can’t help but see how easy it should be. Just as it is clear as day when O doesn’t click with a child- or really, another child has no interest in clicking with her- her friendship with K is a healthy and happy one with no strain or stress. I don’t force a relationship there. So why would I force a friendship in my own life? Perhaps it is the habit of having “always” had that person in my life. Or the feeling that what we once had was so important to me that I don’t want to dishonor the past. But no one wants a “frenemy” who is a constant source of competition and derision.
The reality is, in the past several months, I’ve slowly let some friends go. And it may be that they do not even notice because I was doing most of the work. Or it may be that they never held me in as high esteem as I held them. I do not and will not know- they haven’t reached out- and I can not invest the energy in getting to the bottom of it. Who has the time?! In letting go of some, we gain deeper, more fulfilling relationships with others elsewhere!
In truth, I have grown closer to my closet friends and I feel endless gratitude and humility for their love and support. Like Bono sang, “One love- but we’re not the same- we’ve got to carry each other.” I am not looking for someone who is just like me; I have no desire to always be right- I just want to be heard, to be considered, to be loved.
Just as this blog- this running community made up of moms and colleagues and fathers and family members and myriad others brings us all together in a show of solidarity- true friends come together to celebrate you for who you are. Just look at these RunIt friendships! They are inspired- and inspiring. True friends champion you and your causes. They cheer you on when you are succeeding, and they cry with you and calm you down in a crisis. True friends carry you when you are too exhausted, too heart broken, or too pregnant to carry yourself. And you return the favor with care, care packages, car pools, and- to be certain- some carrying along the way as well.
**This post is dedicated to the women who have given me more than I can articulate with words- your friendship is everything. I love you, and I thank you.**