Inner Circles

So I’ve been facing some health challenges lately – ones completely out of my control. It’s been really scary, really eye-opening, and a looming reminder of mortality. Nothing is immediately life-threatening (that I’m aware of, anyway), but I have this sense of anxiety that I am fighting each day.

What if I’m stuck with these challenges for the rest of my life?

I’ve always been really headstrong, independent, and a big supporter for others going through their hard times. I’m finding that, of course, I could really use a friend. Unfortunately, the friends that I’ve been wanting to confide in have basically fallen off the map, and so I just end up internalizing all of the things I’m thinking and feeling. The “what ifs” and the fears, some tears and many sleepless nights. I tend to reserve these particular subjects for only the closest of friends, but now I’m questioning our true level of friendship.

If someone is always there for you when times are trying, is there any commitment to reciprocate? I don’t believe friendship is obligation, but I do believe it is mutual. Shouldn’t we support each other, or has this friendship always been about you?

I’m reminded of friendships attempted in Los Angeles and how shallow they were. I had great difficulty forging true, lasting friendships, though I lived there for 12 years. It felt like everyone was trying to “make it,” and you were only a good friend as long as you could benefit someone else’s trajectory to stardom or notoriety. I made a small handful of friends, but I met so many people over the course of those years, and it really took a toll on me that so many friendships fell flat or ended in someone trying to take advantage.

Maybe I’m just too nice, too gullible, or too naive. But when I look in the mirror, I don’t see those things. I am generous, I am kind, and I do genuinely care. But I’m no doormat, I’m not afraid to voice my opinion, and I’m definitely not afraid to walk away if I feel someone is taking me for granted. Perhaps the lesson is simply to take a look around when things are generally good to see who is still there.

You always know who needs you, but who sticks around once things stabilize? For you? Some people are in your life for only a season, and from where I’m sitting, winter is definitely over.

Too Open

So when I last left, I was taken over with butterflies.  I couldn’t get enough. But maybe he could?

It’s not that we’re on bad terms now.  There just are no terms.  I don’t know what to expect, and I don’t think he wants me to.  Some might look at it as mind games being played, but I know better.  I think that’s why I haven’t really done anything to stop what’s happened. I know that he needs to put himself first — this may be the first time he’s ever done that.  But it’s what he needs.

He came to visit me.  Waiting for the day he arrived built up so much anticipation.  I think we both knew that we would enjoy each other’s company, but we both were prepaaring for the worst.  We had an amazing time together; couldn’t keep away from each other.  When he had to leave, I think he was ready to take a step back.  Unbeknownst to me, of course.  I was beyond smitten.

I fell, and there wasn’t any denying it.  But I think the difference between us is that I was looking for something before we met.  He wasn’t.  And there it is.  I won’t ask if there’s such a thing as “too open” or “too ready.”  I was ready, and he wasn’t.  It’s just that simple.  I can’t blame myself, because it’s taken me years to get here.  I can’t blame him, because he didn’t think either of us could have feelings this fast.  But I did.  Maybe he did too. But he knew enough to stop things, or at least put them on hold (whatever this is) until he could actually do something about whatever it is that he felt. Maybe.

All I know is that I’m getting on a plane in an hour.  I don’t know what will happen when I get there, but I do know that I wouldn’t object to having his arms around  me one more time.  If the season has ended, I look back with no regrets.  I was ready, I was open.  That’s progress.  There are still butterflies to be had.

The Ever Elusive

Do you know those guys who find you online, who say they think you’re beautiful and that you seem like a cool person to get to know?  Oh yeah, and then they tell you that they’re not actually looking for anything beyond friendship.  Maybe they recently got out of something serious, or they just know they aren’t ready for serious.

Whatever the case, you sort of got your hopes up until he said that final piece.  And because you met online, now you feel no rush to actually meet him in person.  He’s that guy that texts you when he’s sick and wants to see if you’re free to bring him some soup, or the one who’s always heading out of town, so he has to cancel that dinner that you finally set up because you’re tired of having an acquaintance rather than a friend.

Obviously, I know such a guy.  I’ve known him now for about 8 months, and every time we set things up (truly with the best intentions), plans always fall through.  Normally, I’d just give up on someone like this, just because I really can’t stand flaky behavior.  But, for whatever reason, I find myself wondering why we get along so well when we actually do talk; how is it that he always understand?  Is he SURE he isn’t really ready to pursue anything with anyone?  Maybe he doesn’t really KNOW he’s ready.

No, no, NO.  I have to remind myself sometimes that they really are that simple.  If he wanted something, he’d say so.  If we were going to hang out and the stars aligned our schedules, we’d meet up.  In the meantime, don’t waste your time thinking about this guy.  He’s taken himself out of the equation, and you should too.