For some reason planning this wedding is making me nostalgic. for work, i spend many hours driving back and forth between austin and san antonio each month...and most of those trips taken very very early in the morning. (okay...5:30am to be driving is very early for me.) So in these quiet hours of solitude, which for me is rare, i reflect. i reflect on my week, what i have planned and what i need to do. i reflect on my up coming marriage and all the excitement and anticipation that comes with it. i reflect on my past...on how it has shaped me. and most recently i've been reflecting on my friends...new and old.
i look back on my life 10 - 15 yrs ago and i see a different person. of course over the years i've grown up and learned from mistakes made. but i also see that i've lost some of the good things that come with being young. i've come to realize that i'm not as patient as i was, i'm less accommodating and concerned for others. i tend to look out for myself more and do what is best for me. i'm more private with my life. i'm more skeptical of things and people and intentions. its not to say these things are bad, but i guess i see myself not as good of a friend sometimes. but the upside of this is that i've learned what a good friend really is. i've learned to invest my time and resources into people who really are my friends. i find that quality time with a couple of friends is more valuable than hanging out with "the crowd". good conversation over good food and wine is more precious than getting lost in a large crowd of people. Transparency is good to be shared, but share wisely.
Unfortunately, these lessons were learned at a cost.
good friends i've had, good friends i've lost along the way...
i've burned bridges with many choices i made. i don't regret them, but i wish that i hadn't pushed people away or hurt them. and some of those choices changed me. and to some, those choices made me someone that they can't relate to or be around. And i'm okay with that...i like who i am today. i'm not saying i can't improve on who i am, but i've stopped trying to be something i'm not. i am who i am...that is all i can be. take it or leave it.
other friends lost were just casualties of time, distance, location, stage in life. some i don't even have those excuses...just too different is all i can chalk it up to. its funny that when i was younger, how many friends and who your friends were defined how good of a friend you were. i look back just to my college days and i see how many wonderful people shaped me. what makes me sad is that i only speak to maybe a handful of those people regularly and can count on my fingers how many i consider friend rather than acquaintance. even though i've shared myself and my life with all those people, i've not spoken to them in over 5 yrs. we laughed in the good times, and cried and encouraged each other in the painful ones. all those times defining and memorable. we talked about how we would be each others buddies and in each other's weddings and have our kids be playmates. but the reality is that we've just become fading memories.
it makes me melancholy when i think about the people that have truly impacted me that i've lost due to my own stubbornness and inflexibility. those are the friendships i would like back. those are the people who taught me about life, how to truly live, how to love, to see beyond my comfort zone, to be better that i am. maybe one day...maybe never. maybe all i can do is to pass on the wisdom that had been given to me.
i know i am blessed to have those around me who've always have been and always will be. it's true when they say you'll know who your real friends are after college...they are the ones who will still be by your side no matter what your choices were. i know how lucky i am to have friends that i've know since i was in my single digits for age. not many can even remember people from that time in their life. i'm blessed enough to have friends that have stuck by me...and will always stick by me. those are the people who'll forgive each other for ignoring them for months and be so happy to catch up with when we do talk. those are the friends that will share their good news and everyone will be happy for them. those are the friend that we'll rescue when they fall or hurt. those are the good friend's i've had...and will have always.
and for my "new" friends i've made in the past 5 years, i see diversity...i learn a lot from them...they enrich my life and mind. They too also invest wisely and are true to their friendship needs. there's no bulls*#t about what they say or how they present themselves...they're looking for authentic friends too. they too are willing to invest themselves and their time as i am. i am very grateful to be this lucky. and hopefully my handful of friends will become a couple handfuls.
and as much as i want to say that i've moved on from wanting people to like me and think well of me, part of me still finds validation in that. and maybe that is something i will never grow out of. i've always wanted to be well like and well perceived...but i also want to be true to who i am...good qualities and my shortcomings. There in lies the struggle of my life...the only difference is that my battle is with myself and not with the world.
so to the friends i've lost, i apologize if i've wronged you. my intentions were never to push you away or stop caring. but i know this does not make it right because its not the intentions that matter...but the action. maybe one day i'll get the opportunity to make it right. for those i've lost touch with i'm sorry i didn't make our friendship a priority. and for those who are my friends, i'm so grateful for you...and all that you bring to my life. may what i give back in return be truly what friendship should be.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006