Saturday, August 13, 2016

Friendship, again and again.

I have been re-reading some of the classics, and I am currently working my way through Euripides. While reading last night a quote stuck with me. "for it is in trouble's hour that the good most clearly show their friendship; though prosperity of itself in every case finds friends" * This passage brought me back to something I have been thinking about for some time. 
A number of my recent posts revolve around friendships in general and my friendships, or lack thereof, in particular. Maybe because I don't have a lot of friendships or maybe because friendships have been much on my mind recently, I find I need to write another post on friendship, if only to clear my mind and let me move on. I've said it before and I am sure I will say it again; friendships, like tents, are hard

Since my first post about friendships, when I didn't have any of what I would really consider good, close friends, I have cultivated a new and great friendship and it's been a lot of work. Not because my friend is work, not because I don't want the friendship, but because I am not used to having friends, and remembering to include my friend in the day-to-day goings-on of my life wasn't something that came naturally to me. Making this effort though was worthwhile and having someone to share things with has become quite enjoyable. After these months, it has become much easier and I think about sharing things with him without having to make any effort. This friendship is finally at the point I think where I think it should be. 

Satisfied with one friend, and not looking to start all over again. I was content as I was when, out of the blue, another friend appeared. It started over a quick conversation with a co-worker - one of the many conversations you strike up with someone just because you are both there and friendly - but there was a spark of something more. From that one conversation, over the next couple of weeks, a great and easy friendship was born. 

I have to say, I am shocked. I have never had a friendship be this easy. I mean never. My entire life I have been a little bit different than everyone around me. When I was a kid the neighborhood kids and I didn't quite look at things the same way. This new friendship was not like that. It just clicked. We have so many things in common, like the same kinds of movies, books, jokes, music. We share a lot of the same personality traits and sense of humor. though if I'm honest, I am far less funny. We can talk or email as easy as thinking.  

Oh, the conversations, how wonderful they are. It doesn't seem to matter if we agree (which most of the time we do.) or not. We can both talk about anything without fear of being judged or looked down upon. When we don't agree we can discuss our differences in opinion without fear of a closed-minded response. I have re-thought any number of opinions and beliefs that I have held for years. I don't think I can properly express how great it is.

This was as far as I had gotten writing this post when the inevitable happened. I suppose you can see this one coming, but of course, this friendship burned out. Too close too quick, and poof. I don't want to go into the reasons here, as they are personal and private. While I have no problem sharing personal and private thoughts here these are not mine to share. 

There is unavoidable aftermath to the ending of a good friendship, Bob knows** I have lost enough friends over the years to be well acquainted with it. There is suddenly this hole in your being, in your soul if you so believe. It's like missing a part of you that no matter how hard you try you can't ignore being gone. It is not a feeling I enjoy at all. This of course makes me wonder if one of the reasons I avoided close friendships, or really friendships at all was because I grew tired of feeling this way.

There are however two good things to come out of this. First, I did, for a short time at least have more than one friend. This took some of the burdens from my other friend, which I will return to in a minute. Second, I have now seen that there are, in fact, other people who think, believe, and like, the same way that I do. It gives me hope that there are more, and maybe, just maybe, I can find one or, dare to dream, two others someday.

I wanted to return for a minute to my friend. I know for a fact that there is no way I could have dealt with this loss as well as I have (those who have had to be around me for the last few days, I apologize, yes I know I have been cranky.) without his help. This friendship has grown much more slowly, like the movement of a glacier comparatively. It is obviously a much more stable friendship because of this. I know I don't tell him anywhere near enough, but since I am pretty sure he is reading this, thank you. Your friendship is so very important to me. You have repeatedly said that there is nothing you can do for me, and time after time I tell you, that this, being a friend, is all you ever have to do for me. Which of course, brings me full circle back to Euripides and seems like as good a place as any to close this post.

* From Hecuba by Euripides, which is usually represented in posters and signs to be " Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness." Which, though I like it, I believe oversimplifies it.

** Bob is my non-denominational, non-confrontational, politically correct alternative to a deity called when frustration is high. For Bob's sake, For the love of Bob, Bob only knows. Etc.

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