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This friendship beast

Is it just me or have my posse and I been lurching from crisis to crisis lately?

Don’t get me wrong; I love being there to pick my buddies up and dust them off (figuratively, of course; we never talk about that time when it was literal), and I love knowing they’re there to perform the same service for me if I should require it.

I simply don’t believe in bad luck, although I do have a grim vision of the fates standing around a table yanking at skeins that they ought to leave well enough alone. Hmpf. And no offence to you, 2011, but I’m itching to send you packing on your way with an apple in your pocket for a snack (in case you get hungry; I’m not MEAN).

This got me to thinking about the friendship beast. I wondered if there were crises because someone was around to lend a hand, pass the tissues, and make crooning comforting noises AND a bloody good cup of tea, while they were about it, and I realised, that no, that’s not how it works.

There are crises because that’s how life works. Life is a series of thunderstorms illuminated by the occasional rainbow thrown in; the rainbows exist to remind us that they exist, and hey, isn’t that what most of us want anyway? Isn’t the pursuit of happiness one of our favourite things to do? And happiness is an ever-fleeting, ever-changing thing that never stops for one moment because it is out of breath; it never stops to let itself be caught. So illness, happenstance, misfortune, unhappiness, self doubt, anger, pain, betrayal, and all the other lovely things our lives are pockmarked with happen, because life happens.

Crises happen, and some years are just worse than others. Some months, some weeks, some days. I’ve had a lot of good happen to me this year but I’ve also been in the middle of crazy feverish bouts of writing, and let me tell you that you haven’t experienced self-doubt until you look down at the 50,000+ words you’ve given birth to and realised that no, you don’t like any of it…

So while the friendship beast is waiting down there with a safety net to catch you when you fall (not if), it’s a relief to let go and fall, just knowing it’s down there, waiting.

I’m just glad it knows where I live.

5 Comments

  • Avatar
    Asha 14th October 2011 at 3:00 am

    Dear Awanthi Vardaraj,

    Friendship is a great thing. Trying to get by in this life without friends to lend a hand would be impossible. I can’t imagine being alone, because then when you fall, you have to just deal with it yourself. Unimaginable.

    I know what you mean, though, about wondering about going from crisis to crisis. Life has it’s disappointments that are inevitable. But I think that we’re responsible to create a balance in life by making as many beautiful things happen as possible. Most of us are a little too passive I think. We think that if we’re basically decent, law-biding people, and we don’t do anything terribly evil, that life will kind of work out, and relationships will work out. But that never works. The happiest people I know really put their heart on the line every day, and create a really poignant, good, beautiful life by doing so. I know a few people who go FAR beyond the norm to bring out the best in others, and create sweetness in their relationships, and to make a really beautiful, amazing, intelligent contribution to life. Those are the only happy people I know. And their happiness is solid.

    I’ve been a little too passive myself I think. And lately I’m realizing that you can waste a whole life that way. It really takes a lot of energy and commitment to make your life meaningful. And I don’t think a life of going from crisis to crisis is that meaningful — even though pain is inevitable, it just can’t be that life is mostly about that.

    Humbly and sincerely,
    Asha

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Awanthi Vardaraj 14th October 2011 at 3:02 pm

      Thank you for your very thoughtful and detailed comment, Asha. 🙂 It’s very nice to meet a fellow blogger from the vast blogosphere. I’ve been told there are lifeforms in the blogosphere, but I haven’t met too many so far! I have been wandering through your blog with torchlight and flask and I love the way you write. You write from your soul and it shows; I find there are so few who do that.
      I agree with you that a life that goes from crisis to crisis is no way to live, and perhaps I exaggerate a little when I say that it feels like that. I completely believe that the only way to live is by taking risks and that risks like loving other people completely, chasing down your dreams no matter how overwhelming they feel, and fiercely believing in and uplifting others are worth taking. I’ll certainly never stop. There is the risk of loss and pain but that is the risk one takes when one loves.
      My life philosophy is that you must leave every interaction with another human being by leaving them better off for having had the interaction with you; I don’t always get it right, but it’s something I’m aware of, and I do learn.
      It’s lovely to meet you.

