Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Special Thanks to my Fairweather Friends

Dear Fairweather Friends,

I don't ever expect any of you to see this--we've long since lost touch, and this blog is under my pen name, not my real one, but I want to offer my thanks to you anyway.

See, here's the thing. I've learned so much about friendship and who I am and who I want to be from you. You are responsible for so much of my personal growth that I have to tell you what you've done for me and how much you mean to me.

We had good times. We really did. We laughed our fool heads off. We shared our souls, we allowed a tear to shed from our eyes for each other's little pains. And I would not trade that time for the world. It was a special time for me to go through the joy of falling in love with new friends again. And when you decided that I was no longer cool enough to play in your sandbox, you broke my heart and left it in tiny little pieces.

The worst part of it was, you denied the break-up. When I asked you what was going on, you pretended you didn't know what I was talking about. When you got together to talk about me behind my back, I could feel it. When you met on the playground and dropped my invitation in the rain, I cocked a brow and thought, "Well, I guess I know my place now."

But here's what I learned. I learned to be true to my own heart. I learned the value of old friends again who leapt to my defense when I shared this story. Old friends who soothed my ego, and took my side and hated you on my behalf when I couldn't hate you for myself (I still don't).

I learned the importance and value of new friends, because some of you snuck around and cheated on them. You thought that I was still good enough to play with, but didn't want to be ostracized yourselves... so you did what you could to step to the side and maintain a connection with me while still protecting your place in the pack. I was moderately disappointed that you didn't recognize that if they could do it to me, they could do it to you--and hoped you'd get out while you could. But mostly I was thankful that you didn't abandon me entirely.

I learned to trust my instincts. I knew something was wrong and asked you about it. You denied it, but that didn't change the truth of things and I was proven right.

I learned that I really, truly, value honesty and maturity and integrity. I place a great deal of weight on plain-speaking, and dealing with an issue before it becomes an ISSUE, on speaking your truth and saying what hurts you and what makes you happy and on protecting the relationship by keeping it healthy.

I went through a backslide in my life when we were friends. I had a major set back - it was just another one in a long series of set backs - and I had to make a major decision about how I wanted to deal with that and who I wanted to become in response to that. I think it was this set back that was the first nail in the coffin of our friendship. You were all working your way up, step by excruciating step. I had fallen back on my ass and it wasn't pretty.

My old friends knew who I used to be and have known me long enough to weather this storm with me. My new friends, the ones who stuck around, they have been knocked on their asses too. They know what it looks and feels like. It's just life - it goes around, it comes around. My Fairweather friends though, you didn't want to be dragged down by it. And I can't blame you for that. You don't know I'm not the sort to pull someone else down. You perhaps thought, let me get out while the getting is good.

To allow hurts to fester is to allow them to infect you, body and soul. To allow them the power of ending relationships is to put more importance on the bad than the good. I learned to forgive. There was so much hurt on my side. So much (perceived) callousness on yours. It's like when a longterm boyfriend breaks up with you, and never, ever tells you why. All you can think is What did I do? What did I do? Then you obsess over why the other party is so evil. You relish in their upsets, you tell yourself they'll come crawling back. But they aren't evil and they don't come back.

I've gotten over that part of it.
I still hear about your lives, you fairweather folk, and I am happy for all your small successes, I'm thrilled for your big successes. Here's the shame of it, you don't get to celebrate mine. You don't get to share my joy. If we are ever in each other's lives again I will never trust you with my heart or sincere friendship again. I'm not built like that, a part of me wishes I was, but I'm not.

I'm a great woman and a kick-ass friend. I'm sensitive, funny, smart, compassionate, interesting, interested in you, and I even have a wealth of experience and know enough not to always share it with you. I want nothing but the best for you, and your family and your life. I really, really do. But you do not get to have any part of that from me again.

I thank you for the reminder, of who I am. I thank you for the reminder that no one else's opinion, no one else's treatment of me can change the depth of my heart or the beauty of my soul. I thank you for the reminder of how wonderful it is to have friends I can count on. I thank you for the good times and I am forever in your debt for the bad times.

I wish for everyone a Fairweather Friend like you, it is an experience I would not change for all the world.

Currently reading: Tell Me Lies
Still reading: Visions of Heat
Still reading: Harmony's Way

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