Monday, January 08, 2007

An oldie but goodie....


I have this friend.

We have known each other for a while and were best friends at one point. We keep drifting in and out of each others lives, popping up occasionally to update the other on new developments in our lives.

But now I have a problem.

It always happens to me, maybe because I'm too nice and I like to listen to people hash out their frustrations. I like being that friend that people know they can count on for sound advice, support and understanding.

However, now this friend feels more like a weight on my shoulders than a friend I can count on. Whenever I see that person's name on my caller ID I don't want to answer because I know that person is calling with whatever drama/BS/issues are most important in their life. And they expect me to sit there and listen to them for 30 minutes while they complain about how such-and-such is getting on their nerves.

I don't mind when my friends have problems. I don't. What I DO mind is when people just use you for a sounding board but never have any real interest in what you have to say. I have too many people in my life whose favorite phrase to start a conversation is, "Guess what happened to me?"

Going back to my one friend. I consider this person a real friend, but I haven't even told that person about my internship. I was SOOOOOO excited when I got the news, but I haven't been able to tell her because I haven't been able to get a word in edgewise. It's all about her problems and why she has soooo much drama in her life. She hasn't asked me if I've heard back from anywhere about my internships, nor has she asked me what I'm doing this summer. All she's asked me is if I'll be able to see her this summer.

But really, I'm tired. I need REAL friends, friends who share in my successes and root for me as hard as I cheer for myself. I am ALWAYS my friends greatest cheerleader, but when the ball is in my court, my cheerleaders are sitting on the sideline somewhere eating popcorn.

So I think I'm going to do some spring cleaning, starting with my friends. As I've stated on my Facebook page, if you are not in my life to help me be a better person, or to encourage and nuture me, then you need to faze yourself out of my life. I mean it. I'm done being the great friend with the broad shoulders to cry on. When my eyes well up with tears, you know who I turn to? Myself.

So many days I've longed for that "Sex and the City" friendship. Did you see the episode where Charlotte was having a hard time conceiving and Miranda wound up pregnant? (If not, it was "Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda" episode 11, season 4...and no, I didn't have to look that up) Charlotte was walking home from the doctor with the news that she might never get pregnant and she ran into Miranda. After telling Miranda she just wanted to be alone, Miranda followed Charlotte ALL THE WAY home just IN CASE she wanted to talk. Do they even make friends like that anymore?

I think that's the main reason I enjoyed the show so much. Four women, despite their different views on love and sex, managed to remain friends through marriage, babies, infidelity, divorce, etc. The other three women never judged Carrie for sleeping with a married man, nor did they look down on Samantha for being sexually adventurous. They accepted each other as they were, flaws and all.

I want that. I want that from another woman. I believe I've found that in my boyfriend, who loves me no matter what I do, but sometimes you need your best girlfriend to share in your joys also.

Sometimes I look at pictures on Facebook and see groups of women who are happy together, taking pics of vacations they've taken together, or cruises they recently got back from. I wonder why I don't have that. Sometimes I do feel alone. I have some close friends, but we don't talk as much as we used to. Time and different schedules have claimed our friendship. It's hard for me to make friends here because I'm just scared someone will use me like others have before. But I'm done. I'm making some changes in my life starting now. No longer will I be the friend to everyone but myself. No longer will I just smile and mod politely when I am dying to blurt out some good news but my "friend" is still talking about HER issues. No longer will I accept one-sided relationships.

They say if you have one true friend, you are lucky.

We shall see how many of my friends are left after I clean house.

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