Friendship

Here I am with another rant. This seems to be becoming a regular thing here, but what are blogs for? I kid, of course, but it’s useful nonetheless. This time, I’m talking about friendship. So I suppose it’s not so much a rant as a publicly written introspection on the friendships I’ve had over the course of my relatively short life.
Not too many friendships have ever ended “badly” for me. Sure, we’ve grown distant. We don’t talk as much as we could or should. We don’t visit with each other or play catchup or normal things friends do. Well, I suppose I can’t really visit many of them because they’re far from Iowa. And I’m not a talkative person by nature, so I’m not likely to pick up the phone and call or text someone. And I tend to be very tunnel-vision about my life. It’s a fault I’m well aware of and do try to not overindulge it. My friends that are here know this and try to keep me from the hermitic life I would otherwise live.
Setting all that aside, I can still have a conversation of some sort with the people I count as friend when I do get the urge to call them up. It doesn’t feel terribly awkward talking to them and I come away knowing what they’ve been up to and how they’re feeling. Those are the most important things to me. What’ve you been up to? How’ve you been?
The past not-quite six months have made me seriously question my friendships, though. I think I mentioned in my last post that I subscribe to the “fool me once” school of thought. For those who read my blog and know me personally, you may or may not be surprised to learn that I don’t make friends easily. Oh, I’m fairly friendly with people in class and I don’t completely shutdown if a stranger comes up and talks to me. But when it comes to really letting people into my life? Let’s just say the list isn’t very long. It’s just difficult to trust people that much. I’m not sure where exactly that comes from, but I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t like that. So really, I can probably count the number of people I consider close friends on both hands and still have room for a few more. Whether it’s a good or bad thing to be part of that small list is up to them to decide.
Which brings me to my next niggling issue. Do they think it’s a good thing? I think that’s something I worry about constantly, but I never have the courage to ask. There’s one I know beyond nearly all shadow of doubt will have my back until the very end. She knows just about everything there is to know about me – all those deep, dark secrets you normally take with you to the grave – and miraculously she’s still by my side. And admittedly, I never expected that sort of loyal friendship from her – and I’m eternally grateful for it. I still worry she’ll leave me one day, but it’s a back-burner worry. The rest I worry about all the time. Because one person I let in decided she didn’t like what she saw and mishandled it so horribly that I doubt either of us will ever be okay with the other. I think she cropped up in my last post as well – the ex-friend that’s returned to Iowa. Now I wonder what other friendships were such complete and utter bullshit – pardon my crudeness.
And that hurts, you know? Not because of what she did, but because of how she now makes me view every single friendship I’ve ever had. I never used to question before she came into my life. I never wondered if I could truly trust the people that I had come to trust. But now I’m not so sure and that hurts more terribly than I can possibly describe. Because for all that I might seem strong and indifferent and completely capable of taking on the world by myself…I would probably shatter into innumerable pieces with a well-placed and well-timed tap. That’s a terrifying thought to live with. And I sometimes wonder how I’ve managed to survive this long without losing my mind somewhere along the way.
I hope either this fear departs soon or I find the courage to ask. Because I’m starting to get tired of always doubting when I should be always hoping. Or at least content most of the time.

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