      -Awanthi

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      • Avatar
        Asha 15th October 2011 at 2:28 am

        Dear Awanthi,

        Thank for your response. You are such a heartfelt person. It’s lovely to meet you, too.

        “My life philosophy is that you must leave every interaction with another human being by leaving them better off for having had the interaction with you; I don’t always get it right, but it’s something I’m aware of, and I do learn.”

        Yeah, we’re all learning. I have that intention too, to make people happy. But sometimes I forget the intention and think about myself and how I’m feeling, or how this person is making me feel. And obviously, that doesn’t work real well. Consistency is needed.

        Of course, mistakes are inevitable. But what I’ve found is, with most people, if you are good to them most of the time, they’ll forgive you for the mistakes. It’s just about having a bunch of “money” in the bank with people, so to speak, so that when you make withdrawals you don’t end up bankrupt in the relationship. I recently realized that the balance wasn’t quite right in some of my relationships with people. The mistakes were causing too much strain, because I hadn’t given certain people in my life enough attention or appreciation to create any kind of buffer for mistakes, you know what I mean? Needed to give more.

        Thanks again for your response. It is nice to meet sincere human being.

        Asha

        Reply
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          Awanthi Vardaraj 16th October 2011 at 4:50 pm

          Hello Asha,

          It was very nice to read your response to my comment, and very interesting to be able to see it from your point of view. I love your ‘balance in the bank’ analogy, although I put it to you that when the balance isn’t right in some relationships, it is perhaps a case of both parties needing to give more. You see, I know it takes two to tango; it can be too easy, all too often, to put all of the blame on yourself and yourself alone. None of us can carry a relationship with someone else alone on our backs if they aren’t helping to carry the load. I think a relationship between two people is more like a joint bank account; both need to put in equal amounts in deposits, or withdrawals can make you both bankrupt. 😉

          I hope you’re having a lovely weekend.

          -A

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            Asha 3rd November 2011 at 11:28 am

            Dear Awanthi,
            Sorry to take so long to reply. I got sick, and then needed to catch up on everything.

            You said, “I put it to you that when the balance isn’t right in some relationships, it is perhaps a case of both parties needing to give more. You see, I know it takes two to tango; it can be too easy, all too often, to put all of the blame on yourself and yourself alone. None of us can carry a relationship with someone else alone on our backs if they aren’t helping to carry the load.”

            Yes, it’s true. It’s important to realize that it takes two, and NOT to give too much to someone who won’t given in return, because it only hurts people to do that — it supports them in being takers. I’ve seen how that hurts people in the long run — seen it enough to want to avoid creating that.

            I don’t think my problem is to put all the blame on myself though, to tell you the truth. I have done a lot of blaming of others, too. At this point, I see that blame of oneself or others is really just a way to avoid real responsibility to do the right thing — and as far as I know, the right thing has never involved mentally beating anybody up — including oneself of course.

            I do think, though, that while it takes two, we have to accept that most people will not give much back. My expectation at this point is that I will have a few friends who will love me and care for me back — and I do have that — but most people will take as much as they can, until the situation becomes so unbalanced that I have to tell them, “This is not okay,” and then they will PROBABLY go their own way, believing that I misunderstood them. And I am kind of okay with that. You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find the princes and princesses of this world — the real friends. And when you find someone who will love you back in equal measure, draw them close and don’t let them go.

            I am just starting to learn that that’s part of what it means to be a lover. As long as I can have those close to me who are making regular deposits, I can live with the fact that most people don’t want to give that much — even though I don’t exactly accept it, or think it’s right.

            I hope this makes sense. These are things I am really in the middle of grappling with, and actually kind of changing my attitudes about at the moment. So, it may sound a little muddled, but I have a clear FEELING about it anyway.

            Sincerely,
            Asha

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