a little east of reality

Sunday, January 01, 2006

there's friends, and then there's friends

Happy New Year!

Well, I had my break from blogging - no point in typing just for the sake of it and my room is so hot and stuffy right now - but going back to work means having a nice air-conditioned spot to sit and think and blog in. And for those of you who might actually wonder whether that flies all right with my boss, I blog in the morning when I first get in, before work hours actually start, or at lunchtime if I have no reason to go out. So they're not paying me to blog...sadly.

I'm kind of excited about this year. I know it's just another year, but Jan 1st always feels like a fresh start and I like it a lot. Actually this is my favourite holiday. I like the sense of renewal and the opening of a new chapter in life. It's a good time for re-evaluating where you're at and what you really want out of life.

Strangely, on doing all this self-evaluation, I find myself angry - mostly with myself. I think I was lazy in 2005, knowing what I wanted but making little effort to get it. Procrastination is common - most people struggle with it at least some of the time - but I'm talking about more than that. I don't think I've valued my own goals enough to have a real sense of commitment to them. It's velleity: wanting something, but not enough to make an effort towards it. The status quo is not satisfying, but it is easy.

I also think I've been foolish in regards to some of my friendships, investing a lot of time and emotion into people who never really offer anything in return. At least, if it's something they can give without sacrifice, without inconvenience, they are willing and so we socialise or spend time together and talk about their lives and their woes; but if I have a need that requires them to alter their schedule, or go out of their way, or worst of all step out of their emotional comfort zone, they just side-step around it - either by claiming a busy schedule or just through total emotional unavailability. You can probably tell that this feeling has been building for a while. I guess I'm noticing it more lately because, as I said, I've been taking the time to evaluate. I think the hardest thing about this is that I rarely ask someone for this kind of help. Emotionally I'm actually fairly self-sufficient; I'm not perfect at handling my own shit, but I deal. So when I feel needy, shouldn't I be ALLOWED to feel needy, and expect some kind of meaningful response from my own friends?

In one sense I think this is my own fault. I can't really expect everyone I meet (and like, and hope to be friends with) to have the same idea as me what it means to be friends with someone. I also know that I can't make a friendship happen with someone who doesn't want it. I don't think I'm misreading the desire to be friends, but they might not see it as I do. However, a couple of the people in question I've been friends with for years.

The truth is I just miss it - I miss the feeling of connection and it makes me feel lonely. It's painful to me that I have friends who will really listen effectively, friends who will give me a simple hug when I need one (and that one simple thing is vastly under-rated), friends who will change their schedule unasked because they recognise a need in me...and not one of them lives in Canberra. Some are two states away, others live overseas, and the telephone isn't enough (though it helps). But in the midst of this painful sense of seperation there is also a deep gratitude. I appreciate so much the love and care they show me from such a great distance. I know it's not the same as having you live down the road or across the bridge or a short train ride away, but I'm still so grateful that you're there for me, and that you let me be there for you sometimes, too.

I actually think that in 2006 I need to rely a little more on myself, and also branch out here in Canberra and meet new people, but nothing and no-one can ever really replace those core friends that are true. I love you guys forever. And as this is my blog after all, I'll include blog friends in that, too. There's no-one in the blogosphere that I've known for more than a year (except for those I knew in real life first), but already I recognise that some of you are deeply caring people. I've felt your support and even if you've had no cause to offer me support, I've watched you support others with patience and a lot of understanding.

True friends rock. Here's wishing you all (and me) plenty of that for 2006.