Friendships, just like all of life, ebb and flow; they come and go and the depth, temperature, pressure, atmosphere, pH balance all shift and change. Recently, there has been a great shift in a vast percentage of my friendships, both old and new. This is especially true in the category of my deepest friendships. Some are crumbling, some are drifting, while others are adding strengthening cables or rising from their own tombs.
This latest tide has brought with it an unexpected surge of emotions. Normally, I would say that I handle the changes of things pretty well (not great, but pretty well). I appreciate and cherish the friends and memories of days past without clutching at them, realizing that you truly cannot maintain all relationships with all people and now is a special time as well. I embrace new friendships with a certain amount of boldness and openness, without holding unreasonable expectations or delusions of permanence. And I believe I normally handle my own feelings pretty well too – taking time to grieve and allow myself to feel sorrow, or giving myself little celebrations when appropriate. But this time the change seems to have repercussions that I don’t know how to deal with. I’ve found myself caught in an unexpected storm of feelings that I’m struggling to even identify, let alone properly address. How does one figure out and process feelings that are ten, fifteen, and twenty years old? And how can one navigate the nuances of opening up and building new relationships while trying to fix the rudder behind you? I would have never thought that this would be a problem. I assume it’s only a problem because it’s been so much change all at once. Or maybe it’s just indigestion. It’s probably indigestion.
To any of my friends who may be reading this and suspecting that you may be part of it: don’t worry. I want to keep moving forward with you and have no interest in backing down. Writing this is just the process of processing.