December 16 – Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)
Well if the Grinch learned the true meaning of Christmas, this year taught me the true meaning of friendship.
I had a friendship suddenly and inexplicably end this year. It was just suddenly gone one day. I struggled with it for a few weeks, spending hours speculating about what happened and why. I even tried to confront my friend a couple of times, to be dismissed at every turn.
The interesting fallout from the end of this friendship was something I didn’t expect: I didn’t miss it. Once I was over the initial shock, the withdrawal from the the drama that surrounded our interactions, I realized it hadn’t ever really brought me joy. It brought stress, and discomfort, panic and insanity masked in mini-meltdowns of the utmost importance.
I’ll be the first to admit I am not always attracted to things that are good for me, my X is proof of that, as is my tendency from time to time to overindulge with wine. Couple that with my tenaciousness, holding on to things for far too long, and I’ve got an interesting problem. I hold onto things that are bad for me, things that drag me down in one form or another. It’s downright destructive and I’m learning how to let go of these tendencies now that I can actually see them.
I don’t know if I ever would have seen how destructive this friendship had become if it hadn’t left my life in such a brutal and sudden manner. So for that I am thankful. It took the same kind of push into madness for me to leave my X as well, after living through years of emotional abuse, to finally *see* what was happening to me because of the abuse and to finally put my foot down and refuse to continue the cycle.
I am hoping that in the new year, and the many years to come, I can see these patterns sooner and without such dramatic effect. I am also hoping to foster the relationships that I know are working, the friendships that do bring me joy and pleasure. I’ve started doing “girl’s nights” with two of my friends here, calling back to a tradition that I had with friends in New York, and I am oh so thankful for our time together. We are getting together tonight for dinner and Spicy Farkle, a dice game that is super fun. I know that when I leave there I’ll feel that sense of peace that comes from spending time with good friends and nice people, a sense of true camaraderie that I believe only emerges when everyone there is willing to let their guard down just a little. There will be wine, and there will be laughter, and I will be thankful.