Friend – a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.

That definition seems simple.
But making and keeping and growing and ending friendships is complicated.

This begins a series of reflections on friendship.

Friendship has broad agreeable themes – similar interests, enjoyment, connection.
But all of us have different expectations and energy.

Rebecca Bloom the main character of Crazy Ex Girlfriend sings
I have friends, I definitely have friends
No one can say that I do not have friends

I have friends, I definitely have friends, friends, friends,
friendly friends, time to meet my friends

[Disclaimer: I do not endorse Crazy Ez Girlfriend, much of the song list is catchy but dodgy.]

My current situation has me questioning my friendships.

I am in both
– an oasis of tight connection (the fruit of previous overlapping circles of writers group & gin club)
– and an isolation with lack of contact.

How did the oasis form?
What drove my friendships?
What weakened past friendships?
Will they continue?

My mum celebrated her 60th birthday this year, attended by friends from every stage of her life.
I’m not like that. I have so many friends whom I loved dearly but let slide because of my sickness or Stephen’s or both, because of changes in work, study, location, busyness.

I have so many friendships that I initiated – do they want it to continue?
Were we only close because of the structured nature of my mentoring?

Like Rebecca, I need to remind myself I do have friends.
People with whom I have regular contact, whose company I enjoy and seem to have a level of reciprocity.

Thus begins the reflections – I promise they are not all so melancholy.

I’m aiming for clearer definition of friendship by the end.
I’m aiming for steps to make and grow friendships.
I’m aiming for healthy ways to change and end friendships.

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