Wednesday, November 07, 2012

23 days leftover

Years before I started blogging, I used to write my thoughts in a journal of sorts. That thick black notebook is filled with hard-to-decipher scribbled penmanship but deeply intense thoughts and prayers and insight. I've never shown it to anyone.

One of the things I wrote about many times in that notebook was the topic of friendship. A few of the friendship writings were driven by a sometimes rocky relationship Ell and I shared with another couple. At the time, this other couple was doing some ugly stuff to us despite calling us their best friends. Lying, deceit, talking bad about us to other friends behind our backs, and much more. And while there were a lot of legitimate reasons for us to be mad, when I sat down to write my most honest thoughts in that black notebook, the words ended up being much more about me than about those two friends. My shortcomings, my selfishness, even my own dishonesty. It was one of the most eye-opening exercises in humility I've ever experienced.

From that point on I've been very introspective about the friendships in my life. Being raised a child of my Mother, it not like I needed more help to make my brain more intense and confusing, but that friendship had an affect on me that's been hard to overcome. I'm hesitant to let people in, I'm nervous about overdoing it around new people who could potentially be friends, and I'm often just downright annoying. While I've never had anyone tell me I'm not good friend material, I'm honest enough to admit I can be a handful.

Another twist on this whole friendship thought-process was Ell leaving me. All I could do was sit back and watch all of our couple-friendships try to sort out their feelings for each of us individually as well as deal with their own sense of loss. Even our closest friends in the world started replacing weekends with us by spending time with other couples. No one would admit it (or possibly even understand they were doing it) but just as Ell had left me, many of my couple-friends started putting distance between themselves and me. It had to have been hard to accept me as just me the individual and not me and her as a couple. I don't envy their emotions and frustration and sadness, and I don't blame them for what happened in the year or so that followed our separation. All I can say is that my internal issues understanding true friendships were even more convoluted after 2009.

And so here I am nine hours away from home, living in a new state, in a new house, with a new woman. I am surrounded by beautiful mountains, I have a great job, I'm happier with Alli that I've ever been in my life, and................. I'm starting over in the realm of friendships. The two of us have been developing a good couple-friendship with Jason & Diana (aka Limbo & Bird - the friends who thru-hiked the AT in 2009 and I posted their trail journals), but they have their own circles and we aren't interested in breaking into those circles without earning our place. We haven't yet settled into a church or other social circles where we can find quality friendships, and we've been so busy settling into our jobs we haven't made those kind of outings a priority. The one thing I can say with much love and appreciation in my heart, there are a few of my old friends who have accepted Alli into their lives and have accepted us with open arms. That has meant more to me than anything else these last couple years.

So where is this post going anyway? With me, who knows?! LOL!!! When I left for the AT, I was blessed with an amazing circle of friends who surrounded me to say goodbye, and then when I came home broken and then lost my Dad shortly thereafter, those same friends once again surrounded me with love and support. God has blessed me with more friends than I deserve, and even though I'm many miles away from all of them, I still feel their friendship. A week from tonight Alli and I will be on the road to Ohio to visit them for a few days, and I can't wait to wrap my arms around every one of them and know miles will never take away their love.

And what of those friends who prompted those writings almost a decade ago? They are as close as ever and I love them both. :)


Blogger Kimmy said...

I don't have a comment other than to say, great post.

7:54 PM  

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