I’ve been sitting at the computer for about an hour now, trying to think of a cohesive way to talk about this thing that’s been weighing on my mind. Unfortunately, I can’t do it, because I can’t still my emotions long enough to decide what I think. But that’s not new, so whatever.

In the past couple months I’ve made some decisions about my life that are unpopular with some people. And it’s been so incredibly humbling to know that even if I think I’m right – or at least not categorically evil, there are some who will just never agree. Different worldviews, narrow minds, lack of empathy – it doesn’t matter. It hurts, because so much of my worth has historically been dependent on others’ approval, but there’s nothing I can do about it.

But in what could be called the most complicated time of my life thus far, I never imagined that in six months’ time I would lose four of the closest friendships I have, for reasons that range from valid to incomprehensibly cruel. It just never occurred to me that I’d have to deal with something like this on top of everything else. And let me tell you, the timing of this is almost comical it’s so poor.

And my first instinct is to be just.. furious. I value my relationships. I have an amazing memory for remembering the smallest facts about those I care about. I’m empathetic and non-judgmental. I’m an amazing friend. But.. when the anger fades, I am left admitting I’ve dropped the ball on close friends a stupid number of times. I have a habit of being incredibly self-centered, and some of the hardest lessons I’ve learned were taught by friends I had made think by my actions they didn’t matter. Because of that I’ve learned the comforting fact that real friends are the ones you can hurt, and they’ll forgive you, knowing you will do the same for them. But what I’m struggling with now is the realization that I don’t know if I can do that this time.

Usually I’m one of those people who thinks that some things probably happen for a reason (whether karmic or divine or simply as an opportunity to grow) but I don’t think there is hidden meaning in everything. So if someone else were explaining this to me, I assume I’d gently suggest that the main connection in it all sounds like them, so perhaps they have more culpability than they’re ready to admit. But, I’ve thought a lot about this, and I still come back to the fact that there was only one whose decision I respected. The others were all totally different (and shockingly selfish, for all three of them) reasons, and after this most recent time, well, I’m basically crushed.

Mostly this shit just hurts. A lot.

So I’m left with just trying to find the appropriate amount of energy to waste feeling sad, because really, it’s out of my control, and I think there’s only so much good that can come from perserverating on it. And actually, if I let myself go Philo 101,  I will guess this is just another example that my lifelong internal need for some sort of justice-compass is unrealistic and impractical. Sometimes life just sucks because it does, and not because there’s a reason. Luckily I don’t need this to remember that I’m still loved and supported by many; I don’t take my friendships for granted and appreciate that. (i.e., There’s no need for cheesy supportive comments, por favor. The rest of you out there are still my rocks, and this isn’t a pity party, just a sad vent.)

Really I think I’m writing about this because it just sort of feels like I’ve got a new pair of glasses on that are forcing me to change how I look at things, and it’s unnerving, and it makes me worried that the view will turn to cynicism as my life gets even more complicated. So maybe this is an attempt to convince myself that this is an aberration, and not indicative of anything else. Because I don’t believe that people are inherently going to hurt you in life.

But damn if I just want to have a better radar for those who will, because mine apparently broke.

So. Good times, good times. I’m sorry this was a downer post. Maybe as an addendum later I’ll tell what I learned from this, because there must be something. It’s all pretty fresh, so check back in oh, 2024 m’kay?

And to end on an attempt at a funny note, want to know the song coincidentally playing on iTunes right now? “Bullet Proof” by Radiohead. Awesome.

I bet that’s a sign of something. Like my amazing taste in music, most likely. Too bad for those who don’t get a Jen mix CD anymore, RIGHT?

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