Saturday, July 23, 2011

On Friendly Ground

I’ve never been able to understand other peoples’ concepts of friendship. For me, once you’re a friend you are, generally speaking, always a friend. And it doesn’t matter so much to me if you’re a friend from work, school, church, or elsewhere.

A lot of people seem to want to categorize their friends in a way that I just don’t understand. Friends at work are only friends while at work. Friends from school are only friends at school. And the same applies to the other imaginable categories. But why is this?

I know there are several people who I call friend that would probably only call me an acquaintance. And herein is a very subtle line, because there are some people who I’d also only call an acquaintance who may in fact call me a friend. Really, should there even be a difference though? I think there is an obvious difference. For me, an acquaintance is someone who you are on friendly terms with, but is not someone who you know very well or have spent much time with. A friend, on the other hand, is someone you know fairly well, who you’ve most likely shared some emotional bond with.

But what I don’t understand is how some people can toss their friendships with people to the side, as if it meant, or means, nothing. Friendship is one of the best things a person can have, and yet I see people all the time who don’t seem to care about their friends. I know I’ve not always been the best friend in the world. I tend to isolate myself far too often, and in doing so I end up pushing people away that I don’t mean to push away.

Time. Now there’s something that can end a friendship. For me, time usually means nothing. As I said, once a friend, usually always a friend—that’s just how I roll. But for some, if you’ve not been around each other for awhile, well, that just means the friendship is finished. I don’t get that. In my mind, if there has been some time go by, well, to be reunited or reconnected somehow should be a good thing—just pick up where you last left off.

It bothers me when I care about people who no longer care about me simply because we haven’t been around each other for a while. I don’t change so much, so I just don’t get it. Why not keep on being friends? Do other people totally reinvent themselves every few months or so? I mean, I do realize time can change things. I’m not completely the same person I was in high school—far from it—but I can still be friends, or at the very least, friendly, with people I was friends with in high school. Other people can’t seem to do that for some reason.

But then I’ve never understood relationships between people anyway. In a lot of cases I’ve always seemed to be the odd man out. I just don’t understand why people can’t be friends with each other without all the restrictions.

Oh, well you’re only a friend when I’m at work; you’re only a church friend; you’re only a friend at school; It’s been too long for us to still be friends… I just don’t understand any of those sorts of thinking. So, if you are a friend of mine reading this now, I’d like you to know this: If you are my friend you are my friend, regardless of where we see each other the most, or how often we communicate with each other. You’ll always have a friend in me. If you are my friend, I value you too much for those other things to make any difference.

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