Whispering Into Cold Air

What are friends anyway? Are they just people you spend time with sometimes? Are they people you share who you really are with? Are they people who are there during a tough time? Are they the people who have walked with you the longest? I don't know the answer. I think everyone answers this question differently.

I heard once upon a time, you have to be a friend to have a friend. So, I tried to be a friend. I might not be very good at it. The one thing I really don't do well might foreshadow the reason I feel I have no friends. I'm not good for the long haul--well, the consistent long haul. I will be there until the end, but you might have to remind me you need me. There is no gap that will preclude my re-entry into friendship, perhaps because I make so many gaps myself. I only have so much energy to give and then I slip away to re-charge. But I miss out while I'm re-charging, and I think most people fall away from me during the re-charge.

When I was a young girl, I lived out in the country. I don't remember having many friends. There was a neighbor girl who lived about a half mile away and we used to play together. I didn't really remember this, but she was physically disabled. Misfit of body with misfit of mind. I was such a misfit, I didn't even realize I was in misfit company. I suppose at that age, I didn't know any different. I remember random sleep-overs with a select girl or two, but I'm pretty sure friends were not a strong part of my youth until middle school. I don't remember feeling distressed by it either. In middle school there were a few friends. I think they were good friends. I knew something about their lives and they knew something about mine. Then in junior high, I was befriended by Popularity. She saw "potential" in me. It was my social awakening. I lived in this world surrounded by people for a number of years. Until I began to notice there was a lot of noise, but not much being said. I disengaged and tried to find true connections. People who really spoke. I was called ungrateful by the one who "made" me. Maybe I was. She did awaken me to that world of social noise. Now I wanted to be immersed in that noise, but I wanted it to be nutritious noise.

I made some friends in high school. Two that continue to stand in my memory as closest. Neither like the other. Each represented a part of my expression in life. One friend was thoughtful and introspective and religious. I was not religious, but felt loved and welcomed by those of religious communities. I attended bible studies with my friend, while never becoming Christian. I found strength in the lessons, the music, and the love that permeated that world. The other friend was intelligent, clever, and strong. She came late to the school and was different from others. She liked what she liked and people came to like her for her. For some reason she liked me. I stood in her shadow and shared in her energy.

After school, I chose the religious route. I did not become religious, but the fork in the friendship road that continued to support my path was my friend of religion. For years, we had regular visits and bible studies, with my continued reticence to fully immerse in religion. Finally, in my 20's I jumped. First into an evangelical pond which my friend showed me. Then, into a Catholic pond that my husband guided me to. My evangelical friend was reserved about my Catholic choice, but we continued to find common ground. I found the most refreshing source of strength in the Catholic pond. I became a pillar. I was strong in the strength of faith. I was surrounded by common perspective and noise that nourished me.

Except I sensed something had passed me by. Love. I didn't quite know what it was, but I sensed I didn't know it. My husband was a companion, but not my love. My faith whispered to me to stay anyway. I left. I didn't know what I was leaving.

I found Love. I lost everything else.

I had to leave my faith when I left my marriage. I had too much respect for it to defy it's teachings and remain. If I didn't believe what was taught, then I was not a believer and I chose to behave in accordance with this.

When I told my friend from high school that I needed to begin to build our friendship on something other than faith, she fell away. We live far away from where we grew up, but we somehow ended up living within a mile of each other. After I asked her for a shift in foundation to our friendship, I didn't see her for years. Were we really friends, or was I an evangelization project that failed? I've reconnected briefly in the last year, but I initiate contact and after my initiation, nothing. Maybe I now sound like noise to her? Maybe I only nourished when my words were God's words?

While I was Catholic, I found many who nourished me and many who said I nourished them. Yet, when my life changed, the common ground we all stood on vanished, along with the friendships. Were they really friendships?

Like the friend who stood at the fork of the road I didn't take, I am now different. I am trying to stand with what I believe. Yet, unlike my high school friend, I do not seem to draw others to me with my unique energy. I seemed to radiate most in the world when I was Catholic. People were drawn to me and to the wisdom they saw in my expression. Yet, I left because as I dove deeper and deeper into that wisdom, I recognized a bottom I could not pass through. In order to progress, I had to transcend into something else. But I am not as strong by myself as I was with the nourishment of common ground feeding me. I am a ghost in society. I stand alone with my Love and my beliefs. I whisper wisdom into cold air and it freezes before reaching anyone. No one knows how to hear me anymore. I feel alone.

Will anyone ever hear me again?
sarajest sarajest
41-45, F
Dec 8, 2012