A Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime

I've moved a lot. Actually, when I look at the last 15 years, I've moved (or transitioned some aspect of my life) every single year. New jobs, continued education, new neighborhoods, and new countries and states have all given me ample opportunities to meet so many different people, introduce me to so many different perspectives on life, and ultimately provide me with friendships on many different levels. I feel fortunate because of these experiences, but primarily because of these connections.

I don't however, think all friendships are the same. When I look at each individual with whom I share a connection, there is something very unique about each that I adore, qualities that probably make up for some component I lack in some way. So like a puzzle piece, we fit. Sometimes it's an automatic fit and sometimes a little bit of the cardboard has to be filed down first to make the pieces mesh and that's okay too.

But for me friendships, like relationships, shouldn't be work. I don't know why people always say that. Why would you want to work at spending time with someone? It should be natural, and if it isn't, I don't understand the effort. If I am the only one initiating interactions, I will eventually stop. If I feel like we don't actually enjoy each other's company, I'm probably not going to keep trying to spend time either. But sometimes, it's not that clear and I find myself trying to understand what happened.

Do you ever think to yourself, "I wonder why that friendship didn't work out?" or wonder "Why aren't we as close as we used to be?" With the addition of Facebook, and this slightly awkward opportunity to reconnect with old friends, I think about it all the time. I'm not talking childhood friends either. I'm talking adult friends. Friendships made not because of proximity to my house or what teacher's class we were placed in for 5th grade, but friendships based truly on common interests and similar life goals. I think back to some people I fell in love with as friends and find it odd to no longer be close with them. I find it weird to have such rich shared experiences and unguarded conversations and moments filled with laughter and the kind of understanding that I feel only comes from real friendship...and then have nothing besides some faux friendship on Facebook.

I just don't get it and then I think about that saying how people (friends) come into your life for "a reason, a season, or a lifetime" and I equate it to that to make me feel better. Maybe they are only supposed to be in my life for that moment, to teach me something about myself, and once they've done their "job", they have to move on and do that for someone else. I think that's a nice way to look at it, and it doesn't make me as sad.

But it doesn't keep me from analyzing the shit out of any single friendship or relationship I've ever had, and I guess at this point in my life, if someone doesn't want to be my friend, it still hurts, but it's probably not going to affect me as it once may have.

I can question my role and participation in the friendship. Was I a good friend? Did I make real efforts to remain friends with this person? If I can answer yes to these questions, it doesn't exactly make the situation better, but at least I know I couldn't have done anything more.

I can't make someone want to be friends with me. I have to remember this and instead focus on the people who want to be part of my life.


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