If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll probably know that friendship was the theme for me last year. And I’ve written quite a bit on it. So why write about it again? Because learning is a process. Our perspective changes over time. What I thought was the rational thing to do then might seem childish now and what I think is the loving thing to do now might seem silly a year from now. Not that I’m regretting any of it. I just follow my heart at a given moment. If I mess up, I mess up.
There is this friend whom I’ve been corresponding with for a while. Our friendship grew out of the turmoil in her life then. She was going through an extremely difficult time and needed an outlet (at least that was what I thought). And I was there. With all the time in the world. So it made good soil for a new friendship to grow. We never really see much of each other. It was not because we were limited by space. We just, well, felt more comfortable communicating through electronic mail and other technological devices. It is strange to see how human relationship develops in such a manner. Cyber-friendships we call them. Well, to be accurate we were not exactly cyber-friends. We do see each other and share things face to face occasionally. But most of our serious conversations are carried out the new age way. Perhaps the absence of physical presence provided a certain barrier to our personal space which all of us guard with a vengeance. We have more control over how much of ourselves we want to reveal. We hide certain part of ourselves behind our words. We use them to camouflage our emotions. Body language has no opportunity to interfere.
Ironically, the barrier that saves guard our personal space also provided a platform for freedom of expression and genuine self revelation. We can be who we really are because there is little self-image to protect. This is why I think blogging is so popular. A place where we can be real and not worry about being judged is like a breath of fresh air to our suffocating soul. But if you’ve been blogging for a while, especially if you have provided a section for people to leave comments in your blog, you’ll soon realize that your so called “refuge” is an illusion. What people say still matters to you, be it strangers or people whom you know. They are not suppose to matter. But they do. Don’t ask me why. They just do. At least for me. Even RLP, my favorite blogger, falls victim to it. You can read all about his painful encounter here and here.
So I guess the message behind such a condition is that there is no escape. We are created for relationships. We have a deep need to connect. People matters to us.
Our friendship was doing pretty well. I was surprised to find myself sharing much more than I thought I would. I guess in some ways we regarded each other as a secret escape, like our online journal. No strings attached. Just pure outpouring of our innermost thoughts. It was a pretty, well …… safe sort of friendship that we had. Until one day, I decided to step out of the safety zone and bring it a step further to the wild waters of real friendship. Just as victory does not come without a fight, true and deep friendship is born out of overcoming many real issues together. That’s my belief. It is not only about carrying each others load but also of sharing the ordinary, the mundane and of course, the happy things in our life. It wasn’t because what we had was not sufficient or satisfying. I just wanted, wanted…..to have something deeper than an exchange of words and thoughts. To be able to share in other ways.
I wanted to bring together both the elements safety and transparency while respecting our individual boundaries. During the first transition period, I made a mess of it. I wanted too much too quick. I wanted to be all things to her. The ideal friend, you know what I mean. And I could sense her withdrawal. Maybe I came on too strong or the change was too sudden. I was crushed. Big time. For a moment things were a little awkward. But I am glad we hanged on in spite of it.
That was quite sometime ago. We are now pretty comfortable with where we are. I enjoy and treasure the times when we are able to meet. When we can’t, there is still the technology to connect us. So I am just gonna go with the flow and take things as they come. Don’t wanna push it too hard. I am learning to enjoy the ride.
So, yeah…..things are looking great!
This is the friendship piece that I received. Enjoy.
TO THE WONDERFUL WOMEN IN MY CIRCLE
When I was little, I used to believe in the concept of
one best friend, and then I started to become a woman. And then I found
out that if you allow your heart to open up, God would show you the best in
One friend's best is needed when you're going through things with
your children. Another friend's best is needed when you're
going through things with your mom. Another when you want to shop,
share, heal, hurt, joke, or just be.
One friend will say let's pray together, another let's
cry together, another let's fight together, another let's walk away together.
One friend will meet your spiritual need, another your
shoe fetish, another your love for movies, another will be with you
in your season of confusion, another will be your clarifier, another the
wind beneath your wings.
But whatever their assignment in your life, on
whatever the occasion, on
Whatever the day, or where ever you need them to meet
you with their gym
shoes on and hair pulled back or to hold you back from
making a complete fool of yourself ... those are your friends.
It may all be wrapped up in one woman, but for many
it's wrapped up in several ... one from 7th grade, one from high school,
several from the college years, a couple from old jobs, several from
church, on some days your mother, on others your sisters, and on some days
it's the one that you needed just for that day or week that you needed
someone with a fresh perspective, or the one who didn't know all your
baggage, or the one who would just listen without judging... those are good
I thank my girlfriends, those who honor intimacy,
those who hold trust,
and those who hold me up when life is just too heavy!
The special bond we share is unique.
Thanks for the words we've shared. The prayers we've
sent up. The laughs, the tears, the phone calls, the emails, the shopping,
the movies, the lunches, the dinners, the talking, talking and the listening,
So whether you've been there 20 minutes or 50 years, I
love you! Thank you for being my friend.....