Thursday, December 22, 2011

resolution for the new year: to not letting friendships fade

i've been surfing the internet more than i usually do lately, mostly to look for cool blogs and inspiration for this creative kick i'm on.  

(and, can i just say, one really awesome thing about these blogs is that the women who write them acknowledge that their sites only portray a small part of their lives. they seem perfect, because they are churning out crafts or putting up pictures of gorgeous interiors, but they readily admit that they are not perfect. but along with that, the blogs i've been following lately are created by women with families who seem genuinely happy with their lives, and often they are stay-at-home moms, and often they are not lds. i think that's pretty cool, and it's something i want to live up to. the end.)

 yesterday i came across sometimes sweet, and this was part of one of the first posts i saw. the author, danielle, is talking about one of her best girl friends, whom she met during college.
But then things changed and somehow we drifted apart. There were never hard feelings, but she got into a serious relationship at the same time I moved in with another group of friends, and we fell out of our norm. It would have been impossible to keep our friendship going at the same intensity- as life changes relationships change too. And although we understood this, we let what could have been a shift turn into a total end.
Sometimes Sweet, "Now and Then"

the same idea comes up in this song, "5 years' time" by noah and the whale, that i've been listening to for the past few weeks. here's the song for your listening pleasure. (for some reason i couldn't get the official video, which is awesome, to upload to my blog. so i'll have to settle for music only.)
at the end he says, "in five years' time i might not know you/ in five years' time we might not speak/ in five years' time we might not get along/ in five years' time you might just prove me wrong." the whole song they are having so much fun, fun, fun together, but then he realizes, hey, what about the future? we might not know each other in a few years.

i think about this a lot. i can think of a few different friendships of mine that are currently in this kind of liminal space. we have tons of fun when we are together, and it goes just back to the way it was before we drifted apart, but somehow our lives have changed. we don't keep in touch regularly, so we don't know the details of each others' day-to-day activities. and i'm not mad about it or anything--how could i be? i'm as much to blame as anyone--but it does make me a little sad. 

because, like danielle says at the end there, every relationship changes as life changes, even the relationships you have with people you see every day. but if both of you don't put in the effort to preserve your friendship in its new form, it will simply fade. 

it seems to me that if there is someone who means a lot to you at one point in your life, they should probably mean a lot to you at the other points of your life, too, though probably in a different way. i've let many of those important people just slip away from me, and now i think that i should have tried harder to keep something going. i think that i usually just shrug my shoulders and say to myself, 'well, i've grown beyond that friendship, and we're both in different places in our lives now.' but does that even make any sense? if i really cared about them, wouldn't i want them there through all the "different places" of my life, and wouldn't i want them to think the same about me?

sometimes i worry about this happening with the friendships i have now. i wonder, will we even talk once the convenience of this relationship leaves us? but, really, it's up to me (and hopefully the other person) to keep it going when we live farther away or when our lives are different. if we drift apart, it's partly my fault.

the moral of danielle's story is that it's never too late. both she and her long-lost friend wanted to reconnect during their years of little contact, and both always seemed to lose nerve. but, eventually, they got together again and figured out how to become good friends within the framework of their different lives. and, like charlie fink says in "five years' time," it's up to the people in the relationship to prove that they can last.

i'm all for this; it is a little scary, because it means putting myself out there, and i usually run away from such things. but i've never understood the logic behind restricting yourself from having as many friendships as possible (it's why i react so violently against the idea of a "friend zone"), so why would i just let these great friends/great people slip out of my life?

so, another resolution: to reconnect with old friends and not be satisfied with the mentality that "oh, we're just in different places in our lives now." because, let's face it, i can use all the friends i can get.


  1. i am liminally giving you a thumbs up. also, i hope we're always friends.

  2. ...just about as intensely thoughtful and beautifully written as anything I have ever seen yet; I don't know you much yet, but I feel anyone you care enough about to put this kind of conscious, loving effort into, is truly blessed to call themselves one of Courtney's friends!!