Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Leaving

"And if that's how you're going to leave, straight out from underneath, then we'll see whose sorry now..."

Most of my life has been spent waiting for the other shoe to drop. One good day would almost certainly be followed by a bad one when I was growing up, and this has led to a very tough time living "in the moment." For I am always thinking of what would come, and planning for the time the rug would be pulled out from under me.

Because it always, always was.

One excellent day with the family would turn into battles the next. As we've grown and evolved, this happens less frequently--but it hasn't stopped me from keeping one eye proverbially open on any given day, wondering when all the family harmony would turn on its head.

I've had many friends that I've loved dearly for years, one day stop returning my phone calls claiming life simply got in the way. As though their lives no longer included me--and I suppose they don't. For a variety of reasons--the babies came, a long distance move was made, etc. No matter what it was, it didn't include me anymore.

I recall the first wedding I was ever in--my god, it was hot. I stood under the sun, watching the two of them, and I knew it would last forever. Indeed, I have told her often that if they ever get divorced, I'm just done--hanging up the hat, and no pressure, I add. But please, please...just stay together. She laughs and assures me all is fine, and I believe her.

She hugged me as I got in the car when it was over, told me she loved me--and for a couple of years, things were the same. Now...we talk maybe two or three times a year. I think of the next wedding I was in--a girl (woman, I guess I should say now) I have known since we were very young. Friends in high school, as close as you could be through college...then, well, nothing. She had her babies, and quit calling. I tried, and then eventually stopped trying because after you reach out over and over and find no one reaching back for you, you have to stop.

I'm not trying to beat up only those whose weddings I've been in--only that it's metaphorical in the sense that until that moment, I'm someone there. Someone they want right next to them as they make a major decision in their lives, and I'm always there to hold their hand.

And then, they let go of mine.

It's making me pull away from my friends as I get older, I think. Because I know what's coming, what's just over that next hill.

Over, and over, I am the reliable friend. Ever waiting to catch someone if they fall and some of them do fall often--then, ashes ashes, we all fall down.

But what about when I need someone's shoulder to lie on? Often, I am left alone save for a precious few. If I try, I get empty answers of those who just don't care or understand. I don't want platitudes, and the "it'll all work out's". I need honest answers, real responses about what may be going on in my life.

This really isn't something that has been sparked by a particular incident or person, just something I've been kicking around in my head, as I ride the subway every morning and every night with 20 people pressed up against me--each of us as alone as the person whose arm we're touching.

And it occurs to me that perhaps, I need to be the one doing the leaving.

I need to be the one to let go of the hand, before it lets go of mine. My co-dependent nature does not often allow for this...I care entirely too deeply about other people, and their hurts and pains become my own. But when MY hurts and pains become a mere sidebar, or worse, something they don't bother to learn about, why on earth should I be there waiting for them on the other side?

This has been a disjointed post, and prompted by almost nothing and very nearly everything. I suppose I just miss the people I used to have in my life, the ones who knew every expression on my face. The ones who have since let go of my hand--and it's just time to let go of theirs.

Maybe being here is a fresh start in every sense, and I should sever ties with those who I know will not notice if I were to fade onto the outskirts of their consciousness.

Sometimes I wonder if they would ever even notice I was gone.


Kori said...

There is just so much that I want to SAY to this, so much that resonates with my own life-but instead I will simply say that you are on the right path.

Ms. Moon said...

You know me- I have let go of everyone whose needs overwhelm me for no good outcome. There is no end to the needing of some people and we are only the props in their life that allow this needing to continue.
But other people are there if you need them and and so it is safe and right to be there for them too.

SJ said...

I hope so!

I guess the whole thing was really sparked by this inane conversation with a friend last night who, I swear to god, hasn't asked me a single question about the job, the move, etc but still texts me every single day to tell me some crazy weird story all about her. I can't even remember the last time she asked how I am. A big part of me wants to write off the entire thing--but I have such a hard time with that.

And the snowball sort of ran down the hill with this post.

Angie Muresan said...

Oh, I'm so sorry! Let go of the friendships that do not sustain you. I have been in those situations too, where I have felt that all I did was give, and it greedily taken, and my soul got emptier and emptier. You are responsible for your own happiness. De-clutter your life of those people that bring you down. And don't regret the past. After all, it was experience.

Bethany said...

I don't think you can change your nature. I don't think you should. But I wish you wouldn't keep getting hurt. I think it's the age and time and shifting in everyone's life, marriage and akids, but it's no excuse really.
And I'm sorry for your missing.
I know that ache too.
And the texting friend sucks. I think that is a good one to let go. Sheesh. You just moved to an entirely new city with a new job, a how are YOU is def in order.

You sort things out so well when you write though. I like how your mind words.

I agree with Kori. You're on the right path.
Just don't close down though.

TheAbsolutPINK said...

so i have finally caught up on your blog. I feel like i have fallen into a black hole this last week with work. i understand what you mean in this post - and hope (and know) that the time in our lives where we aren't a part of each other anymore doesn't exist. So many people come and go and it's so hard to know which ones will ever come back. And if they do - do you want them?

I know i've made some tough decisions in friendship, and it sounds like you are experiencing more of the same. Please know that i'm thinking of you, missing you and waiting for that 2 hour block of time we need to actually catch up. lol

But, alas, there is always Groundhog Day. What i'm beginning to believe is our official holiday. :)

May said...

I ran into a friend recently whose wedding I was in years ago and they have a baby now. I didn't even know they were pregnant. It's poignant, that, but I honestly don't know who let who go. You have a lot of room in your heart, most people don't have such roomy hearts.

Allegra Smith said...

There is an old Spanish saying that goes more or less like this: El que se va sin que lo echen vuelve sin que lo llamen. Which more or less translates as this: The one who goes without being thrown out comes back without having to be called.

There are givers and takers, and although it sounds like a platitude the essence of friendship still depends upon an equal measure of both. Anything less and it doesn't matter, the broth is spoiled and nothing can be done to save it. I have given up on people many times, but not on friendship. I have some very old friendships, and some long "acquaintanships" as I call them. I am not vested on the latter because I know that there is no way they could ever begin to be close to the half mark required. I believe, I truly do that it is healthier to leave our hand open without much expectation. If they let go, we will know because I honestly believe a true friend is like blood, it comes to the wound without having to be called. The rest...well, acquaintanships is a nice way to describe them and they are not worth more than a smile and a hello and a good bye.