Monday, October 19, 2015

Friendships and Family

As I've gotten older, I often reflect on the friendships and family ties that I've established in my fifty plus years of living. Sadly, I seem to have missed that boat by a wide margin. While I have numerous acquaintances, I can honestly say that I have no real friends at this point in my life. I've had a few over the years but as time passes, things change. We move, change jobs or loss touch due to other circumstances. Why is that? Is it a failure in effort or simple logistics?

As I scrutinize my own behavior I realize that I am a very closed person. I don't generally share my personal's how I was raised. I suppose that as a whole it's also been something I've learned. Keeping a safe distance prevents other people from hurting you. For me, trust is hard. In my writing, I've tried at least, to express myself a bit more openly. Through fiction and blogging I open a window to my inner of late that too has been nearly impossible. The more pressure I feel, the more stressed, the tighter I gather my defenses. 

So when I look in the mirror, I wonder. Is it me? Am I unworthy of friendship? Is it simply too hard to maintain the lines of communication? I know that in several instances, I call or text but it seems that if I don't initiate the contact; it will go months and in some cases, years without a response. In this age of 'social media' it seems we have less too actually say to each other...we post pictures or ramblings for "likes" without real contact. 

I have had people do exraordinary things for me. Acts of kindness and generosity that still astound me and for that I am eternally musing is this. Is it too late? Does there have to be a calamity of epic proportions to get us involved with each other? I wish I had and easy answer...I don't. So let's see.

I have my own code....yes it's out-dated, pigheaded and without a doubt, NOT politically correct! I am an unapologetic knuckle-dragger. All of that makes me fairly inflexible MOST of the time, BUT I am also loyal, dogged and UNAFRAID to fight for what I believe is RIGHT even if it puts my own best interest in jeopardy. When it comes to friends and family, I KNOW I haven't always done all that I can...but I have ALWAYS tried. 

I recently moved across country to be closer to my family. For the most part, I hadn't interacted with them much in the past thirty years. My fault. Yes. Partially takes two to tango and life happens. In the interim I lost a brother. The youngest of us four. An accident that could have been prevented...when I nearly lost another to a stroke, I deciced that it was imperative to be closer. I'd wasted to much time, squandered opportunities for much too long. I was going to make it RIGHT. Did I? I don't know. We ARE physically closer...I've seen them more in the past year than in the combined total of the last three decades. Are we closer as a family? No...not really. Maybe sometimes it is too late to go home. If I don't intiate the contact...there's nothing...random Facebook postings that reveal things that I'm not a part of. Am I angry? Hurt? SIGH....I dunno that either. Not really. Sad more than anything...

Maybe this has more to do with my own dissatisfaction with where I am at this point in my life than anything else. Maybe I'm grieving unfulfilled dreams and aspirations. We all have them at some level.  Maybe its time to reevaluate my priorities and redirect my attention and focus. While I WANT to be closer with my family and friends, I have to realize that wanting alone simply isn't enough if that same desire isn't present on both sides of the equation.

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