Why does it take so much effort to maintain a friendship? Aren’t we built to naturally gravitate towards people that we are alike in some manner? If that’s so, it shouldn’t be hard to be friends. Or you would think. Women are petty. We cry over the most ridiculous things. Everything is a big deal to us. And men…men can only stare on in bafflement. The concept eludes them because they aren’t built like us. But then maybe it’s just me. Do ALL women have issues with finding and keeping friends? I am overly emotional. I confess. I am largely attached and fiercely loyal to my friends. And so it’s a bit of a sting to realize I am not as important to them…as they are to me. I am an acquaintance. Someone they know that is irritatingly in the way. And so…should I just completely disconnect? Walk away and bow out gracefully? Is it really that easy? I fear not. It’s such a tight circle we are all weaved in. Other people make it hard to just fade into the mist. And I want to. I really really want to protect myself from further heartbreak. My instinct says cut all ties…clean. But my head…that stupid appendage stuck to my shoulders…my head tells me it won’t be that easy.
I have discussed this with my mother (we are so close she and I) and my cousin who is more my sister and best friend than any one on this planet ever has been, they both agree. Walk away. They aren’t worth the heartache you put yourself through. And I see that. Clear as day I see that those past relationships that I cling too…just aren’t healthy for me. In fact they are a cancer on my wellbeing. And sadly…they don’t even realize it. How pathetic is that? I stubbornly have clung to a friendship that just isn’t worth my time and effort. How can it be? My pride rears its head…you are BETTER than this! And I am. Vainly I admit that. I AM better than this sloppy moping I have set about. The vivacious diva in me is screeching at the top of her lungs in my head…NOT WORTH IT! And I can only nod my head and agree as a tear slides down my face.
Is it because I have been dealt this blow before? Is that why I so stubbornly cling to these dead and gone relationships? So desperate to NOT lose another friendship. I look in from the outside and can only shake my head at myself. You are an idiot. A year has shown you…this is over. Walk away. That’s what my inner diva is telling me as she smirks. And still…I resist. Perhaps I cling to those happier times. When we all laughed so openly with each other. Now we dance warily about each other’s feelings and try not to shatter an uneasy peace. Sounds tragic doesn’t it? And pathetic. I detest how pathetic it makes me feel. I am a whiner. The whiner in our bunch. I insist on pushing myself on them. All the while I feel like I am being whispered about behind my back. Paranoid…probably. But sadly…also probably true.
Why can’t we women be like men in respect to a friendship? They come…they go. No hurt feelings or heartache. Men are resilient and impervious to such a puny thing as hurt feelings because of a friend. They look at a weeping woman grieving the loss of a friendship (or two) and are mystified. How to explain to them how we feel…so they can better console us…if they can’t even begin to fathom what the actual feeling is like. Heartache over lost loved ones (family or past women)…that’s a different feeling entirely. That they understand. The open heartbreak they see in your eyes over a dissipating friendship is as foreign to them as the idea of giving birth. They will never understand it.
I sit here…nursing a wounded heart, determined to somehow make this as painless as possible on my part. And I know that it’s just going to be a mess. A mess I don’t want to have to deal with. It would be great if sticking my head in the sand was acceptable. I know it’s not. Friendships are messy. Pride is in the way on both sides. Mine because I hate to admit I’ve clung this long to a dead friendship and on the other for being called out on it. How dare I! How dare I make any one feel like they’ve treated me unfairly! Like I’ve been treated ill and left out for far too long! Why can’t I just sit in my corner like a good little girl and be happy to be played with when I’m asked to? Surely that’s not too much to ask. Why can’t I be a wallflower and leave well enough alone?
Must I whine? You see…I’ve had this conversation before. It’s the same exact conversation. Verbatim. And yet…no one gets it. No one understands what I am trying to say. Even though I’ve shouted it…emphatically repeated over and over…it just doesn’t sink in. I often wonder are they confused by my upset. Do they look at each other like I have grown a third head and truly just can’t see? Is it just drama to them? The idea nearly unhinges me. I am NOT a drama queen by any means. If anything…I walk away from drama. I have proven that time and again…there has been ample opportunity. Why can’t I just accept my place that has been made for me? Why can’t I see that I don’t fit anymore? Not really.
And so I asked myself. Why can’t I just sit in the shadows and be okay with that? Why can’t I be content with a passing “like” on facebook and a text every six months or so? In the beginning I made the excuses. Life is busy. People are busy. They all have families to look after. But my diva snidely points out that they make time for each other. Just not you. You, my diva rudely states, you invite yourself…remember? And to my shame…I do. It is lowering. And my diva is pretty pissed at me right now. As I ask myself, why can’t I be cool with what they give me…she slaps me in the back of the head.
Why? Why?!! Because that just ain’t me. I don’t sit on the sidelines. At all. Ever. I shine. I shine and I am proud that I shine. I never tone it down. I turn it all the way up at every opportunity because that is the person that I am. Am I heartbroken? You damn right I am! But I’ll be damned if I sit on anyone’s sidelines while the ball is in progress. I’ve been accused of being a diva and…I love that about me. It tells me…I shine. I sparkle and others notice. I thrive on my shine. I am so unbelievably proud of my diva. She tells me to get off my ass and quit crying like a little girl. She shrieks in outrage that anyone…even my supposed dearest people…would ever try to dull my shine! She plots evil deeds in retribution for anyone daring such a thing.
So…I sit up a little straighter. Sling my hair back and throw on my favorite lip gloss. That look…the one I am so often accused of (think Scarlett O’Hara) slides over my face and my diva is PROUD. There she is! There’s the baddest chick coming out to play. I can deal with this. Like the lady my mama raised me to be. Just be…me. And I shine.