Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Yesterday I spent hours printing small pictures and quotes and pasting them into my new 2007 calendar. I can't figure out if this means that I am excited about the coming year, or wanting to be certain that I don't forget the past couple of years and those who played such important roles. Probably both.
It got me to thinking about the evolution of friendships and relationships in general. My views and interactions with individual people has evolved immensely during the past year. Most of those evolutions have been good, I think. I have a renewed sense of being cared for and valued by my parents and my closest friends. I feel that I have something to "bring to the table" for other people in my life, perhaps hearing a bit of my journey and forced evolution will inspire some spark of hope, or desire to be a better person, or willingness to help someone else, or maybe just remembering not to take things for granted.
Recently I became reacquainted with an old friend that I used to work with. I always felt an age difference with this friend,(he's 5 years younger) and I think our standard "schtick" was that he played out the role of "poor me...I'm not happy with what I have, I'm not getting what I want, what do you think about me?" As the perfect co-dependent, I walked right in with hugs, drugs, and loads of advice that I would never in a million years apply to my own life. But I guess it made me feel better to try to help him in some way. He's likeable, intelligent, funny, has a wide variety of talents and interests, and quite frankly, provided some friendship and benefits that I was pretty open to at that time.
Strangely, after no contact for several years, we ran into each other twice in one week in downtown Lawrence a couple of months ago. As we resumed our friendship, it was obvious that he had changed and grown a lot through the years, but that his dissatisfaction and self-absorption was still there to some extent. It's just taken on new names, faces, and problems.
Here's the evolution, though... he seems willing to take steps to change some of these issues. He doesn't seem as "stuck" as he once was. I know for certain that I've experienced a sea change... almost every single philosophy, belief, habit, self-concept, and manner of living has completely changed for me. Except one: I still seem to be right there with hugs (no drugs) advice, friendship, and yes, even some benefits.
Anyway, long story... but. I am wondering if I, too, am playing that role of the advice-giver/caretaker type person that I tend to play with SOOOO many people in my life. Just ask my roommate, Jamie.
One new philosophy that I have is that I refuse to waste time on people who don't have redeeming qualities that I respect, admire, and that are somehow increasing the quality of my life, rather than sucking the energy out of me.
I am actively trying to live this myself, also. I needed people and their help so much for the past couple of years that it's strange to regain comfort in my own autonomy, responsibilities, emotions, and physical realm. I am damaged in so many ways, both physically and emotionally... yet truly evolved.... I guess I think of some of it as "battle scars". I just hope that people are patient with me as I try to pick myself up and dust myself off and move forward to where I want to be as a person.
Anyway, I guess my old friend fits nicely into a niche that is currently waiting for more of an evolution, but hopefully we are both gaining some positive energy from spending time with each other.