Good at Endings

Quick aside:

I just realized that I am pretty dang good at letting go, at ending things. No, I'm not suicidal.
This weekend, I was describing for Susan the end of a friendship that occurred last year. My friend got mad and stopped talking to me and although I really enjoyed her perspective, I found it sometimes forcefully presented. I still like her and wish her well, but we only talk if we see each other at someone else's party and even then, not for long. I would be extremely surprised if I were invited to her upcoming wedding, or any party she gave, for that matter. Some might say it's a sad end for a friendship that was, at times, quite close. I think these things run thier courses and then it's done.
Another friendship I had last year took a major downgrade when I was going through a bad month and she took it personally. We salvaged something, but she doesn't get too close anymore.
I was thinking on this again today because I feel another friendship sliding away. Nothing as dramatic as the last time, but I'm feeling a gradual fading of interest. It made me a little sad at first, since my latest goal in life is to find people who want to go on adventures with me. But, if someone doesn't find me valuable enough to spend time with, hey, who am I to argue? Realizing that I don't care that it's ending anymore is a little sad too, but I'm sure I'll get over that quickly. (Later: I realized on the drive home that I'm a bit of a liar there. Most of the time, I'm getting close to not caring. The rest of the time, I want to ask "why?" even though it's a dumb question - like asking if these jeans make me look fat.) And you never know, I might be wrong. Sometimes these things take temporary downturns.
So if you're my friend and you're not interested in being friends with me, you're probably not reading this blog. However, if you decide to in the future, rest assured, I'll take it well.


Janiece said...

Hm. I read your blog and want to be your friend...or at least go to lunch.

But I'm a very low-maintenance kind of friend.

Anne C. said...

Me too, Janiece, both on the wanting to be friends (or at least going to lunch) and the low-maintenance kind of friend. It's good for me to have other kinds (because sometimes it's hard for two low-maint. friends to actually stir themselves to get together (I speak from experience)) but the low maint. kind understands me easiest.

MWT said...

I think of it as all good things eventually come to an end. Everyone is on a different path. Sometimes those paths cross and join for a while, and then a while later they uncross and go off in separate directions. Sometimes they loop back around and cross again later, too, though not always - and when they do, the two people that shared paths before might well be two completely different people with a different relationship the next time.

So letting go is good. It's good to recognize when it's time to, and to do it gracefully instead of clinging vainly on, which can sour the ending. And it's good to not think about endings while things last, but to enjoy every moment as they come.

Mummy Grabill said...

I'm with MWT - they said it best. I would also caution you to not think of it in terms of "they don't want to be my friend any more." That makes if feel as if it's about you when it might not necessarily be so. I think it *could* cloud the openness with which you accept the petering out of the friendship. Although, by the sound of the rest of your blog entry, you are not taking it personally - so maybe you're just commenting that "it must be me" out of old habits that are hard to kill? :-)

Anne C. said...

Very hard to kill. ;)

Janiece said...

See, that's why we love MWT.

Very well said. Some of the best, most important friendships of my life are over for exactly the reasons you describe. There are no hard feelings, and if the persons in question needed me for any reason, I'd be there in a flash. They're just not part of my daily life anymore.

Anne C. said...

Thanks for saying that, Janiece. I wanted to compliment MWT's comment, but was too frazzled this morning to put together two sentences.

MWT, you have a wonderful ability to cut to the heart of things and describe very well what you see there. Your point about enjoying every moment as they come is, I believe, what I am trying to keep in mind in the posted situation.

I agree that what I aim for in a fading friendship is something that can be revived at need. My best friend in the first couple years of college and I can pick up where we left off at the drop of a hat.

Thanks so much, guys. You're awesome. :)

MWT said...


I might repost that over on my own blog in a bit. I only ever seem to say things like that while I'm responding to someone else, never when I'm trying to think of something to write about from a blank screen.

My last best friend and I parted ways very suddenly. The moment she and her then-boyfriend finally realized that they wanted each other and got together, I knew it was over. Everything I was to her was now him - and that was the way it should be. And for two years we didn't talk much at all - we had nothing to talk about. After they broke up, she came back ... but it wasn't the same as it was before, because we're not who we were before.

And although that was what I was thinking about when I started writing my earlier comment, I also realized that I'm also talking to myself on something in the present. So I needed to hear it too. ;)

Best of luck with your friend that is departing.

Anonymous said...

This triggered a lot of thinking for me too. I've left friends behind and they me... and mostly it's a quiet, neglectful death, but sometimes it gets painful.

I'm low maintenance - and I need low maintenance in return. My friends and I love each other dearly, and would do anything in a pinch... but we only rarely get together or spend time on the phone or IM, we're just too darn busy. Sometimes that's too much neglect for some folks... others are just fine with it.

But still, as MWT said so eloquently, people's paths are different. I wish you the best - new doors opening - with this change!

Anne C. said...

Thanks, guys. :)

Like you, I consider myself low maintenance, but I'll also be the first to point out that I'm not NO maintenance. I need to see/talk to my friends at least occasionally, or they fall completely off the radar. Part of this is probably because I'm not married or part of a committed relationship, so I spend more time alone and notice the gaps more. I also depend heavily on pattern-finding to guide my social interactions.
In the long run, friendship is not really about frequency of interaction, but the quality of the interaction when you do get together. When I feel appreciative and appreciated, I know the friendship is still alive.