It's Wednesday and the first quiet evening I've had to spend with my thoughts after a college friend and his wife came for a visit.
They left this morning and tonight I welcome the silence with open arms and droopy eyelids.
These past few days have been one continuous exercise in humility after another for me. But maybe I need only mention one.
After the snarky episode of Saturday and my apology on Sunday, my friend and I had a bit of clearing the air. If you know me well enough, you know that my first instinct in a face-off is to back off, to hold my tongue lest I say something I will regret. And in those moments, I sometimes decide that it's not worth telling that person how I really feel.
In this case, when I got to the point where I had to consider if this friendship was worth a save, I thought yes. So I stood there, vulnerable and open and said what I had to say, took responsibility for my reactions, and gave my friend the benefit of the doubt that no, it was not her, but me.
I tell you, it is freaking not easy. I write this in tears because it is painful for me even to think about it.
But I thought I'd honor my feelings and I decided it was the right thing to do because I had listened to her honor her own. My friend may have said some things which got me snappish and I know in my heart she didn't mean to push my hot buttons. But she did and I reacted without a thought or care for the consequences. And I was sorry and said so. Many times.
I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say, I am drained from the experience. I almost want to never make friends ever again.
The thing that still makes me cry when I think about it is that when I was making amends, listing my shortcomings and actually admitting how small a person I am, I could recognize my friend's innocence in all this. I could see her innocence. It pains me so that she did not see mine. And if she did, she chose not to show it at that very moment that I so needed to hear her say she saw it in me too.
It feels like when you put your arms around someone and embrace that person real hard and that person doesn't hug you back.
If only she knew what it took for me to get to that point, she would not belittle the gesture.
I am suddenly 14 years old again in the middle of a circle of friends who organized an open forum (remember those?) where it was them against me.
I recognize these tears I cry tonight because they are the same tears that night when I was 14.
I have struggled so much with friendship, although God knows I try to be the best I could be.
We are all innocent. I sometimes wish I could stop needing to hear that, Lord. At least from those who matter to me.
"I am large. I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
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