“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”― Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
That sums up how I feel about friendship, be in it with your whole heart or not at all.
You see the thing is I, like most girls, spent my teenage years with lots of friends, my closest school friends, Becky, Camilla, Michelle. Then there were my sports friends, Lydia, Hollie and Abi who I spent hours together on weekends in the driving rain playing netball and racing round athletics tracks in the sun, then there were my older friends at college or Uni, Debbie, Jo, Gemma. Looking back on them all it amazes me how few I stay in touch with.
Don’t get me wrong of all those people I’ve been to a couple of weddings, a christening and a smattering of birthdays but in all honesty the majority of the time the friendships simple grew apart, we went to different schools, moved away or went off to Uni.
Thanks to Facebook we stay in touch and chat from time to time, the obligatory Happy Birthday post comes each year. I’m happy with that, close enough to congratulate them on their wedding, birth of first child etc but not people I see every day.
Then there are the friends I’ve made post school, Claire, Liz, Steph, Robyn Amy, Craig, Kris, Matt and Andy the people who have been in my life through the ends of relationships, my travelling and dad dying. They are the people who listened to me whine about being in a crap relationship and then moan about being single, they are the ones who came to say goodbye when I went travelling, they spoil me on my birthday with love as well as gifts, they were there when my dad died. They held my hand and wiped away my tears. I like to think I’ve done the same for them. Parents being ill, miscarriages, divorce, depression, babies being born, losing jobs, losing friends, and through all of it I have loved being their friend, I love being kind to people, I want people to know they can come to me any time. As Ms Austen said I don’t love people by halves, it’s all in for me.
So now I am in a sad situation, a friend, I’ve known for the best part of 10 years has drifted away. There are no replies to texts, no birthday call or text, no nothing. I was there when her baby was born, when her boyfriend left, when she was heartbroken, we’ve run down a beach naked together, got into some questionable yet hilarious scrapes together. Someone I loved without question. And now, nothing.
I’m confused to say the least, don’t get me wrong there are people who are no longer in my life, one specific one that broke my heart, but we ended with a great big bang, a huge over the top fall out, never to really speak again. But somehow this is worse, this slow trickle towards no contact, a noted gap in my life. The thing that makes all of this sting that little more, is she doesn’t seem to have noticed, we have mutual friends and nothing has been mentioned, no one has come to me and told me there is something up, so I must conclude that she is happy for our friendship to fizzle out.
It’s made me think about the whole friendship, like I guess I would with any other relationship, was it ever really a ‘good’ friendship, we’re we ever that close.
This infuriates me, because to me we were, I was there in the middle of the night when her baby wouldn’t settle, I cooked for her when she was ill, I was there for all the moments that matter as well as the daft ones caught on camera.
So I am left in limbo, do I ask her out right? “why don’t you talk to me anymore?”
I didn’t think as a ‘real grown up’ I had to deal with things like this, I thought adult friendships lasted a life time, I thought she would be someone on the plane as we jet off to Vegas for my 30th, she would be there on my wedding day, being totally inappropriate but totally her – but I guess not.
So there you go, the end of another relationship, and once more I am left perplexed and pensive about the whole thing.
And I’ve decided to me it is worse than ending things with a boyfriend, because the saying goes “Boyfriends come and go, friends last a life time” I guess not in this case.