I’m not a person who makes friends easily. (Believe it or not!)
I remember well, after a year at my college, telling my summer roommate quite bluntly: “I’m easy to get along with, but it’s hard to be my friend.”
I recall the moment I spoke those words, it was like some part of myself I’d been keeping hidden broke free. It (She?) has never completely returned to the hiding place in my heart.
That mantra has come up repeatedly in recent weeks, for different reasons, and for different people.
And it makes me sad.
I know I’m far from perfect. I know I’m often right in the wrong way, and even wrong in the right way a lot of the time. And just wrong in the wrong way, too. I know I probably like to argue too much, and I get offended too easily (who doesn’t, in our PC-obsessed culture?) And I especially know I don’t take insults to my character well, imagined or otherwise.
Most are usually imagined, I think. But it’s never safe to assume these things.
It makes me sad because I genuinely love these people, and I believe in them. But I know I can’t grow with people who refuse to see me as something that I am. I can’t grow with people who can’t see me as what I could be, either.
I’m still their friend, but I’ll support them more in passing. I’ll wish them well. I’ll celebrate with them in their endeavors, mourn at their losses. I’ll pray when they say they need it.
But there comes a time when you have to give someone you love a tight hug, hold onto a moment with them, and then say goodbye to their influence on you.
Sometimes it’s quick. Sometimes it’s a slow goodbye. But it has to be done if you are going to not only be true to yourself, but to be focused on being the best you you can be.
I know I’m not really losing friends, even though it might feel like I lost something. But it could just feel like losing something because I’m letting go of the expectations that person placed on me.
Have you ever experienced this? Let me know in the comments below!