|Best friends at the beach|
Hello Dear Readers,
This Wednesday’s post is not a rant per se…call it more of an observation.
Last night I had dinner with my best friend. We have been friends for fifteen years or more, and she’s become like family to me. She’s one of the few female friends I’ve made in this city who has withstood the test of time. We’ve traveled to Africa and the Dominican Republic together; gone through numerous heartaches and downfalls together; and I’d trust her with my life. She’s the kind of friend who always has your back, and I’ve discovered that caliber of friend is hard to find.
One of the things we discussed last night was how tolerances change when you get older. When I first moved to this city, I was coming from a town where I called a half dozen people my “best friend”. I was eager to establish a new circle of friends here, and as such, I wasn’t particularly choosy. Over the years, I’ve had mentally disturbed friends, issue-laden friends, passive-aggressive friends, bossy undermining friends, unreliable friends, and people who were so mean that they can’t accurately be referred to as friends. I was patient with all of them, because I felt I needed them in some way. I know better now. It’s much preferable to spend time by yourself than it is to invest your energy in a poor excuse for a friend who at some point is going to betray you and/or break your heart.
Even as recently as a few years ago, I had difficulty detecting the good apples from the bad. I’d be able to tell if someone repeatedly made me feel unhappy after I’d spent time with her, but I tended to focus on her good points. “She may be really negative and condescending and tell me how to live my life all the time…oh, and I think she’s after my boyfriend, but she did come with me to the vet when my cat was sick.” That kind of thing. I hope I’ve gotten better at that.
The thing is, life is short. And life is busy. There is no point spending what little spare time you have with people whose company you don’t fully enjoy. It sounds so simple, but the truth is, a lot of us are walking around with bad friends. I’ve culled mine, and I don’t plan on taking in anymore.
How about you, dear readers? What benefit have you noticed to getting older and hopefully wiser? Or how did you realize that a friend just wasn’t worth your time?