Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Have You Heard?

For the last few weeks, I haven't been talking to my friend Lucy very much, which is unusual for us. I've gotten a couple of emails from her asking, "How are you? I haven't heard from you." The question kind of left me wondering if something was wrong with Lucy's phone, leaving her unable to reach out to me during the weekend.

The not-so-subtle implication, of course, is that I am being a bad friend. When I call or text Lucy, she doesn't answer or respond. It seems like she doesn't really want to talk to me - maybe she wants me to want to talk to her? There's a part of me that understands that - sometimes, you want to be wanted. It's nice to know that you're missed, and that you're important enough that someone notices when you're not around. But still - if someone has done what they can to be a good friend, is it fair to act as though they've been otherwise?  

I've read that if you accept that friends change, you won't ever have to change friends. I guess that's true. After all - we don't stay the same, so why should we expect that of our friends? It seems like the challenge is when we change in different ways. Lucy's life has been in flux for a while now. There's not much I can do to fix her life. I've tried to be a good friend and be supportive. The truth is, she was there for me at my lowest point - she and her kids (literally) helped save my life. So, there's not a whole lot that she could do that would ever make me turn away from her. 

Still, it's tough hearing that your friendship isn't good enough, or that your choices haven't been smart. "I wouldn't do it that way," or "I don't know why you put up with that," are tough things to hear over and over again. It seems like Lucy has made all kinds of judgments about my life, which hurts.

I'm not sure what is really going on or why. But I do know that I've learned that I need to be very careful how I treat others when I'm having a bad day/week/month - whatever. I need to make sure that I don't ever make them feel guilty for being happy. No one deserves to feel that way, and good friends should never do that to each other.

The next time I think of saying, "I haven't heard from you," to someone, I'll stop and think - how did I respond the last time I did hear from them?

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