Saturday, September 11, 2010
Friends lost and friends found and lessons in between....
It's interesting how you wind your way through life meeting so many personalities and faces. Some make a big impression on you and others become just a face in the crowd. I have been thinking about people and why we feel so connected to some and can do without others. It's not always that you share the same common interests - but something must bring you together right? Where we Work.. that's more like being thrown together in a gladiators bowl sometimes...
School.... that's judgement at its worst when your young and then becomes a circle of really interesting people as you get older. After all, you've signed up for the same thing rather than being put on a list because your name ends in a certain letter of the alphabet. Neighbors... that'll make a connection - but it also depends on where you live. Property too big to call over the neighbors fence? Or like me for now in an apartment? I see my neighbors come and go but I don't really know them and I don't think we are all meant for each other anyways. The man downstairs is an old grouch.
The lady across the hall is quite sweet however, and sometimes I see her sitting in her chair out front reading a book in the sun.. I copied her and it was a nice way to spend the afternoon. See there, sort of a connection. Then there's those who you think you have come to know - and they pull a fast one on you. Those are disappointing. All of a sudden they don't look like the same people to me anymore. I wonder what kind of rose colored glasses I was wearing? Those are friends lost. Poorly chosen words make them hard to rebuild. But alas this is a big world. Most people are interested in talking about thier lives or sharing a smile. This guy said hello to me in Gastown last week and then he thanked me for stopping to talk and not ignoring him. This caught me totally off guard. ( Apparently he had some friend problems recently also) I listened to him tell me that he was HIV positive and then thank me again for not backing away when he said it. I just stood and listened as I knew there would be a point to this interchange soon. He went on to say that if I had some spare dollars that could help with his dinner meal, he would greatly appreciate it. I smiled and said well, I hoped that most Canadians would stop and talk because that's the way we pride ourselves but that there are some odd characters out there in this world and talking to strangers in general these days makes people nervous. So how do you tell if someone is a friend or someone to be cautious of? I think its pretty tough because it seems that the ones who play the wolf in sheeps clothing game are more dangerous than the ones who come on out and say straight up .... "I'm not perfect, take me as I am.. I will make mistakes but I never meant to do you any harm". I want to stay friends with you so I would rather talk to you than about you behind your back. So, one of the biggest lessons I have learned at the ripe old age of 48 is to cherish your friends but to hold your cards close to your chest. Choose wisely who you will share your heart with and never forget those who have stood beside you during tough times. Those are valuable friendships - be very careful what you say when you don't agree because words can never be erased. They can hurt just as much as a good kick in the shins and leave bruises that other people don't really see.
If all else fails.... walk away because at least you are not adding fuel to the fire. I have dug in my heals in the past and fought fires that weren't worth fighting. I am learning - I guess that's the whole point and its not always friends with advice that we are willing to listen to. Sometimes its the complete stranger who comes into your life for a minute and reveals a big lesson about something you haven't paid attention to - until now.
I guess it truly all boils down to trust. It takes a long time for the true person to reveal themselves to others. I am not perfect and nor are others. What are you willing to live with and what's a true dealbreaker for you? Is it about forgiveness? or is it about being a doormat? Does it always have to be my way?
So much to consider. I'd rather not.
So - I'm just gonna walk away from this one. I can always make that choice.