I’ve come to the realization that my ‘best friends’ (except for Laura, The Best Friend) don’t really feel the same way about me. Perhaps I have spent years living vicariously through them, watching their lives change and grow while my own stayed small and stagnant. I’m not sure what changed. Perhaps they just couldn’t deal with the major depression I went through in the late 90s when all I could do was rehash the same issues again and again. When the answer to “How are you?” was always the same “I’m hanging in there” or “I’m still alive”.
It’s 3am and I find myself unable to sleep. Nina, one of the women I consider to be a dear friend, one who I would walk through fire for, who I would die for is really struggling right now. We haven’t talked on the phone in at least 6 years. Until recently she had a very time consuming and stressful job as the Dean of Women at a small Academy. Her hours were crazy and so were mine. Finding time to talk on the phone was next to impossible, so we keep up via Facebook and email. Slowly the email stopped, who had time for email? We had Facebook.
About a week ago Nina posted on Facebook that she was struggling. I sent her a private message saying that I knew it had been ages since we had talked on the phone, but that I was always there for her no matter the time of day or what was going on, I had a shoulder she could lean on or cry on as the case may be. I expected at least a “Thanks for the offer” reply…I got nothing.
It hit me tonight as I read another of her messages that we see our friendship in very different lights. I hold her in much greater importance then she does me. And looking at it, that is how it is with a number of my ‘old’ friendships. While in my head I continue to think of them as my best buddies, in reality we are barely passing acquaintances who read about each others lives on the Internet. We no longer have the personal connection we once had. We haven’t really talked in years.
So it’s time to let go. It’s time to let go of the idea that these women are still my best friends…I need to do some major relationship building if I even want to be able to consider them real friends anymore. I need to find out if they have an interest in knowing who I truly am and being my friend in return.