And it wasn’t just any friend. It was a friend I thought I’d carry for life, through this hard, filled-of-sorrow moment I’m passing through to the pink-colored, lime-and-lilies-scented moments that are waiting for me. It was a friend who co-wrote a book with me… a book which will never be published, even though it’s completed, edited and ready, with cover and half-finished marketing material.
But I didn’t lose this friend for sickness or for death. I lost her for life. Life took her from me–or, rather, life gave her the choice to walk away. She just did.
Now, I don’t intend to talk about specifics here. She made her choice based on something that, quite honestly, I’m not entirely sure I understand, and this choice put a full stop in years of something I believed to be friendship.
But… was it?
At first, I was hurt. Really hurt. I felt inadequate, insufficient, and hollow. I felt abandoned, an old shoe to be replaced, and I cried like a little kid. I’m emotional like that.
When the worst passed, I talked to my friends about it. “Friends, true friends, are few,” some of them told me. And up to some point, I quite agree. It is arduous work to know someone. To learn their history, their views, their preferences. And it’s (supposedly) difficult to find someone who is, likewise, interested in knowing you with the same depth. And that made me feel terrible.
Thinking how hard it is to connect with people is a really hard pill to swallow–but we gotta be realists, right? People just don’t have the time to invest in many friendships. It’s understandable. It’s a fact.
And it makes you lonely (well, lonelier, in my case) so how healthy this really is?
I’m a writer, that’s what we strive for: to connect with people. Through our work. Through our art. As much as people tell us that being a writer is a lonely job, we have to remind ourselves who we’re writing for. We’re not alone.
So, today, I made a conscious decision. I won’t worry anymore if the friendship I offer will be reciprocated or not. I will not clam up and avoid people, I will not become the hurt lone wolf who doesn’t trust anyone. This is not healthy. More than that, it’s not what I want as a writer. As a Person. I want to connect with people. I want to know them, to know you.
I’ll cherish my few friends and treat them with the love, honesty, and respect they deserve… but I’ll also keep open to people. I won’t shy away from pain, nor hide behind bad experiences. Instead, I’ll always offer the best of me. And I’ll trust people will do the same.
I just don’t want to be afraid anymore.