Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of introspection, mainly brought on by my recent marital struggles. I am not the easiest person to get along with, because I do not play well with others. I also run with scissors, but hey, if there’s a yarn emergency, I’m your gal.
Last year saw the loss of two friends. One was my best friend of 25 some odd years, and the other was my crazy friend Will. My best friend and I had a falling out over a misunderstanding regarding my parenting of my daughter, while Will was lost due to the typical jealous girl friend who is insecure about the female best friend.
Four days ago, a facebook friend posted a meme that said, “Apologizing doesn’t mean you’re wrong or the other person is right. It means you value the relationship more than your own ego.” After nearly a year of nursing a ridiculous grudge, I messaged my best friend and apologized, and told her I missed her. We’ve been messaging back and forth, and while things are very tenuous and fragile at the moment, I hold out hope that our more than half our lives as friends will win in the end.
Yesterday, I woke up to see that Will had called me. I haven’t spoken to him in almost exactly a year, so I was more than a little surprised. I had no intention of returning his call, but then he called again a few hours later. It was just as I was headed in to a therapy appointment, so it was a perfect chance to talk to my therapist about what I should do. As much as I love hanging out with Will, he brings along a shitload of drama, and I wasn’t so sure about bringing that back into my life. My therapist and I talked about it and I decided that I would listen to his voice message, and at least see what he wanted.
The voice message was a long, rambling apology that said since it has been almost a year, could I possibly move on and be friends again. I thought about the cosmic irony of Will calling so quickly on the heels of my reaching out to my best friend. I realized that sometimes, being the bigger person means apologizing first, and other times, it means accepting someone’s apology.
I know exactly how it feels to lose someone so important over something so trivial. I mean really, in the grand scheme of things, short of murder or abuse, most things are trivial. No one is perfect, least of all me; if I could ask for forgiveness, surely I could grant it, too.
I texted Will to say I accepted his apology and that I missed our friendship, too. He asked me to call, so I did, and we talked for about half an hour. He said he felt really stupid for putting a girlfriend (that lasted two weeks after we stopped talking before it imploded) over a friend.
Later, I messaged my best friend to tell her about hearing from Will, and said that if Isaac started to talk to me, I’m pretty sure it would mean the world was ending and the Mayans were just off by a couple of months. Unfortunately, Isaac is only 20 and doesn’t have the life experience that my best friend, Will, and I all have, thanks to our being in our early 40s. God only knows how much of an absolute idiot I was in my 20s.
I’ve spent the last year thinking that I didn’t need my best friend, nor did I need Will. I thought I didn’t mind being an island…but now that we’re talking again, I can honestly say that being an island kinda sucks. Sure, it means that you don’t get hurt, but it also means that you don’t get to experience the joys of a good friendship, either.
My best friend and I talked almost every single day for about 20 years straight. Our daughters are three days apart. I’ve had her as my friend longer than all of my marriages combined. Throwing all of that away just because I was offended by one conversation is just plain ridiculous.
As I’ve told Isaac before, having people who love you unconditionally is rare, and truly something to be treasured. It’s hard enough for me to find people that I even like, let alone people that I love (besides my family, of course). When you find those people that you can love and who love you, those are the people that you latch onto with everything you have, and don’t let them go.
I can say that the last year has made me a better person in a lot of ways. I try to be less judgmental, particularly with other people’s flaws. Like I said, I’m far from perfect and I have plenty of my own flaws. I have also come to treasure other friends, particularly my friend Leigh. Although Leigh and I are on opposite sides of the political and religious spectra, we respect each other. I think that’s something that’s missing for our culture…the idea that two people are not required to have the exact same views in order to be friends.
It seems that I was correct in thinking that things are looking up!
“It’s sad, so sad
It’s a sad, sad situation
And it’s getting more and more absurd
It’s sad, so sad
Why can’t we talk it over
Always seems to me
That sorry seems to be the hardest word”