this is a long drive for someone with nothing to think about.
ambience courtesy of Modest Mouse...
so, how is it, exactly, that we fit into someone else's life? or find a way for them to fit into ours?
i wrote a little bit about that yesterday, and i'm still thinking about it. i had this idea that it was easier to figure out friendships when we were younger, that it gets more complicated and people get more rigid as we get older. but that's not really true, either.
remember all those sandbox fights? or the cliques on the playground? if you didn't hang out with Susie by the left side of the second swingset, then chances are you wouldn't have a place to sit in the cafeteria at lunchtime, because she would have said something to all of your friends. or her friends. whose friends were they, really? it was never clear. there was just this battlefield of political alliances.
and boys... well, it wasn't any easier talking to them then. they were these wierd, foreign, icky creatures who didn't much like you, either. then your friends dared you to talk to Timmy. it was a convoluted sort of social initiation and hazing, all at once.
and it doesn't ever get any easier. *insert hugely broad brushstroke here* it does. you become your own self, you figure out what's important to you in relationships, you decide what's valuable about a given individual, you find your own boundaries and you push them. but then comes that moment where it feels like your stomach is on fire, and you're eight years old, standing by the swingset, as Susie bans you from the lunch table and Timmy lobs spitballs in your general direction.
*sigh* did i mention that things feel a bit unsettled lately? and listening to the ever quirky Modest Mouse, howling about breakthroughs, isn't calming, not in the least.
despite all the turmoil, and voices in my head that won't shut up, i've grappled with some of what's going on.
my best friend called today, and (ever patient as always) helpe me talk thru a few ideas. of course, part of the landscape is our friendship. it was really good to hear from her, hear her happy and hear about settling in to her new space.
and then, because she never pulls any punches (which is a good thing) we wrestled with some other issues, outside of our friendship. y'know, it would be easier to talk to her if she wasn't so damn right all of the time. ;) of course, that's one of the many things that makes her such an excellent friend.
it's just hard to listen to someone being right when you'd rather bury your head in the sand and be ignorant for a small while. for example: i'd played her the messages that The Boy left after i asked him not to call. i stomped around for a while with that one. when she heard them, she said (quite sensibly) 'well, they aren't that bad.' i talked to her a few days after that, and said what i'd really hoped for was a girlie bonding sort of thing; i just wanted someone else to confirm that yes, indeed, he is a jerk - which she then obliged me with. thanks, hon.
it sounds stupid and pig headed, but i craved that little confirmation in order to have the space to start moving past the disappointment.
so we talked about that, and a passle of other things, until i started getting all weepy (never a productive place to be, especially at work). the littlest things seem to set me off in spades lately. and i don't mean to give the impression that she said something too difficult; she could have told me the sky was blue, and i could have ended up weepy. i hate being depressed. everything lives too near the surface, and the surface is increasingly fragile.
so i figured i'd take the easy way out, after we finished talking. i decided to go talk to another friend about the difficulties we're facing. :/ because, you know, i can't just let things fester. and painful as it was (and still may be), it was the right thing to do. i was far less strident at that moment than i would have been otherwise, which made it a better conversation.
i was starting to veer towards the strident only because i'd been having my side of the conversation in my head for a while. sometimes it's the only way to work out ideas, is to stand there in front of the mirror or in the shower and try on words for size. roll the phrases around, see how they taste as you say them, test out other words and ideas.
and as i'm going thru that, logic wins out over emotion. i wield the phrases and sentences like scalpels, dissecting the opposing argument. bloodless enough in the bathroom mirror. not so when you're talking to a flesh and blood person.
so it's best, perhaps, that i was feeling a bit rocky when i stepped up to the next issue. reminded me to be a gentler person.
i've chosen to bow out of some obligations, in order to avoid any further ruffled feathers. but i've tried to do so in a responsible way, finding others to shoulder my share. it leaves me feeling an odd admixture of reliable and unsettled.