One of my earlier posts, entitled Like isn’t blind, was all about the like within our loves. Just yesterday I was searching for a particular quote about friendship when this one popped up. As a philosopher, Nietzsche caught my attention right away. I was surprised by the tenderness under the surface of this idea. It also gave me some pause and made me wonder if I believed it to be true.
I’ve learned a lot about my friends in the past year. Moving a many hundreds of miles away from an entire group of friends will help you do that. Moving back to where many of the friends that you had during some pretty powerful formative years of your life still live will do that, too. I did both. Here’s what I know:
There are people who will always be my friends. Many from college, a handful from high school, and a precious few from elementary school are there for me after not setting eyes on me in person for anywhere from 16 to 23 years. When they discovered my mother’s illness she got letters. When I wrote about my personal struggles, my concerns with and for Daughter, even he stupid things I notice, I got messages of comfort, shared laughter, and touching stories of similar experiences. With these friends, I close my eyes.
Some of my friends from the Colorado days have become closer to me than before I left. Letters or encouraging and funny texts, shared stories of back to school, or even just quick check in moments have become treasured. There are four people in this category. They are women who I would choose as sisters. With these friends, I close my eyes.
Then there are some other friends that I had in my long years there for whom my leaving was a sadness at first which developed into a comfortable normalcy over time. For most it was pretty mutual, but for a few it broke my heart. My eyes had been closed for a long time with these friends, perhaps even years, taking away my ability to see that I was not what I imagined myself to be for them. With these friends, I chose to open my eyes. It hurt. And then it faded, much like my leaving did for them.
I like what Nietzsche had to say. I choose to follow it.