Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bad Influence

When my friend, E moved to DC a couple months ago she kept talking about meeting new people because she had "burned so many bridges" in Richmond. E and I have known each other since high school, but were equally annoyed by each other then. It wasn't until I moved to Richmond to attend VCU that she and I became friends. After a bunch of haphazard encounters we finally started hanging out on purpose.

A few weeks ago we were exchanging stories of our childhoods. She told me about how making friends was a game to her as a child, she would go places determined to make as many friends as she could and fully aware that she would never see these other children again. It didn't bother her, she just figured she'd make new friends later.

I was the exact opposite. I had a few very good friends at any one time. My kindergarten best friend was a girl named Kimberly who would get upset with me daily, usually at lunch or recess, and tell me that we weren't friends anymore. And every day as we stepped on the bus she would ask if we could be friends again. Of course we could, I had never considered us not to be friends anyway. I'm still this way. I could list the number of people I've had legitaimate falling-outs with on one hand.

E doesn't disregard her friends, quite the opposite, and I think this is why we're friends, she just doesn't allow herself to deal with other people's problems and projections. That's not to say that she isn't there for her friends in their time of need, she is, but she also isn't going to let you go on about things that don't matter for weeks on end. It's healthier.

I have only recently been okay with letting go of relationships. I don't do it well, and I tend to hold on for far too long. My, now ex-best friend, and I had not had a decent conversation for months. The last of which she had told me about the possibility of her getting engaged. Then I was supposed to visit her and things fell through, and then I saw her briefly at church of Christmas but she insisted that she was busy the entire time she was home, and it wasn't until after New Year's when we finally had it out, via G-Chat. Seriously.

The Ex-bff is still a practicing Mormon. She has never been particularly good at communicating her feelings, she's always taken the passive route whereas I take everything head on. We grew up together. We sang duets almost annually at church Christmas parties and planned youth activities together because we didn't trust (like) anyone else's judgment in where the balloons should be placed for youth dances, or what songs should be put in the Mormon-camp song book. We never had that much in common, but we complimented each other well and enjoyed making fun on the same people. She was really the only reason I went to church in high school, and she was fully aware of that.

It wasn't until we had this G-Chat conversation that I realized how much she disapproved of my life. It came out of nowhere, we hadn't talked, what did she know? She explained that she had tried to be subtle before, I had no recollection of this. She said that I was "self-destructive" and "let people walk all over me." She was the first one I told after I had sex for the first time, but I never expected her to go out and do the same. I never expected her to do any of the things I did.

She recently got engaged. He was, is, her first kiss. And from what my mother has told me, she has quite grad school. I haven't talked to her about it. She made it very clear that she had no interest in having me be a part of her life anymore, which hurt, a lot - I cried all day that day, and then it was over. I haven't talked to her about the engagement, but part of me can't help but think about all of her ambition. I don't think it just went away, I just can't believe that she gave up going to the best school in the country for her program to get married. But then, we don't really know each other anymore. Apparently she's changed just as much as I have.

E had a similar experience around the same time and we both decided that we were part of people's resolutions to rid their lives of "negative" influences. Good riddance. Thankfully E and I negatively influence each other regularly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love you for understanding me, and still liking me anyway - E