I’ve been doing a very unusual thing this year — well, unusual for me, in any case. I’ve become reacquainted with some very old friends — from as far back as primary school — in an attempt to inject some variety into my social life. As tantalizing as this may sound, it really isn’t, as they are people I became friends with when I was younger and then lost touch with due to the circumstances of my life and my own personal development.
I will admit that it was slightly — only very slightly — awkward at first. For most of my life I’ve never been known as one to keep in touch with old friends, either because my family moved around so much that I was never in one place long enough to hang on to the friends I had, or because my own personality made it impossible for me to reach out to people and initiate any sort of connection at all. But thanks to a tendency to chatter senselessly when nervous or uncomfortable, the initial awkwardness passed.
And I found that I was enjoying myself very, very much.
So when Afham heard this, he looked at me as though he were seeing me with new (and very confused) eyes and said, “So why don’t you do that with some of the other friends you lost more recently?”
Again, quite unusually, I stopped to ponder that suggestion. He was right when he said that I have lost a few friends* over the last couple of years, and this time it was due to my increasing impatience for and complete refusal to tolerate what I call ‘flaky’ people. He was also right to point out that as I already have so few friends in my life to speak of that it may or may not be wise to throw away any more, or keep burning my bridges at the slightest feeling of irritation at any one person.
I came close, very close, to picking up the phone to text — never call! — one or two of these people, but kept stopping short. Yes, these characters had at several points in my life been as close friends as I allowed myself to have. But, like any relationship, those friendships fizzled out for specific reasons, so there is nothing to stop those same reasons from coming back when the friendships are rekindled. As Becca put it, “She was a transparently insincere friend before and she has no reason not to continue being a transparently insincere friend.”
As determined as I am to keep the friends I have recently regained, it appears I still have much to learn about friendships. But I now stand more firmly than ever on one ground: that if a person makes no effort in keeping a friendship alive, then said person is not worth keeping a friendship alive for either.
* I will not drop names here, because as much as these former friends annoyed me, they don’t need any more than my own silence to let them know what lousy friends they are.