I’ve had a lot of friends in my life. I’ve had a lot of best friends, mostly. And these friends I’ve had over the years have all been wonderful humans in their own respects, yet in the ‘prime’ of my life I find myself with only a handful of people I consider close friends. I can count on three fingers the people I consider dearest to me, excluding those blood-bound to love me.
I’ve been analyzing my life a lot, as I tend to do, and looking for negativity to eliminate from it. I try to be happy, as hard as it seems to be, and so I try to keep the stresses to a minimum. As these analyses usually point out, stress seeps from every corner my life, even among those ‘close friends’ I have. A pretty common trend in my behavior is distancing myself from people, whether intentionally or not, as soon as my over-critical mind catches wind of something problematic.
I could list the amount of people I’ve cut out of my life and go into detail about how I was justified in removing them and why I’m better off without them, but I’ve come to the conclusion that the problem must be with me. I can’t have as long a list of ex-besties as I do without some fault landing on my shoulders.
This introspective look at my serial de-friending comes, perhaps obviously, at what seems to be another of my ending relationships. I can feel myself slowly and systematically ostracizing someone in my life, consciously pushing her away but completely incapable of stopping myself. Or maybe unwilling to stop.
So as I continue to watch our connection fizzle out, I can’t help but wonder what it is that prompts my need to snip the strings of my relations. I spent a lot of time telling myself that I got bored with people easily, and it made enough sense. But the endings never really occur in a lull. Another part of me believes that it must be my depression kicking in and I’m just pushing people out as a response to the impending doom. Like a cat when her life is ending, finding a hiding place to pass on alone. I’ve been in a stellar mood lately though, so how can I blame my depression? Is it insecurity, then? Not feeling worthy of love? Is it a source of control for me, in my never-ending struggle to have a handle on every facet of my life? A defense mechanism? Or something else completely?
People who maintain close friends for years and years astound me. “You’ve been friends for how long? Wow, I’ve only known most of my friends for a year!” It’s a common statement. I think the largest period of time I’ve considered a person my ‘best friend’ was for four or five years, tops. And a less-than-best friend that I maintain contact with is even rarer. As many times as I’ve promised to stay in someone’s life forever, I have a hard time making it past a two year mark. Maybe I’m just not meeting people that fit into my life, or maybe I’m one of those malformed puzzle pieces myself, a factory defect that can’t fit into the place I was meant to go. Maybe I just have commitment issues.
“You’re a ticking time bomb. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells with you.” I’ve heard that twice in my life, almost verbatim, from two very different friends, at very different stages in my life. Further evidence that it’s me that is the problem with my friendships.
So, what am I doing? Why can’t I see myself as the countdown nears zero and the people around me tiptoe away across a sea of eggs shells? (Which, by the way, really makes no sense. Why would you tiptoe across shells of eggs? Aren’t the eggs already broken? Another time, Tucker, another time.)
No matter how many times I tell myself ‘it’ll be different this time,’ it never is. Even when I see it coming.
To all of the ex-best-friends that I’ve pushed away, however I managed to f*ck things up, I’m sorry for whatever I did (or didn’t do). And no matter how many times I promise to remedy our broken friendship and don’t follow through, know that you’re really not missing anything new.