Friday, June 13, 2014

Friendship - My canoe

The more I learn or the more I unlearn the more I realize how wrong I have been about everything.  I have spent my whole life trying to nail things down.  I wanted things to be the same all the time I wanted to know where I was going and what time I was suppose to be there and who would be there with me.

I thought this was the right way to think.  We value things that last so we work hard to make them last.  We value the numbers.  The longer the relationship or the job or where we live the more proud we are of it. Even if a lot of those years have been painful and limiting and our zest for them left long ago.

In my life this idea of longevity was the target and brought on by the sudden and immediate loss of security I felt as a child. I was left to fend for myself  emotionally and it was terrifying so as soon as I could I tried to lock things and people down in my life.  People that seemed fiercely loyal and at work I did more than anyone else to insure a permanent place there.

I was surprised when the relationships and jobs ended in every case abruptly. Because I am as stubborn as a human can be I kept trying with the same results.  I didn't want to believe that security did not really exist and that nothing was really meant to last forever.

I remember my first counselor 20 years ago told me that we each have our own canoe and we are paddling down the river together.  We sometimes paddle side by side with someone for a time and then one of us starts to speed up or move closer to shore and we lose them. Our time together was over.

At that time I only recognized this as it pertained to my broken marriage but now I see this is true for everything. Especially friendships some people I thought would be with me forever have disappeared. In some cases I have tried to rekindle what was once there but it feels wrong.

Today I got a call from someone that what an important part of my life for awhile. We ate together talked on the phone but now it feels forced almost like a courtesy out of respect for what we had.  It feels strange and sad for me but it doesn't make what we had less important.

I worry because my friend pool is shrinking but I know that is because I have changed.  The old me wants to do something to get them back but the new me says it is time to move on and make new friends. I have been feeling un-tethered lately and the old fears of ending up alone have come back.

Today I spent the afternoon with new art friends and it was delicious. They inspired me and they like the untethered me which was nice.  This is why I came home and decided to write. I can be happy here in my canoe today.

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