Wednesday, February 3, 2010

blast from the past or ghost of friendships past

Recent events have made me mull over life – a lot.

When hubby’s grandma died, we attended the funeral service which was, given the sad circumstances, beautiful. It made me wish to be able to look back at my life when I am old and grey and when I do, I want to think that yes, I’ve made mistakes and the road was bumpy but heck, it was one hell of a ride.

Between my twenties and into my early thirties (well I am only 33 after all) there was a lot going on. I returned from a year abroad, studied, fell in love, fell out of love, moved to Ireland, made great friends, fell truly in love when I met my husband and moved back to my native Germany. While my twenties were pretty wild and carefree – I didn’t own anything of value, had no responsibilities except for myself - my thirties are a whole different story now.

I’ve become a worry wart…extremely careful if you will. I don’t drop everything right there and then to do what comes to my mind. I weigh my options. Sometimes weighing options is all I do and I’m contend with the slowness of life. With nursing and nurturing what I have got. I don’t have to have everything. I don’t need to prove anything. I am just me. The road that lead to this conclusion was a rocky one and sadly some friendships pave that road. In the end though, the overall picture – well just makes me really happy.

My parents grew up and went to school in the same small town they still live in today. They made friends in school and through sports and those friendships last for more than 35 years now. I am sure there were good times and bad times too but basically they have this tightly knit circle of friends that is almost like family. You can’t penetrate that circle and nobody’s been able to get in (or out) ha.

When I was 13 years old and the wall came down, the world cracked seemingly wide open for me. And boy did I want to explore it. So after high school I took some time off and spent a year as an Au Pair in the US. It was the first time I had ever really been away from home. Left my comfort zone and my friends. Friends that I had had since kindergarten or first grade. The year abroad was fantastic. Easily one of the best years of my life. I made a bunch of really great friends, most of which I am still in touch with today. But it also made me realize for the very first time that friendships DON’T last forever. That realization came as quite a shock, hadn’t really sunk in until I came back to Germany and started University then went off to Ireland. By now I had four circles of friends. High School friends, Au Pair friends, University friends and Irish friends. A circle for each period of my life to date. Each time a friendship ran its course I was sad. Very sad. It was kinda like breaking up with someone you loved and in a way it was. Today? I am no longer under the illusion that friendships last forever and sometimes it is better for those involved to just let go. Over time we confided everything in each other and we thought we’d be bff forever alas - nothing is forever.

Our friendship has changed as did you and I. As I matured, I weighed my options and I know that whoever isn’t with me, is against me. Sometimes life really is black and white. Without a scale of grey and that’s ok. For me. I have few very good friends. One from each period of my life it seems. I let friendships fizzle out. Deliberately. Because I have learned to differentiate between those, with whom I want to share my life and those that only occur in it. And you? Simply occurred in it.

I have become immensely careful about who I let into that life I have created for myself and since true friendship is about trust and unconditional and sometimes tough love, I learned that at times it is better to let go. To open up for something new. You find friends in the most unlikeliest of places. And for that I am grateful.


Melisa with one S said...

Oh my. I find myself wondering if this has to do with your last tweet yesterday. You're right though; all friendships aren't built for longevity, but I truly believe that people come into our lives for a reason, even if it's only for a little while, and I DO believe that some very special friendships can last forever. But when they don't? Sadness.

Sending hugs across the pond! xoxo

Tara R. said...

Since blogging, I've been more open to building those friendships, but I think I am still more guarded. I do hope though, that these friends will be around for a long while.

Kat said...

Melisa Hehe, no it's got nothing to do with last night's tweet. Thank God. It's just an observation I made. I like your thought that people enter your life for a reason. That is totally true. Hugs back xoxo

Tara Oh yeah...totally get what you mean. I sure hope that those blog friends will be around for a loooooooong time. After all, life's good :)

Mags said...

Ah yes...I've had this same revelation several times, actually. And it always comes to me with mixed emotions. Sometimes I (almost) wish I could function without knowing things like this...but in the end, it's best, of course, that I realize that people change and that is OK.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you in most cases the friends that are the most true are my high school friends but no matter how long the friendship is my life, "running its course" could also be fun. I have a few circle of friends to go out with and do stuff with and it makes life interesting. But your true friends you always know in your hearts! :)

Brian o vretanos said...

I was sorry to read on your other blog about your husband's bereavement, but I hope you're both settling into your new home okay.

I've always been fairly withdrawn, so I've never made close friends, and I've always been hopeless at keeping in touch. But I can't begin to imagine how different I'd be without the many friends and acquaintances over the years whose influences have all in some way turned me into who I am now.