I promise that soon you’ll get a friendly, happy, choppy, cocky post as per usual, but today I feel the need to once again be morose and a tad macabre.
I haven’t posted since my last depressive post, as this has been a rather hectic few weeks. Ol’ Murphy had his way, when I thought life was down and it couldn’t go worse. My darling friends had paid for me to visit them in Joburg and I decided to return the favour by smashing my friend’s car. Whilst trying to do a good deed, I was transporting my very pregnant friend to her surprise baby shower.
Surprise! We never made it… I was driving, it was my fault. There was assistance from the others shouting different directions and telling me to turn when I did, but, I repeat, I was driving and certainly didn’t use the skills I should have used and thus….bang. Apparently we were on a one way. The accident was pretty intense. It was more dramatic and emotional than your normal crash, involving another car, but thank goodness, no one was hurt at all. That’s the saving grace that I’m clutching too. I’m still wracked with guilt and was an emotional wreck at the ‘crime scene,’ as the guilt took hold. I’m sure few of you can imagine a Sez, looking like a member of KISS, bawling her eyes out on the side of the road. Anyway, I’ve managed to beg, borrow and steal the excess and the car is now being fixed. I won’t eat for a month, but hey ho 😉 Life goes on and one must do what’s right.
Anyway, the reason I’m writing today isn’t even remotely connected to this, but rather something that dawned on me this morning. While I may not be old, I’ve started to realise that as we get old, we learn to fully appreciate the little things in life: a morning coffee, while watching the sea; the smile of a child; what good fortune we have; reading a book on a Sunday afternoon; having a wild and frenzied night with your friends. However, I’ve started to notice that in the process of getting older, I seem to be dropping friends left, right and centre (how horribly inarticulate is that? Oh well, you get the drift).
When I left Uni, I noticed that those friends, who one spends every day with, but never share a single, deep emotion with, seemed to fade away. I wasn’t perturbed, they weren’t all that important to me, I had my close and dear friends, who I valued and cared for deeply; who consistently praised the strength and depth of our friendship and lived up to what it required.
When I went overseas, I noted that without Facebook, I’m sure many would have forgotten about me (please note, not self-pitying, I felt that went for anyone who went overseas). There was a handful of people who stayed in close contact with me. However, when I announced my return, hoards of people bent over backwards to tell me how they had missed me (sans any contact in at least 6 months….despite our dear friend, Facebook). When I landed, there were few. Even the initial handful of people drained away to perhaps three, maybe four people who I truly appreciated. This wasn’t a matter of timing, for 5 months of living in Joburg, I barely saw anyone other than these few.
Then I pop off to the coast and repeat the same sequence of communication I had when overseas.
Now, it’s with a heavy heart, that I start to see those friendships, upon which I judge all others, fade away. Some stay stagnant, but strong (like those I either left behind in the UK, or those I have known for decades, but, too, reside overseas), but a few start to fade, in a rapidly dismissive way.
I believe, as a rule, that I have tried to be as good a friend as I can possibly be. I’m the first to highlight my faults and take the blame (to risk quoting songs, Annie Lennox echoed my sentiments when she sang “If something goes wrong. I’m the first to admit it. The first to admit it. But the last one to know.”). I know that in my moving to the coast, I haven’t been as good a friend as I could have, because I was prepared for the distance that…well…distance causes. I knew I would start to fade into the background for people and couldn’t be bothered to put effort into something I knew was transient. However, to my special few, I kept up communication – halting communication, albeit, but communication. And then I hit rough patches, and I found the people who were there for me, were not the special few on this continent, but the special few overseas, or people I hadn’t ever imagined would write me supportive comments, such as those who comment on my blog. My friends overseas take the time to supportive, kind letters and I, in return, support and help them along. My special few, I have tried, but now find I have been almost wiped clean of their lives.
It makes me wonder, do I re-evaluate who I am and how I treat friends? No. After some serious retrospection, I like who I am and I know I’m a good friend to those who need me and to those who don’t. Perhaps, sometimes I’m a tad self-involved, but it’s rare and I do try my best to put myself out there for people. And hey, with age I’ve started to realise that if you don’t like me, that’s your problem honey, not mine.
So what rhyme or reason can we blame for this dwindling love and support we’ve so come to count on?
As we get older, do we trade our true friendships for the appreciation of something small, like the first sip of coffee, overlooking the sea?