I am posting every day in December to reflect on 2015. I joined my friend Kim in this endeavor and her Day 5 post is exceptional. Read it. If you want to join us, please comment here or post it Facebook. You can pick and choose your the days you post…you do you!
Day 5: Vulnerability. It’s scary to share our true selves because it leaves us open and vulnerable. When were you vulnerable this year? What was the result?
There once were two friends who were pretty inseparable. Friend A loved Friend B and Friend B loved Friend A. They spent weeknights enjoying shared interests and weekends enjoying shared wine. They traveled together and celebrated together.
Life being what life always is, threw a few curve balls at these friends. A different curve ball or two to each. They both dealt with them differently and as such, grew apart. Friend A had a hard time understanding the distance and Friend B knew the distance was imperative to her own journey.
Eventually Friend A reached out to Friend B. She missed Friend B. She didn’t understand how so many years of friendship could erode so quickly without a direct conflict between the two. She felt very much like she had failed as a friend. She felt very much like she had been failed as a friend. But she knew, regardless of the time that had passed and the hurt she felt, she still very much missed and felt concern for Friend B.
Friend B bravely responded. The two met and talked and talked and talked. Friend A had been 100% honest and hoped Friend B had been, too. They shared their experiences and talked about how differently they experienced them. Friend B had been scared that Friend A no longer wanted a friendship. Friend A thought Friend B had moved on without her.
It was painful at times, hilarious at others. Friend A left feeling hopeful.
The friends tried for a while to make plans and spend time together. The time they spent was fun but for Friend A, it was just not the same. She wondered if Friend B felt that, too. Not that different was bad. It wasn’t! People and relationships evolve and reinvent themselves all the time. They just needed to reinvent their friendship.
But then…the separation began again. The distance started growing again. Friend A didn’t understand. She felt hurt and deserted…again. She thought the history they shared would be a strong enough foundation to dodge the curve balls this time. She had allowed herself to hope again but now she just felt left behind.
Friend B did nothing purposefully hurtful. Friend B just decided (consciously or not) to move on. Both friends had changed and maybe they just didn’t fit anymore. Friend B may have come to that realization sooner than Friend A or maybe the work it would take to reinvent their friendship seemed too overwhelming and perhaps, just couldn’t be a priority for her. Life being what life always is…
Hope is amazing and oh so dangerous. Hope is the ultimate vulnerability. Every time you allow yourself to hope, you open yourself up to be disappointed and/or hurt. That is extremely scary. Being hopeful doesn’t seem to have worked in Friend A’s favor this time, but the alternative to hope is sadness and personally, I’d rather continue to hope and give myself a shot at happiness than to settle for sadness. It is a risk/reward situation every time.
Like the Lotto’s brilliant advertising people tell us…. You can’t win if you don’t play.
I think I’m a hopeless hopeful.
I will always choose to play.