Wednesday, June 07, 2006


stuff has been happening. and it's not like i forgot that i have a blog - it's just that i have actually been too busy/spent to invest time in it. but here's some stuff i've been thinking...

friendship is not always easy. i don't mean when you and your friends have a falling out or when it's difficult to keep in touch with your friends. i mean when your friends are going through stuff and you have to be patient while waiting for them to get out of the messes that they find themselves in. see, for as long as i can remember, i've had that listening ear. when my girlfriends started dating, i was the one they'd ask for advice on what to do about boys. i am no an.n land.ers or anything, but my parents have sound minds, and in their fashion, i take a decent angle on situations and try my best to suggest things that make some kind of sense while trying not to make my friends feel silly for not coming up this stuff themselves. i am honest and earnest. i am empathetic and i try to understand where they are coming from. i will cheerlead folks 'til they can't stand me no more. i truly believe in trying to see the best in people and treating them according to their awesomeness instead of according to whatever momentary weaknesses they have.

but i'm not perfect. sometimes i come off as judgmental, and to some extent i wouldn't disagree. mentally, i know that we're not all coming from the same experiences, and that we WON'T handle everything the same way, AND that no one is obligated to handle situations exactly the way I THINK they should be handled, especially since i don't know every thing. yeah, well, it's one thing to know that, and another thing to be honest about the feelings that i actually have. sometimes i am disappointed in my friends' decisions and reasoning. sometimes i am disappointed in the attitudes they take towards things. sometimes i wish they would just. do. better. but i know they don't want to be told about how I FEEL they should handle x, y, and z. they want to be heard and supported. period. no comments, no advice, no judgments. and through experiencing this enough, i think i've learned the difference between, "advise me" and "just listen and hug me."

but damn if just listening and hugging doesn't just tar my feathers sometimes. sometimes I FEEL my friends need advice when they're not asking for it. and sometimes i know that it's better for the friendship if i don't give that advice. that's where things get fuzzy. i have to decide whether it's better to piss a friend off in order to help them, or whether it's better to stand down, and let them go through whatever it is they're going through on their own in order to preserve the friendship and keep from alienating my friend. you never want a friend to feel like they can't talk to you about anything.

sometimes your breath will be wasted. your advice will wind up trampled, rejected, ignored. sometimes it could, when executed well, be timely and effective, and strengthen your friendship. but more often than not, the former is better. giving unsolicited advice can be much like opening pandora's box - you don't know what you're gonna get, and it's better if you don't take the chance.

so here i am sitting on top of pandora's box. balancing more than one treasured friendship in one hand and my insufferable frustration with some of my friends' (in my opinion, self-inflicted) problems in the other. i have little tolerance for martyrs and victims and folks who duck personal responsibility or proactivity. sometimes talking with some of my friends is like torture. i can't talk about THIS, i gotta tiptoe around THAT. it gets to the point where i don't even feel like picking up the phone when i see them on caller ID. then i feel like a rat, 'cause you're supposed to be there for your friends. but as much as i love them, i love myself more. and i don't plan to get my blood pressure up for nobody but my own babies. i can't baby my own grown behind friends. so sometimes, i just won't be answering the phone. they'll get through their problems, THEIR WAY. and i'll be there for them when they stop frustrating the hayle out of me.

whew. that felt better. LOL!