HAPPY FIRST DAY OF THE BEST MONTH IN THIS YEAR!!!!!! It is officially October 1st, and I couldn’t be happier that it is finally my favourite month. Although, I also cannot believe that it’s the first day of October because man this year has flown by.
I am in dire need of some talking to myself. I am in quite the predicament, and I need some advice from none other than – me. LOL.
Alright, here we go…
Hello!! How’s it going?
Well, I was as honest as I possibly could be with Leila. In attempt to not hurt her by being distant with her (which I already was so I already did), I also ended up hurting her with my honesty so… mission not accomplished there. I told her that I didn’t feel like our friendship currently was eclipsing our old relationship with one another, and that I wanted to make sure that we were still what we needed from each other. But I also mentioned how I tend to just disappear from people’s lives when I feel as though I’ve “served my purpose”. I didn’t really mean that that was what was happening with us per se. Either way, that’s how she ended up construing it, and I don’t blame her.
Anyways, she ended up sending this really long message to me about how much my message hurt her, and how she wasn’t sure she wanted to be in a friendship where I was “wavering”, unsure about being friends with her, and how she couldn’t trust that I wouldn’t be distant in the future despite claiming that I wanted to make things work with her.
It literally sounds like we’re breaking up, I just re-read the message again and man. I feel so sorry, and sad for her. I really didn’t mean to hurt her this badly.
I don’t understand why I do this. I don’t understand why I haven’t been able to maintain a friendship longer than a certain phase in my life. Literally, I have no friends from elementary school, or high school, and now it seems like I have none from university, save for the very few people I’ve managed to reconnect with.
Why do I suddenly irreversibly drift away from 99% of people in my life when my life starts to shift into a different chapter? Why am I suddenly unable to maintain a connection with anyone in my life when it seems like that current chapter has come to its close?
Why is it so easy for me to do it too? Is it denial? Am I not thinking about the pain that I cause people when I do this? (If they do experience pain, I don’t know that for sure honestly). I am literally the epitome of the word “ghosting”. I ghost people in my friendships. Friendship-ghosting. It me.
Is it really that I feel I’ve served a purpose? Is it because the part of my identity that was involved in the friendship no longer exists as I change and grow as a person, ergo the friendship dies too?
She mentioned how I’ve done it to Radha, Chloe, Avery, all the Calumet girls, and how she never thought I’d do it to her. But she’s right, I’ve done it to all of those people. It genuinely felt natural at the time. No one seemed to make a fuss about it (not that I’d want anyone to). It just felt like that’s how things had to be, and I’ve never once looked back. I genuinely do not miss a single one of those people (minus reconnecting with Radha), but I do wish every single one of them well because there was a point in my life I cared about them deeply.
I literally cannot imagine hanging out with anyone again (or the old versions of their selves that I remember). I don’t know how any of them may have changed or if they have or who they’ve become, but I don’t care to find out unless the Universe has some reason for us to cross paths once more.
These days, I feel like I barely have the time or energy to keep up with myself and I haven’t even begun to feel as guilty as I should about that. So then I feel extra guilty when I think about all the people I’m failing to connect with as a result of that shortage of time. But rather than allowing myself to feel guilty, I just distance myself because it’s easier.
It seems like recently this has all started since I accepted my promotion to coordinator. As much as I’ve tried to establish my boundaries, I somehow ended up widening the boundaries just enough to allow so much more than I was initially willing to take on. And I know how I am with things, I’m no good at multi-tasking at this position has taken up so much of my focus for the past 7 months of my life.
Literally, everything went downhill after I accepted that position. Actually no, scratch all that. I can’t blame the position because I’m the one who chose to care as much as I did about having that position. I’m the one who ended up putting as much as I did into it.
And, it’s not too late and it’s not like I’m stuck either. I now have full control over making the schedule. I can give myself just as many hours as I’d like, instead of choosing to be there more than I should. I’m the one who controls my availability, and I’m the one who’s been failing to bargain on my behalf. I’ve been catering to this job because I’m the one who has prioritized it. And I’m saying this all as gently as I can.
