I am in the process of reading one of my favorite books. A historical romance by Bertrice Small. Set in Elizabethan period, the heroine goes through six husbands in her lifetime. Five of them between the age of fifteen and thirty. Plus a handful of other lovers. She also has six children and runs a shipping empire.
The central theme of the books is one of my favorites…FATE.
At the same time, a friend followed my Three Month Rule and let the man she had been seeing walk out the door. I did not ask if the knob hit him where the good goddess split him…I can only hope.
And…PanKwake is once more seeing a changing of the guards in her own friendships.
While I have abandoned official themes for Mommy & Munchkin Mondays, relationship changes certainly seemed to be an unofficial one yesterday.
I have always believed that nothing and no one is truly permanent. Whether it be through changing circumstances or death, no one stays in your life forever. This song has always be a central theme of my life…my lives would be more accurate.
Every person you ever meet comes into your life for a REASON and/or a SEASON!
Some of those people have something to teach you. Others need you to teach them things. Some people stay…for a very long time. And of course, we all know about the ‘ships passing in the night.’
But ALL of them have a purpose…and a time. ALL of them are important.
PanKwake reinforced that lesson a few years ago. We were talking about a specific trip to the park. She was describing what had happened that day and said…Remember the time we went to Aggie park with our friends, Mommy? I did not so I started to name her friends one by one. Thinking that if I could figure out which ones then I would remember that visit.
We went on and on. I went through the whole litany of her friends…past and present. She was becoming more and more frustrated that she could not communicate effectively with me. She was bordering on a meltdown. Then she said something…I forget what. But it was unique enough that I finally remembered that day.
Thing is…the little humans that PanKwake called FRIENDS were ones that we had never met before that day or since. In fact, I do not think that we even exchanged names with them. Just random little humans that we played in the park with for a couple of hours.
But to PanKwake they were friends. What is more they held an important place in her life. They shared a memory…and due to her #neurodivergence memories are precious things.
I smiled and we talked on for a bit. But she had taught me another of those precious life lessons…
Friendship is so much more than we think…and so much less than we are taught.
This becomes especially relevant when you consider our modern world…the internet…and issues such as #neurodivergence. Too many people, especially ‘experts’, dismiss the importance of online friendship.
I have people in my life…people who are dear and precious to me…that I have never met. And may never. I have others in my life who I see either regularly or occasionally that mean far less to me.
But the thing is…our societal viewpoint of friendship is as outdated as it is on other issues like education and neurodiversity. We are taught to compromise…to make nice…to not offend others. The approval of others sometimes means more than our own self-worth.
On social media we judge ourselves and others not on the quality of our friendships…but on the sheer numbers of ‘friends’ or ‘followers’. The same can be said too often of ‘real’ life.
I laid that one down long ago. And you know what…the more REAL…opinionated, out-spoken, obnoxious that I am…the more people want to be around me. Wish I had known that one in high school.
No, PanKwake has it right…it is about CONNECTION. In that moment.
But that is the other lesson too. THAT moment. PanKwake has always amazed me in how practical she is about friendships too. She has had a handful of ‘best’ friends. And all of those have ‘outgrown’ her.
That is not to be negative. By outgrown, I simply mean that their interests…the things they held in common drifted apart. And so too did they. This trend would raise all kinds of ‘red flags’ with the ‘experts’. But the truth of the matter is…it just does not bother PanKwake.
We spoke about it briefly yesterday…this latest shift…though I know it is not a final one as others have been. I asked if it bothered her…and she shrugged as if the question itself was ridiculous. She said no…and the world went on.
The trouble is…that too many of us CANNOT do that. We hold onto things…friendships…relationships…people…well past their season. Well past the point that the lessons have been taught and learned.
We do it partly because we have been taught…falsely…that that is what you do. You hang on. You don’t let go. You fight. We may also do it sometimes because we are afraid. Afraid that if we lose this person…who will replace him or her?
But that is wrong. And all too often, it is also PAINFUL. For one or both of the people involved…and sometimes that pain extends to others around them.
Letting go of people who are no longer significant to you is an important life skill to learn.
So as we close this year…I challenge you to look at your own life. Social media and real life…who is dragging you down? Whose season has passed that you will not let go of?
Then let them go…let them go. The cold never bothered me anyway…
Unfriend people…unfollow. Seriously, if you get angry every time you read one of their posts…if you spend more time correcting their bullshit than liking it then it is time. If you have not changed their minds by now…you ain’t gonna.
Clear your space. For something better. Even if that something is…being alone. It ain’t such a bad place to be. You know Cookie Monster did not come into my life until I got to the point that I was happy being alone. It was that happy being me…my Crazzy a$$ self that attracted him…and keeps him.
OH…and if you are wondering…No, I am not talking about you. There are only three FaceBook ‘friends’ none that I know well at all…and a handful of #AutismParent types on Twitter. All of my ‘real’ life friends are staying.