On friends

I’ve never been the person who has a million friends. I’ve always had one or two close ones, in each of the places I have lived. And it often takes me a little while to develop those friendships. Not sure why, I’m generally a social person. But I guess I feel I need people in my life I can rely on.

I’m in the middle of a several week-long battle with a close friend I’ve known since high school. At one point we dated, then broke up. I consider him a very important part of my life, and has been a constant I rely on.

I don’t fight with friends. I don’t like to fight at all, to be honest. I don’t like to fight with family — I’m always in a hurry to “fix” things. I hate conflict.

I don’t know what happened a couple weeks ago. I don’t get how this friendship got so derailed. I asked him to stop doing something that he had been doing for years that really bothered me. I had reached a point where I felt this was interfering with our friendship. I told him so.

Ever since, it’s feels like I’m back in the early 2000’s. We’re dating, we’re fighting. He says I’m being over-dramatic. I feel like I’m not being given a chance. He disappears. I chase to explain that I’m not trying to be unreasonable. I apologize.

It’s the same cycle. It’s the same crap we did when we were dating. But now I’m fighting for a friendship that I’m not really sure if he wants anymore.

I’ve always believed we could be friends. We were too oil and water to ever be good in a relationship.

But I respected him and he was always there if I needed him. And I hoped he felt he could always come to me too (though admittedly, rarely did).

But maybe friendships have a best-before date. And maybe ours has expired.

It’s hard for me to let people go.

In other news, this week is the one-year anniversary of Paul’s death.

That was a photo I took on the last trip out to his and Sarah’s cabin before I left Rankin Inlet in July 2009. I remember it as a great last weekend. Full of friends, fishing, fun and food.

I still try to talk about him as much as I can. If not with people who knew him, than to people who didn’t. It’s the only way I can keep his memory alive. It’s too bad his story had to end the way it did. It doesn’t do justice to his life.

Paul had amazing taste in music. A couple of weeks ago, my iTunes playlist brought memories of sitting at his old apartment, him getting excited about his latest Amazon shipment of CDs (it was impossible to download most of the time, and Paul liked the real deal anyways). And he put on Duffy’s Rockferry.

Rest in Peace, my friend. We love you dearly and will always keep your memory and spirit alive.

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4 Responses to “On friends”

  1. Megan Says:

    HUGS.

  2. Mongoose Says:

    To be honest, that does sound rather dramatic. With the chasing and explaining and apologizing, that is. It would bug me for sure. A different strategy would be to say something like “you’re entitled to your opinion” and then keep that behaviour under wraps with that friend and unleash it on other friends who don’t mind it. Or, another strategy would be to consider the criticism and assume that there might be some validity in it. About the only useful thing I learned from my Fired Therapist is that it’s difficult to have a relationship unless we’re willing to let the other person’s opinion modify us. A Winnicottian idea, again.

    Then again, yet another strategy is to consider that most people report having five friends or fewer, and those friends vary through life. Our best friends are the ones who validate our self-image. As our self-image inevitably changes, so do our friends. So evolving friendships is just an inevitable part of making progress through life.

    But then again, Megan’s strategy works too. ((HUGS))

  3. kara Says:

    Hard to believe it has been a year. I have some great memories of Paul from his time in Kugluktuk.

    Sorry about the possible ending of your friendship. Those are always difficult to go through.

  4. Ed Says:

    Before you get settled in your new job, I hope you learn the difference between “then” and “than”. I’ve noticed that many people have went their entire lives not knowing this.

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