Huh.

I realised something today. I don’t actually know how friendship works.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a reflection on my friendships. I have wonderful friends, amazing friends, friends for whom I would walk through fire. Friends with whom I can laugh but friends who walk quietly with me in darkness when they need to. Friends who were friends to me when I couldn’t be a proper friend to them, but who persevered anyway. Friends with whom I can pick up a friendship after a yearlong absence as though it’s been a gap of a week. I think I’m actually a bit boring when it comes to chatting on and on about how amazing my friends are.

This is a reflection about friendship itself. It struck me that I’m friends with my friends because of my friends. Most of my interactions with friends are instigated by them, not because I don’t want to spend time with them, but because I’m too scared that they don’t want to spend time with me. I don’t want to be a bother, or drag them down. Because for most of my adult life, friendships happened in spite of my husband’s wishes. I worked hard to keep people at a distance, and got very good at it. What I didn’t get good at was letting people close.

So now I’m working on learning that. I’m going to try to be confident in instigating contact with those people whom I love so dearly, who have been light and strength to me. I’m going to continue to care for them, and be a part of their lives, and support them, but I’m also going to try to be more gracious in allowing them to care for me, in seeking that care when I need it rather than letting them seek me out. And I’m going to try to stop second-guessing everything. I have no idea why my friends like me. But I’m going to try to tell myself that I don’t need to. They do like me; they do seek me out; they have proven, time and time again, that I can trust them. Now it’s time to get over it and start to return the favour.

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4 thoughts on “Huh.

  1. Friends are companions on the journey. Some walk closely; others might be a distance away; some relationships are renewed every time you meet, even if that’s not often. There just don’t seem to be any rules about how friendships are conducted, but they weave their strands through our life – there’s the spider’s web appearing again! Actually, the web is quite a helpful metaphor – each friendship strand forms a part of the whole web. Keep weaving, Naomi.

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