I've been thinking about friendships since last night. I had a long and really fantastic phone call with my friend Graeme, who called me after reading my last blog entry. A good long chat about what's been going on in my life recently, about quitting my job, about the unhappiness I've been going through lately and about the immediate future. Graeme's pragmatism and openness was exactly what I needed in order to talk some feelings through, to get some ideas straight in my head and to think over the next logical steps. I also got a lovely text message of support from James, which gave me a real boost.
Graeme and I have known each other for decades, and time has reduced any bullshit threshold to very low indeed. There probably isn't anything I don't feel like I could discuss with Graeme, and I'd hope vice versa.
Over the past few months as I've been tackling my insomnia and other health issues, hating my job, shelling out big bucks for medical expenses and paying double rent since my last flatmate moved out, I've sort of drawn in on myself. Spending a lot more time at home on my own, trying to save money but also feeling disconnected from the socialising that involves lots of alcohol. Since I discovered my liver problem a big night out is a couple of light beers.
I think disconnected is a very good word for it. Some of the people I've always been closest to are in relationships these days, relationships that of course take time, energy and focus in their lives. That's not a complaint, it gives me great joy to see them enjoying their relationships, but it's a course that means we don't see as much of each other as we did. And when we do there is less 1-on-1 time perhaps.
The thing I'm really aware of though is my own lack of really maintaining some of these friendships. Reticence, self-absorbtion, laziness, I don't really know what's the cause. Probably small degrees of all of them combined. My focus has certainly been elsewhere over the past 3 months or so. I'm not beating myself up about it, but I also need to remind myself that friendships need nurturing. That they thrive on giving and receiving, where I've probably not really been keeping up my end of the bargain on that transaction with some people.