Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Can you break a friendship?

Maybe it's moving house and the inevitable nostalgia that packing up your life tends to muster, but this week I have found myself pondering friendship.

Can you break them?
Do they, as common cliche-speak dictates, wither away like plants if you don't feed them enough? And could it be that sometimes, we simply out grow our friends?

In this week's Observer, Eva Wiseman asked a very similar question in this article. (Read it, it's very funny. And a bit scary sad.)

In her list of 30 questions from a 30 year old, number 6 was...

"How fragile are my relationships? Have we passed the point where it's possible to lose touch with friends over an unreturned phone call?"

In some ways, I think you do. Pass the point that is. There must be some invisible tipping point, where the balance of breakups, drunken nights out, cat fights and shared experiences outweigh future upsets and you realise that you can weather any storm with someone.

They become the people you can pick up a conversation with, even if distance and time get in your way. The people you know you can tell your deepest, darkest scary-as-hell secrets to, and who you'd happily drop everything for.

These are your ISA friends. The ones that provide you with security for the future, that, invested properly in, will look after you for the rest of your life.

But what about the rest? Your current account mates? ('Scuse the stretched out pun. I am VERY tired). Because recently, I think I have been a weeny bit guilty of not really putting much in the pot.

There are a million excuses I could trot out at this point. And when I'm lying in bed feeling guilty* about not having called so and so, or for choosing to catch up on sleep rather than with old uni pals, I do.
I tell myself that I work too hard. That I have to prioritise. That I'm too busy just being, to be with anyone else.

And to cut myself a little slack, most of my friends are in a similar position. All slightly guilty of thinking we're still at Uni, able to pop round whenever, without jobs and kids and partners getting in the way.

But ultimately, it's just a bit rubbish.

These are the friends that we should be making an effort with. Because these are the ones that haven't tipped the scales yet. The fragile ones.

*I feel guilty about EVERYTHING. It's exhausting.

{Picture by Helen of me and them and us}

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