Show me your friends

12 Nov

I have tried to guard my heart and my life carefully but in the process perhaps I’ve pruned too closely?

I had a reminiscing weekend this past week. I went back to my alma mater for the first time in 10 years. Getting lost and looking at the renovations all over the campus was oddly emotional for me. I thought about all the friends I made in those dorms and in those classes. How many of those people who were my entire world back then am I still in touch with? Which of the ones I still talk to do I have as rich a relationship as we did back then?

I can count on one hand the close friends I still have from my college days eventhough I hung thick as thieves with  at least two groups of people. Now, I could say the current state of affairs is the way I chose to have it, but have i replaced my old friends with newer, shiny ones?

I could just admit that my standards are unrealistic and I have often cut off people that I no longer approve of.

In truth I struggle when my friends have chosen a path that I do not agree with or when I see a character flaw in them. Rather than speak my mind and risk their anger, I just slowly back away. I tell myself in doing this that I’m not being judgmental, but I am, aren’t I?

So how do you continue in relationship with someone you once cut off or let slip away? Can we find the worthy elements of our friendship without being caught up in the parts of us both that are broken and messy and ugly? Can we reclaim the intimacy that was lost? Has too much time passed and the neglect worn out any trust or goodwill for the friendship that existed?

I realize these are dangerous questions with consequences for what I choose to do with the answers to them. I guess all I know is that I miss the close camaraderie of those college days and it’s within my power to at least seek that out again, even if it needs to be with a different cast of characters…

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