When someone interacts with other people multiple times a week, quite publicly, but never interacts with me? When for the last several years, direct discussion has only ever been initiated by me? When I’m actually visiting from out of state and they are sick and cancel rather than see me (not once but more than once)?
They’re not “just bad at keeping in touch.”
It’s called ghosting, nowadays.
It really means there is no friendship, only maintaining a facade of friendship.
There could be a lot of reasons for it. Maybe it wasn’t anything I did wrong and simply a whole lot of life going on.
My anger is for the lack of honesty. Waving me off with “I’m just bad at keeping in touch” is a lie when you interact, chat, like, and make in depth comments on other people’s feeds. Telling me you consider me a friend is a lie.
I have limited energy in this life and I won’t spend it on people who lie to me.
It’s hard to know the right thing to do with your good intentions. I hope to do my best for my friends and to add value to my friendships.
But the best of intentions and roads to hell do happen.
Or people get caught up in their own struggles and need to direct their energies inward. Absolutely. Maybe I’m just not the right personality to interact with at the time.
I don’t share my struggles or make them public. I try to only post the fun or the happy or the positive on my social media outlets. I make efforts to stay in touch with my friends even if we havent seen each other in a long time. And many tell me directly that I’m so busy, they prefer to have me reach out to them.
But some might just be drifting away. Or perhaps they’d rather let the friendship fade away to nothing without saying anything to me. Some have even posted a letter to me in a place they literally said they hoped I’d never see explaining why they no longer wanted to be friends.
The problem is, I dont know if it’s not actually communicated to me.
The best I can do is try to understand. A part of that is simply ceasing to nag if I’ve been the only one to reach out in years. After all, they might not actually want me to reach out once a year…
Children are beautiful. I am fond of them. I love my nephew. I love my friends’ children.
Recently though, I saw an article that sums up what I encounter in many social situations:
What You’re Really Asking a Woman When You Ask Why She Doesn’t Have Kids
It’s food for thought. Historically, I haven’t shared my medical issues and I still don’t plan to. Frequently, people have stated that if I just told them, then they’d understand. But that’s an expenditure of effort and energy in explaining and receiving unsolicited advice and answering endless questions that aren’t intended to be judgemental but really are. It’s hours and hours with every “concerned friend” making those updates and reassuring them so they aren’t OMG DEVASTATED by my situation. That’s all energy I need to live. So I don’t talk about it. And the friends who don’t know me well enough to know I have reasons for the things I do drift out of my life.
Besides, I’ve told people in an effort to share, to help them understand, to keep a friendship strong. Yeah, those people still drifted away.
Take the topic of children further than this article, though. Ponder what a person is really saying when they consider your accomplishments and dismiss them with, “Well, you don’t have children.”
That person has just taken my accomplishments and classified them as nothing as compared to having children. They’ve decided I couldn’t have accomplished what I have with children. They’ve possibly made themselves feel better, and in the process, diminished me.
Those people aren’t friends either.
Valentine’s Day was always a fun holiday in my childhood. My mother made sure we always woke up to a card and candy. She helped us look at the day as fun, regardless of what valentines we did or–for me most frequently–did not receive at school.
My senior year of high school was distinctly different. I received a lot of attention. There’s nothing like a sharp Junior ROTC uniform to overcome massive nerdy awkwardness and epic lack of fashion sense. My father had to go buy my mother more flowers because the boys at school had trumped him with me. I didn’t know what to do with the attention.
College, on the other hand, was a mess. And when I met my ex, it turned into over a dozen years of sadly forgettable Valentine’s Days. It wasn’t that he did badly or didn’t try. It was just not a holiday to remember.
Now, I think I’ve come to enjoy the day for the tasty cupcakes and the quiet afternoon and evening at home. My boyfriend is in the other room gaming with his brother and I am writing (procrastinating here for the moment) to meet a deadline of my dreams.
I’m really enjoying this day. 🙂
Life isn’t simple. This is a thing.
But I trimmed down where I could and even where it might hurt just a little and the difference has been huge.
Life simplified even a little bit makes me pretty happy.
Now I just need to bring myself to clean out my shoe stash.
Curating may seem like an odd term. Yet, I see a friendship as beautiful and unique. Something created between me and another person. And I once thought my heart was capable of offering friendship to anyone, everyone, who might like me back.
Please like me.
It’s hard to outgrow the plea. It’s hard to truly embrace quality over quantity. And it’s hard to let go of people who might have been friends once upon a time but evolved into something detrimental to your well-being.
“Oh look, the entertainment’s here.”
Years ago, I learned that not every friendship was worth saving. It was when this was said to me by a new friend of my old friend. And my old friend grinned at me and defended what his new friend had said by saying the boy was defensive on his behalf. I realized then, I wasn’t there to save an old friendship but to run a gauntlet to see if I deserved a pittance title of “used to be a friend”. Everyone was being defensive on behalf of everyone else, but I was a target.
No thanks. Pass.
Having learned more about true friendships and recognizing them for their beauty, I’ve learned to curate them better. Keep them safe. Cherish them.
I have no regrets.
…on getting better.
This is not a drop diet, nor is it an exercise kick. It’s a bit similar to both, I guess but not in the way most might initially think. It IS a concentrated burst of effort. It’s not an OMG, I need to be skinnier to fit in that dress. I wear corsets, they fit me regardless of where I am in my big/little cycles.
I do plan to set alarms to remember to eat 5 small meals a day. This will be better then forgetting 2 of those meals and indulging in a binge meal because I’m starving.
I do plan to work out for 20 minutes, twice a day. It won’t be hard cardio because I’m not cleared for it. It won’t be intense strength training because I’m not cleared for it. It will be just enough cardio to get my heart rate up. It will be just enough strength training to engage my musculature.
I’m doing this to regain lost energy. I’m doing this to get healthier and build more stamina to survive what other people consider day to day activity.
Weight loss might be a side effect but it isn’t the goal.
Living well is the goal.