No longer the best

Friends are so important. They help you through difficult times and they are there for you. Well, if you have friendships that you feel are slipping out of your grasp, be sure to chase them if they are worthy.

I spent two days with my best friend and realised not for the first time a sea of change and a real difference between us. We’ve been friends for over 14 years which is one of my greatest accomplishments. She is my longest friend and the one I considered my best friend to be forever. We met as teens in high school and instantly became fast friends. We have lifted each other out of the darkness one time or another. We are completely different – she is a scientist and I am a philosopher; in school she was in the top set and I was in the bottom. We couldn’t be more different, but what always united us were our shared moral values.

In friendships, it is not unusual to experience a feeling of distance between friends. We are always changing. But today, I discovered as I voiced my feelings of distance, that this time I was not wrong about this uneasy feeling that had crept over me. As a philosopher I needed a question answered before we parted company: “Are we still best friends?” Because the truth was it didn’t feel like it. The previous day, I persuaded her to show me her PhD acknowledgement section and I was surprised to see how very low on the list I was carted in with her other good friends; one whom I did not know about. Don’t get me wrong, I was honoured to be in the section, but I was shocked at how small my part played compared to other friends. It was then that I realised we had somewhere along the line separated. We no longer turned to each other as the first in line to help us with whatever was ailing us. Instead we chose different people, at least she did. I can honestly say I always turned to her first and still to this day. But the struggle of writing her PhD I realised, I could never fully understand. She asked if I was disappointed and I lied and said I was not; it was lovely. But in that moment I felt horrible, like I didn’t mean much any more. Later in the day, I asked when we would be travelling together like she promised, only to be told that she was broke and would not be doing so anytime soon.

As I lay in bed the previous night pondering it all, I decided that I would quietly let go and disappear from her life. I clearly was no longer the best, I was a stranger and she was a stranger to me. The fact that I didn’t know about the struggles she went through and the fact that I had tried to share my struggles but due to all her focus going on her PhD, she had limited time for me. We somehow lost the way to communicate. As with couples, the I becomes We. She was planning to visit me in Japan. Then she invited her boyfriend. I was mad, but I accepted it. Finally she cancelled her trip to visit me in Japan because of the PhD. I wasn’t surprised. I was relieved because I didn’t have to take time off my busy schedule. We had encountered this before. So many times she would cancel on me. So many broken promises. But it didn’t matter because she was my best friend. Well, not anymore. Today I lost a best friend. Or perhaps it was months ago.

As she answered my question, I understood the truth. We were no longer best friends. We had been utterly changed from our experiences, that our lives were no longer close to the same track we had been running on. We were close friends for sure, but we were not solely exclusively best friends. It was very sad. It was the cold, hard truth. It hurt. But it’s okay.

I realised that we are now of an age when we are no longer children, we are adults soon to marry, settle down and have children. We were going in different directions and there was nothing we could do about it. Maybe people shouldn’t have best friends – one best person out of good friends, it’s not really fair. I don’t think I could have another friendship like that again. But at least I have made some lovely friends. So I won’t disappear from this friendship and quietly fade into the background, but I won’t fight no longer being the best, because this time it’s a two way street. It’s a decision and not just mine.

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Today I am feeling optimistic despite this horrible weather and sad atmosphere! I have been moping around the house recently I will admit and it never helps! Right now I am listening to a beautiful song that I heard many years ago which has inspired me and helped me up when I was down “What have you done today to make you feel proud” by Heather Small. It is a great song and expresses exactly how I feel and how I look at life. But this is something everyone should be thinking about. Everyone has potential- that is potential to do good or do bad, the potential to work hard or be lazy. All you have to do is try and okay you may not always get what you want, you may get rejected but some of the best people in life always try. Everyone fails at something and that is how you build yourself up. I am trying to find a job right now and it is tough and I have not been having any luck but it doesn’t matter. I will continue trying till I succeed. I will continue because I know I can do well. I believe in myself.

I have a friend and she knows exactly what she wants to do in life. She wants to be a doctor and I kind of envy her because she knows what she wants and she found her dream career whereas I have no idea what I want to have a career in. However she keeps seeing things blocking her path. I suggest ideas and she keeps putting them down and to be honest she is not being realistic because okay I understand there are difficulties getting into medicine, but it all depends on how bad you want it and what kind of person you are. She is extremely smart and I know she can do well- she can get a First Class Honours Degree, she can draw, make things and is very smart but she is also very pessimistic and foolish in some ways. I am not that intelligent I am smart in other ways but I do try and put all my effort into things. Something inside so strong I know that I can make it. I wanted a First Class Degree but I got a 2:1 and that is still good! I am extremely happy and proud of myself even though I didn’t reach the First I tried and worked my hardest. I wanted a life social life and other experiences and sometimes things take sacrifice. My friend keep saying that it costs a lot of money and she doesn’t know if she can afford living out even if she goes to Scotland where university is free. She doesn’t know if she is entitled to this free education because she comes from the UK. But these things require research and right now she is just shooting them down and making excuses based on things she has no idea about. Education could very well be free for her too and she may never know or realise because she didn’t bother to look just because it might not be. I am tired of the excuses and call me an optimist, a fool or an unrealistic person living in la la land- I don’t care what you call me. I don’t care what you say because at least I have faith and I believe. Question is do you believe in you? I sure hope you do because it is very important. I have faith in people even those who are bad because you can turn your life around.

