In life we come across a multitude of people and some of them (the lucky ones) will become our friends. Now friends, like shoes, come in all shapes and sizes, and you’re never quite sure how well they’ll work until you spend time with them. Sometimes you find out that the beautiful looking stiletto is a pain, but those Chucks are not only comfortable, but are becoming your favorite go-to shoe.
Now we’ve discussed how it’s important to sometimes fight for your friendships, but what happens when the person you’re fighting for willingly slips away? You don’t have a fight, falling out, or anything; they just decided that your role in their life has ended and… good luck.
A few years ago I worked a job in Minnesota. I made friends very easily but I met this one guy and I just knew we were going to be friends for the rest of our lives. The job had its frustrating moments, but that frustration helped create a bond between all of the support staff. But when I really felt down, Nelson was the person to go to. Even though we were completely different in religious beliefs, musical tastes and gender, this dude was my dude! Now, I’m a serial platonic friendshipper, so it was only friendship, but man, I loved him like a brother!
After the job ended we drove the sixteen hours together back to our home towns and had a blast on our road trip. Since we lived in the same area we had our moments where we hung out together, and even though I started a new job and he went back to school, you couldn’t tell me we wouldn’t still be friends. We were so close that when I met the guy I ended up marrying (and now divorcing, FAIL!) Nelson was the first person I told. When I found out I was pregnant, Nelson was in the top five people to know, and when we went to the courthouse, I invited him to be one of the witnesses. But with each update, there was more and more distance growing between us.
It reminds me of a song called “The Incredible Shrinking Clarinet.” During the song, as you play, when you get to a certain part, you discard part of your clarinet. You keep on playing, but as the song progresses you keep on removing sections until at the end you’re only left with your mouthpiece. That’s how I felt with Nelson. We played this beautiful song of friendship in the symphony of my life, but after a certain number of stanzas, pieces of our friendship were being discarded by ignored wall posts and Facebook messages. My life and friendships with other people, including all of the other amazing people I made great connections with from the Minnesota job, ( I love my Batcave girls!) continued. I wasn’t naive to think that every single friendship that I make in my life will always stay intact, but the more I went on, the more our friendship dissolved. Finally, I got to the point where I was the only one holding on. Tempted to write on his Facebook page one more time to see how he was doing, I x’d out. What was the point?
Though I don’t have that friendship anymore, Nelson was a very important part of my musical repertoire, and without him I don’t think I would have been able to happily deal with Minnesota. I have no hurt feelings from him at all, and if anything I still look on our time together with joy. The same thing goes to other people who were such important parts of my life, who encouraged me when I felt down and who loved me when I was unlovable, but just slowly moved away though I kept offering that hand of friendship.
So to you, dear reader, when you get to the point where you keep on trying to play your song, but the other person is alerting you that you need to discard part of the friendship away, consider doing it. Your song will continue to play, and even though you might have lost one shoe, there are always others.
Shoes, clarinets. Let’s talk about it all on twitter @kkoger.
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