Sunday, April 26, 2015

Friendship Is All About Showing Up.

When it comes to being a friend to someone, the equation is simple. The biggest component of friendship is just showing up. The rest is merely the fine details. What matters is that you are there for someone, in both good times and bad. You're there for birthdays and weddings, for funerals and break-ups. You do your best to maintain open channels of communication. You remember holidays and special moments from the past.

You simply try to maintain a presence in another person's life, even when time and distance make it nearly impossible to do so. That's what being a friend to someone is.

I suspect you might be asking me "Why are you thinking about the matter of friendship this evening, Jared?"

A close friend is celebrating her birthday today (Congrats Brooks). Even though we're separated by many miles and work schedules that rarely, if ever, make it feasible for us to see each other, we've remained friends for years. In fact, our friendship is more stable and has lasted longer than that with the person whom initially introduced us! We trade greeting cards and gifts, text messages and friendly notes. She's made a point to remain a presence in my life, just as I have in her's. That's what being a friend is... just showing up and saying "I'm here."

As of late, I find myself asking...

Who is saying "I'm here" in my life? Who makes a point to maintain an open dialogue? Who wants to actually take the time to see me?

I did an inventory of my circle of friends... and it's grown quite small. In fact, I could probably count it one hand... with a few fingers to spare. I'll be perfectly blunt with you -- I haven't had any sort of meaningful social interaction with a friend (barring extreme geographic barriers) in what must be years. In essence, I've become a hermit. If it weren't for my better half Crystal and my two dogs, I wouldn't see any friends at all. Indeed, I wonder if I even still know how to make friends. It's been so long... I have probably forgotten. I desperately want to get out and have fun with a friend -- catch a movie, grab lunch or dinner, trade barbs over a few drinks, go shopping. I want to do anything normal friends do, though I'm not quite sure what that is because I never properly learned how.

I'm a work in progress, but that should be obvious to my long standing readers at this point.

What irks me the most is this -- I make a point to try and maintain a presence in the lives of other people. I send cards and texts. I try to call. I offer sound advice and honesty...

And I don't get a lot back in return.

I feel like I'm doing all the work to keep various relationships alive, truthfully. I've become fully convinced of this notion...

Lots of people like the IDEA of being your friend versus actually BEING your friend.

If you want to be a friend to someone, then show up and remind that person that you are there. Don't rely on social media to do all the work for you... it doesn't do squat. Otherwise, do not foolishly expect the other person to bear the burden. It's a hard life lesson to accept, but it's become quite evident. I won't carry the load any longer. Either you're in, or you're out.

No comments:

Post a Comment