The Distance Factor

Memory vs Reality…

After spending the past month with old friends, close family and new acquaintances I started to question myself on the distancing issues of various relationships. For my own health I have, over the years, distanced myself from a number of people I felt were less than positive influences in my life.

Many people on my goodbye list I have regretted ever meeting and a few ever leaving, however each goodbye has brought me to my current position in happiness and so lessons, both happy and painful, learnt from each experience have brought me to my present destination; which is an incredibly happy location right now.

Over this past festive month I have travelled the East Coast of this country visiting people I felt I adore the company of. During one of my trips I met up with a friend I have shared two happy holidays with after we instantly bonded five years ago. This friend of mine I hadn’t seen in a year and so I was more excited to see him than I had been for any of my other friends.

After slipping back into our comfortable comedy routine and spending a few hours laughing about nothing of importance we began to discuss our current lives. I explained about my forthcoming adventure and brought him up to speed on my relationship status at the time and then I listened to his current situation in life. While talking I began to feel slightly uncomfortable with what I was hearing and started to regret opening the serious can of worms – wishing instead to go back to our usual double-act of random fun.

My friendship with this particular friend is one completely filled with laughter. Every photo we own of us together radiates happiness. It wasn’t until we began discussing the more grown up issues of our lives that I started to question more in depth my friendship with him; something that hit me painfully in the heart as I was regretfully doing so.

Now I do not under any circumstance appreciate or accept judgement. I think of it as a self-involved pedestal to place yourself on when one judges another, therefore I would never judge my friends on their choices, however it cannot be avoided that some are incredibly difficult to listen to. This does not in any way mean I would abandon a friendship because that particular friend chose to do things I wouldn’t, in fact my varied friendships have taught me lessons I never had to learn first-hand for which I am incredibly grateful.

But while listening to this friend I began to analyse our relationship and in doing so asked myself if it was a particularly positive one for me to have.

We have shared many incredible memories together, but the question staring me in the face of whether we had outgrown each other couldn’t be avoided. We were half a decade younger when we met and a comedy duo was appropriate at that stage in our lives, but while our peers are settling down and I am about to fly away it seemed odd to look at the person behind the laughter and find he wasn’t someone I could connect with on that level. It felt forced.

I later caught up with another close friend who is going through a lot of personal dramas at the moment and found myself dissecting that friendship to the bone.

Her choices are her own and were irrelevant to the analysis I was doing in my head, it was her attitude that had changed to an uncomfortable level which triggered my thought process. I found I couldn’t connect with her at all at times and became upset that I was spending time with her when I could have been spending it with A.

After these meetings I tried to weigh up my feelings of each encounter. Immediately following my time spent with my male friend I felt deflated, slightly drained and quite sad but baring this in mind I haven’t added him to my goodbye list, and don’t have any plans to. It takes a lot more than one bad experience to join that crowd.

My other friend is not on that list either.

I have though begun to create an emotional space between us.

Some people are incredibly positive in my life, and some are less so. I am becoming more aware of this as I live on. Distance, emotional or physical, for a while is something I consider vital to my emotional health and stability.

When I remove myself from the picture I can see more of it, and when I consider my feelings on a matter rather than live in the routine of it I find myself much more capable of making happier choices.

The saying goes that some people come into your life as blessings, others come into your life as lessons. Identifying between the two is an important part of growth in happiness.

Time will tell what our friendships turn into. So long as I’m happy in the here and now I will go with life’s flow, keeping both my mind and my eyes open…

xxHBxx