5 days writing, 2 days sitting. I feel like I’m getting somewhere.

My plans for the winery fell through today – my friend ended up getting a really bad cold and needed to rest instead. I was relieved. Sometimes I wonder about myself.

An old friend, a former coworker from a different life, sent me a photo of him and another ex-coworker. It was taken at a party thrown by a third coworker from that time in my life. They hadn’t seen each other in years, but they still pull together once in a while.

In those days, with those coworkers, I had a bond. R would sometimes stop on his way home from work and I’d throw a frozen pizza in the oven. He’d pick up some beer, and we’d sit on my patio and eat and drink and he’d sometimes talk about the things that were weighing on his mind. In that odd way of life, there were things he could talk to me about that he couldn’t talk to others about because we weren’t close. He needed someone with a different perspective. He needed a little sanctuary, a little break from the issues he was dealing with at the time.

It was easy to spend that hour with him. I think it was good for us both.

Some of us would get together on Friday nights, usually going dancing.

I don’t know if it was that place, that time in my life, or those people, but somehow I was connected and it felt easy.

I used to see S and his wife almost every time I would go back to Arizona to see my parents. But then one visit he complained quite a bit about having to pick me up from the airport. I didn’t mention that I flew into Phoenix instead of Tucson specifically to make visiting my old friends easier, despite that it meant a 2 hour drive (each way, each leg) for my parents.

It changed things, to have this old friend complain about having to go 5 miles out of his way.

By chance, my visits with my parents ever since then have been outside of Arizona, but deep down I know that I will no longer make the effort for my Phoenix friends. I’ll be flying in and out of Tucson…whenever it is that I end up back in Arizona.

It’s not that I’m mad at S, but it definitely put things in perspective. I no longer feel an obligation to make room in my visit for them. And if I’m not making the effort, they certainly won’t. It’s a little sad, in a way, but at the same time it’s not.

One of the odd things about being an introvert that it has taken me a really *really* long time to grasp is that my perspective on friendship is different. It takes noticeable social energy to spend time with people. It’s different for an extrovert. This means that who I spend time with has more significance for me than it does for them.

I remember going back to Denver to visit some friends about a year after I moved here. I was a little surprised when one of my friends, someone I had thought was a close friend, someone I’d kept in touch with, made a comment that they were surprised I’d made it a point to see them on my visit. Their context was that these visits back are always busy, always filled with plans. Which was true. But the sub-context, which it took me a while to fully understand, is that they had no idea that I thought of them as close friends.

Sometimes I wonder if we ever have much of a clue what role we play in other people’s lives.

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