A Sweet Text Message

by f

My last few days have been exhausting. I’ve made a spectacularly stupid mistake, organized a birthday party, talked to a pretty prominent person and — inexplicably — watched a Broadway musical.

But I’ve also managed to have some serious doubts on my ability to be a friend. I’ve not been there for many of my friends. I’ve been putting myself out there more and trying — as part of my initiative to be a better friend — to listen to others and to have others, in turn, listen to me. I talked to an excellent friend of mine from college for an hour or so about a problem she’d had that day. I listened and was there. I told her what I thought, and she listened closely and sat back against the headboard.

“You know what I think to myself?” she asked. “I think that you have to wonder whether something — a decision you’ve made — will impact you tomorrow. And then five days from now. And then two weeks from now, months, years. Stuff just doesn’t last that long.”

It was such a profound and true things to say I didn’t know how to respond except to ask how she came to this realization.

“Oh,” she said, laughing. “I read it in Cosmo.”

(I knew enough about her to laugh at that. One of her most magnificent achievements was a withering evisceration of magazines like Cosmo and Glamour; she accuses them of being oblivious to female concerns and are hyper-focused on the female relationship with the masculine.)

The day after, she sent me a text message: “Everything’s solved. I really miss our talks and hope we can have them, soon.” I looked at the text message and felt a little better about myself and my ability to help someone just by listening. I felt relaxed in this give-and-take, I felt loved and appreciated. As I try to figure out what friendship is and means, those qualities are the most I can ask for.

One Comment to “A Sweet Text Message”

  1. I think you’re far too hard on yourself when it comes to worrying about whether you’re being a good friend. Everyone makes mistakes, and the important thing is to learn from them. And, it seems to me, that when you DO make a mistake, you own up to it (even if just to yourself) and you try to learn from it and take steps to make sure that you do not do it again or do not make a similar mistake. This is a GOOD thing. It shows that you are a thoughtful person, an intuitive person, and you’re not content to stagnate when you realize that you could be changing for the better. Nobody is, or ever will be, perfect. There’s no such thing as perfection, that’s just an idea made up by humans which is unattainable to keep us striving for something more than we’ve got. Which isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. :p

    I think you make real efforts with your friends, and sometimes friendships just deteriorate or two people just drift apart. Sometimes it’s mutual, sometimes one person does something wrong and the other doesn’t, sometimes nobody does anything wrong. What it ultimately means is that those two people are at different areas of their lives, at different crossroads, and it’s time to move on from each other. It’s best if this can be done amicably, but that isn’t always possible. And even when it is possible, it often STILL leaves us wondering if we’ve done something wrong to start the negative ball in motion. It’s good to wonder and examine things like this, in case there is a lesson to be learned or something to change to make ourselves better people. But, it isn’t always a good thing to obsess about it. In cases where you obsess, one generally tends to see things wrong that aren’t there.

    Basically, you’re a great friend. Don’t sweat it. 🙂

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