Push and Pull

Some people manage to hold onto the same friends from preschool till old age. And I have absolutely no freaking idea how they do it.

I’ve had multiple best friends/groups through my life. Some of those friendships ended because of distance, but with most of them I found myself getting irritated beyond belief. And that’s probably the mildest and least abrasive way of putting it. I’ve been trying to figure out why I keep finding new friends and drifting away from old ones. At this point the only logical conclusion is that it’s me.

Am I a serial friendship killer?

Thinking back to how my last few friendships ended, I can attribute a reason to each one. If it wasn’t distance or boyfriends that got in the way, it was different interests or values. I always thought it’s because I was changing and growing up, but what if that’s not the case? What if it’s not them who are unable to change, but me?

As far as it goes with people my age, I feel like I’m one of the few who has my life figured out. Yes that sounds pretentious, but bear with me. I feel like I’ve got a decent grasp over the things I like/dislike, and the type of person I want to be. More than that, I feel like I’ve got my goals set and I’m ready to do what I can to meet them.

I’d rather have it my way than try to discover myself in the opinions of others. Because I don’t really believe you’ve explored your potential if you’ve limited your goals to pleasing other people.

I’m open to new experiences, as long as those experiences can contribute something of value to my life. Something meaningful. And for me, a drunken night at the club isn’t meaningful. It isn’t even fun. The type of people I want to meet and keep in my life, probably won’t be found amongst crappy music and sloppy dancing. Unfortunately for the majority of people my age, that’s as meaningful as it gets.

Most people seem to be looking for a bottle to fill up their glasses and a body to occupy their beds. My best friend is no exception.

We’ve been friends for about three years now, and that’s usually when my fight or flight instincts kick in. I’ve been finding myself so annoyed of her lately and it’s probably not even her fault. Most of our conversations now seem to revolve around how the last guy she was dating screwed her over, how she’s trying to flirt with a couple guys in her classes right now, how she’s being suggestive with her class’s TA even though he has a girlfriend or how she met another guy at the club. Blah, blah, blah. Name a cliché, and I bet it’ll apply to my cookie cutter situation.

She winds up in the same pattern with men over and over again, and I’m honestly getting tired of it. She says she’s independent and doesn’t need anyone but all she wants is to find someone to make her feel good about herself. The contradictions are beginning to feel exhausting.

I always thought it was a phase or a temporary insecurity. It seemed that she was always looking for a man to tell her pretty things in order for herself to feel confident. To an outsider, it may not appear that she should or would be lacking in self-esteem. She’s a beautiful and witty girl, who has the chance to thrive anywhere she’d like. But she’s unfocused. She’s lacking drive. Her power and motivation comes from the effect she can have on men. I think she forgets about the effects they can have on her.

We’re very different people, but most of the time our friendship works. I’m definitely willing to stick it out because I know she’s a great person who is going to do some pretty great things. And while I avoid making missteps, I know I have to let her stumble and steady herself on her own.

The different between my past failed friendships and this one, is that I’ve learned how to become more accommodating. I definitely have a long way to go, but I’ll get there. It’s like I’m being pushed and pulled through a crowd of all the possible versions of me. I keep bumping into my close-minded, extremely judgemental form, and that version is just no fun.

Until I find the right version that fits, I’ll just keep pushing and pulling through the crowd.

– S.

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