Of Friends and Fiends

‘Twas a stormy night in North Texas with country dwellers fast asleep, and one lonesome writer…

The Fellowship of the Ring

The bonds of humanity have me flummoxed.

I’m almost a completely analytical person, but I was raised in a home where magic was possible, dreams were attainable, and you could do anything you set your mind to if you put in the work. With a trio of girls raised in that mindset, it’s no wonder that I’m still close with my sisters. Humans have a natural familial and instinctual bond to crave other humans in our lives. These complex relationships are not even close to the sheer number of connections that would be found in a traditional ecosystem, but significant enough to be some of the most sociable creatures on the planet.

To the ties that bond us, right?

Lately, I’ve been more concerned with the ones that don’t. For me, at least, you’re either my friend or acquaintance. I don’t do surface level friendships, nor was I ever the type of person to need to seek out others. I’ve always been more comfortable on my own. Even since I was a young kid, I’ve always been referred to as an old soul, which would not be an incorrect statement.

That being said, as a fully functioning (most of the time) adult in my early thirties, I’ve found myself moving into the season of my life where my once strong connections are being reevaluated and either let go to fade into the past, reconsideration of my friend circle, and ever-changing relationships with my family.

The first time I noticed that things were different was when I walked down the aisle. That day, I had seven bridesmaids. Seven! Had we waited a few years, our bridal parties would have been completely different. My husband, who is one of the most selective people when it comes to friendships, had to scramble to find seven guys he could ask.

Two of the girls were college buddies. At the time, it was certainly a pair of relationships I wanted to maintain, but after weddings and babies, I was quickly sloughed off their Lists and that was that. Initially I was upset, sure, but in time I’ve found that I can put my whole effort into fewer friends. (Author hindsight: Last statement sounded a bit bitchy, but have decided that in this corner of the world, I do not have to care. Se la víe.)

I think the one that surprised me the most was a friend of over fifteen years. We pen-pal wrote back and forth a few years ago, but aside from birthday wishes and the once-in-a-blue-moon random chats we have, the distance makes it hard to stay close.

Were we always meant to be revolving through relationships like this?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got too much in my life to keep my small talk relationships around. For some, the thought of losing friendships is a horrendous nightmare, but for me, I think it’s more comparable with letting go of a balloon. Normalize deep connections with your friends and family. Normalize loving the hell out of your spouse and kids, and normalize pets as family members too.

In a world so invested in quantifying things that needn’t be quantified, consider the idea that in this case, quality is worth so much more than quantity.

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