I haven’t made any time for myself these past months, I really haven’t. Save for escaping to the Bahamas for that short little while (which was a wonderful trip).
Okay, I’m going off on a tangent of another matter that I have to discuss, but back to the real topic of my friendships.
I don’t really know what to tell her. I just wish I had a better explanation to give her as to why I do what I do. I wish I understood better myself. It’s not personal to anyone. I just do what feels natural to me, and I have no idea why it does feel as natural as it does.
It just feels like sometimes, it gets to a point where all I have in common with someone is the past. But we don’t live there anymore, and I don’t know how to relate to those same people in a present tense. It’s almost as though I haven’t learnt to explore my relationships in what they are as opposed to what they once were.
Adult relationships are hard.
I honestly don’t know what to say to her. I think we’ve had this conversation before and that I’ve been like this before with her too. I can’t keep promising her stuff if I’m just going to keep doing this because I don’t have enough time or don’t prioritize her enough. It’s honestly not fair to her at all to keep building her hopes up about us, just to have me fall into my old habits.
Ten years down the road from now when I see pictures of Cory and Leila married, or her having her first kid, am I going to regret all of this and wonder how she’s doing?
She pointed out that we’ve been friends for 8 years now, and I can’t believe that I failed to take that in. It doesn’t feel that way, but she’s one of the longest friendships I’ve had in my life. We’ve known each other since we were 17/18.
Even if I did want to stay friends with her, I have to acknowledge that I’ve done some pretty irreversible damage these past couple months and in the span of these last days. I don’t know that she’ll learn to trust me again, or that she wants to maintain a friendship with someone who second-guessed everything, and honestly I don’t blame her.
We do have fun together. I liked that when we hung out, we could go out and do stuff, but also be lazy at home together too.
If I genuinely want to stay friends with Leila, it’s going to take some real and genuine effort on my part to re-establish her trust in me, and to make sure she doesn’t harbour any lasting resentments towards me that turns into passive-aggressive behaviour down the line. I can’t even count on that because I know how she can be. She has a very long memory, and she does not forget things easily. (i.e. going on a trip to Cuba without her years ago which she still brings up to this day).
I’m going to ask myself something and I want me to be as brutally honest as humanly possible, okay?
Alright, hit me.
Do you want to stay friends with Leila?
Does she challenge you? Does she inspire you to grow? Does she offer you insight you may not have had before? Is it easy to talk to her about yourself? Does she try to ask about you? Do you genuinely connect? Does it feel easy to be around her? Does she make you happy?
Yes, in her honesty. She’s always usually encouraged me before. She does give good advice when I need it, especially in the past. Usually, but I make it hard on myself to talk about myself to anyone though. She does ask about me, but it always feels a little tentative (could be because of the answer to the last question). The last couple times it doesn’t feel completely genuine, but that could be because of the walls either or both of us have up. It did feel easy to be around her though.
I’m actually really happy she said everything she did, because I was waiting for it. That’s exactly what I was expecting and hoping for because I wanted her to get everything out. Even if things don’t work out for us, at least she’ll have said everything she needed to say.
I appreciate how much she fought to stay in my life, how much she fought for our friendship. I wish I could have done things differently.
I guess the most I can do right now is honour the space that she’s asked for. Apologize for hurting her, and try to explain what I really meant as gently and compassionately as I can. Explain that she’s a wonderful human being with a massive heart and that whatever I did or the decisions I made regarding our friendship had nothing to do with her as a person and everything to do with habits that I’m trying to outgrow and that I’m sorry that her feelings became a casualty of those habits.
Maybe some time tomorrow, I’ll sit down with myself and try to understand why over the course of my life, I’ve had countless “best friends” and no one to show for it now.
I’ve also got a lot to do for myself tomorrow. These next 3 days, I get my shit in order with school. I have to finish that petition letter. I have to email Nadia, I have to find the rest of my petition and figure out whatever other paperwork I may need. I won’t have any other time than these 3 days. So I’m waking up early as I can, popping some of that Adderall, and getting down to business. Here’s hoping things go as planned.
Man I’ve missed this.
Love you, me. Keep your head up and keep on ploughing through on this road that we call life. There are no wrong turns.