2009 is a great year so far. It's just been fun and full of good company. I've been so busy the past few weeks it's crazy. Not just with the sweet, wonderful new boyfriend, but also with lots of friends. I don't know why I didn't feel like I had good friends in Atlanta. I have great friends in Atlanta.
Last fall was interesting for me. I pulled away from most people because I just needed to deal with everything on my own. I do that, whether it's healthy or helpful, it's part of who I am. There were friends that pushed through the barriers I set up. People who called or emailed relentlessly despite the fact that I took days or even weeks to respond. Those were people who knew what I was doing but regardless they pushed my boundaries to let them in.
There were people that dropped back and let me have my alone time. They also knew what I was doing and why. There were friends I barely talked to for 2-3 months, but who completely understood and loved me anyway. I was grateful for the space and for the understanding, and we're close again now as though there was never a beat skipped.
I also had a few problems, though, with people who I don't think understood or well, the truth is I guess I don't understand the problems and probably never will. I know that there were a couple of friends who expected me to lean on them more than I did and resent me for it still. I think they took it personally when it really had nothing to do with them and everything to do with me. One friend I did talk to frequently interpreted that as me coming onto him. I haven't heard from him in awhile, and I wonder if that's why. And yet another who I tried to lean on, but every time, he made a move because he thought by asking for his friendship, I was saying I was open to something more. That one I don't talk to much now.
Early on, soon after my grandfather passed, someone told me that through the experience, I would learn who my real friends are. I think that's true to an extent, but I would phrase it a little differently. I learned who the people are who really, truly know me. And who love me. That was not something I expected out of the grieving experience. My friends do really know me, though, and looking back, I'm grateful for the friendships that withstood all the strain and the ones that deepened because of it.
The night that I drove home praying I would arrive before he passed, I had 6 hours in the car alone. I tried to call a few friends, sent texts to one or two others, but had a two hour long conversation with one friend. This friend and I had a hiccup in our friendship about a year prior, a big hiccup that we had talked our way through and worked through, but one that left both of us a little cautious. In my moment of need, I don't think there would have been anyone better to talk to. So while other friends didn't answer or weren't around, the one I did talk to that night was the person I was meant to. And we are so much closer now because of it.
The biggest lessons (if lesson is the right word) I learned in the past few months are how important the people in my life are and how important it is to form true and deep relationships. I don't want to waste time trying to force friendships or being the only one keeping the friendship going. I've spent way too much time doing that in my life. I want to foster and nurture the friendships I have. I want to always show the love and support for my friends that they gave to me in these past few months.
The only thing that matters in life is love, true love. It's easy to say, it's catchy, it might even be a Beatles song, but there's very real, core-shaking truth to that statement. I am absolutely nothing without the people I share my life with. And if those people don't truly know and understand me, what friendship or love we have cannot withstand a test. Life is only worth living if we love and are loved in return. And to not thank God every single day for the love overflowing in my life would be a disgrace.