I want people to know that yes life is hard and sometimes thing don’t always go your way but you can achieve and do your best. All you can do is hope and if it doesn’t work out at least you tried. No regrets right? You tried so what’s to regret! Keep trying till you die. Don’t ever give up on life and I know it can be easy sometimes to just throw in the towel but its not worth it. There is so much out there you can achieve. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel- you just have to be strong and wait. There is sometimes even a helping hand. Trying is the key! 🙂 Everyone has a choice and it is never too late to start making those choices, paths, decisions. Believe in the strength and most importantly in you! I hope you achieve all the things you want!

So if you have failed at something or you got a bad mark or you were rejected in love, relationships/freidnships- then my advice to you is pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again! Have faith in you and your abilities and even if you feel like you don’t have any talents think about yourself and what you’re good at. Nothing is impossible because even the word impossible has possible in it!

Love the ever hopeful optimist (I have been told I live in la la land= oh well at least I like the bright side of life)

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

Sometimes it’s best to let go before you drown

I am at a point in my life where I feel like I am having a mid life crisis and I am not even in my forties! I am in my twenties! But I feel like a trapped bird- one whose wings have been clipped and it is taking me some time to fly away. Life has me trapped in a sad reality where I just can no longer feel anything but sadness and conflict. Conflicting thoughts as to how I should live my life, how to carry on, how to survive in this world, how to find love and experience it. There is so much a person needs to know when going out exploring, when going out experiencing the world and they say that adversities challenge you and develop you as a person but for the past few days I have been questioning things.

It is not because Valentines day is fast approaching and I am single because I do not care about it one bit. No today I was taking a break from working and decided to relax, but the wicked can never rest, because as soon as I tried, the phone rings with a friend on the other line needing some emotional support after a break up. I am there to help the friends who have broken down, the friends struggling, those whose relationships have failed! It’s all in a days work, but at the same time it is sort of draining, something which sucks the life out of you. No one likes being dumped nor breaking up with their lover, but sometimes in life there are obstacles and difference in views that sometimes it cannot be helped. But I don’t feel like I can be a friend anymore. They say a true friend sticks around through the good, bad and the rough, but somehow I seem to carry a lot of friends who only go through the rough and never really through the happy times. I am not saying that all my friends are draining- this feels terrible saying but it is the truth that I need to face. I am tired of always trying to fight a losing battle. I should not give up I know, but it is so hard yet so easy to just throw in the towel. Friendships shouldn’t have to be this difficult and some of my other friendships aren’t but most of my friendships nowadays I view as a burden! I obviously have let them become too dependent on me and sometimes it is important to say NO.

The thing is this one friend has depression, an eating disorder and a genetic condition she has had since birth which makes her understandably very sad, depressed and moody. She knows this, but I wonder when she will be happy. Once she told me that having a boyfriend makes her happy, but some how I feel sick by the thought, because I like to be independent. Somehow she is so emotionally dependent on a guy but also on me that it makes me want to run! As horrible as it sounds, it is true, I don’t like it when people rely on someone too much, because lets be honest this world is constantly changing and people change too so how can you rely on something so unstable? That’s my outlook anyway!

Truth be told, she blames her failures, personality problems, depression and eating disorder on our old strict Catholic school. I too used to blame my old school for the faults I received, but I realised over time that actually that school made me who I am today, and it is not the school who injured my confidence and trust in people, but the people themselves in the school. I am trying hard to show her that it is not the school she needs to blame but the people in it who shape you. Especially when you are a teenager, you are at such a delicate age where anyone and anything can become your “good”. They have so much power and influence over you that it is the friends you make at school who end up defining you throughout the period. You may disagree with me on this point, but I really do believe that it is the friends you make who are crucial to developing you, because you try to change yourself so that you may be liked. I never followed the crowd so it made it difficult for me, but this particular friend cared what others thought. She was a girl who never wore make up, never cared about the way she looked until the friends in that school made her more self-conscious.

This friend of mine every time I see her we hardly speak about me because lets be honest my life’s far from interesting. I have no life because all I do is work. But all she can talk about are the horrible cards that life deals her which ok is true but life deals a lot of horrible cards to people and somehow some people manage to find the strength and positivity to move on and rise above the pain and struggle. I pity her I do, but I cannot help her anymore, I just feel like I can’t do this anymore. I am not letting go, just stepping back and leaving for a while. I need space and although I already get a lot of space from my friends somehow I feel like friends can suffocate you. And that is what some of them do to me, they suffocate me so much I want to run. No matter what I say or try to do, she can never be satisfied, her negative energies completely consume her and I try to be a positive person that I can no longer take it.

I don’t mind helping my friends and being there for when they are blue, but when you’re friends are in a constant state of sadness, it becomes hard to cope with the negativity. I will always be there for my friends as long as they need me, but sometimes I won’t because I am not superwoman. I don’t really know what a normal friendship is like, but I do know that sitting in an unhealthy one won’t do me any good. So from now on I will try and be less emotional, not like a robot although sometimes I do feel like one! But more optimistic about the rest of my treasures and beautiful friends who get neglected but who mean the world to me. Those are the true friends who I love and just enjoy spending time with, without thinking of it as a chore!