My writing has taken a beating these days. Partly because photography takes up most of my time but also because I haven't drawn upon any personal or new experiences to write about. I haven't put pen to paper, errrr, fingers to keyboard in some time. I've felt that part of me missing. In the height of wedding season things are fairly chaotic. It's a mad rush of excitement and hustle and social belonging, and then there are nights when I deliberately seek out the peace and quiet to revel in my thoughts and recent experiences.
Last week I was getting my hair done and having my usual heart to heart with my hairdresser. We got to talking about friends and trust. She recently had her heart broken by a friend who was not being good to herself and not being careful with other's hearts. She was saddened by her friend's behaviour and decided to end the relationship. What's that saying, she asked? You are who you hang around.
I have always been attracted to people who deep down I think I can help. Since I was a little girl, my mom said I would choose the most troubled kid in the class and bring them home to dinner. Even in the men department, it took me 30 something years to finally accept that I was worthy of good treatment.
I recounted a recent scenario to my hairdresser about an acquaintance I reached out to. She had called me late at night to come over and was in tears. She poured her heart out to me about a mistake she had made, to which I immediately consoled her with the fact that I too had made mistakes. And I gave specific examples. Which were then thrown back in my face at a later time. This is where I apparently fail. My hairdresser told me that I am trusting and honest and not everyone deserves those qualities. Over the waft of bleach, I mulled this thought over for a while. But how else can you show someone that you understand? You know when you are going through a difficult time, and someone tells you they understand, do they really? How can they understand if they haven't been through it? When we were in Mexico, I met a family from Ohio. The mother couldn't understand why her 22 year old daughter could not get over this abusive 2 year relationship. I asked her if she had ever been cheated on, to which she replied that she was still married to her high school sweetheart. Of course she couldn't understand. How would she?
So how do you go forward? Listen with open ears and never share your own experience? Isn't friendship give and take? There are many takers. They will call you when they need something. Listen to your own troubles to make themselves feel better. Complain about the same people they will happily use. And never, ever offer anything in return. These are the people who never ask how you are doing, reciprocate invitations or share their hearts. They just take, point the finger when the relationship ends and move on to the next friendship or neighbourhood, never once accepting the fact that there is a common thread amongst their failed relationships.
I'm far from perfect. Fuck no. I've had indiscretions and made mistakes and when the finger is pointed at me, I really stop and analyze what is being said, even if it stings. Growth and development and higher learning is never a bad thing. But the older I get, the harder it is for me to really open up and trust people. Almost every relationship has some sort of falling out at one point or another. But it's interesting and hurtful when it comes to the demise, because true feelings are lashed out and it makes you wonder....were you being fake with me this entire time? I almost wonder if we would be better off to have a fight right away, because once we seem to make up, there seems to be a new respect level. New boundaries are set and you know where each other stands and accept people for who they really are, rather than who you wish them to be.
Sometimes new beginnings are a good thing. It sometimes takes one rotten apple to spoil the whole bunch. If you remove certain personalities, sometimes the dynamics can suddenly change.
That's life. I'll end today's post with a quote by Maya Angelou. It's food for thought on a Wednesday morning. Someone who doesn't first love themselves could never offer you the same.
Be careful out there. It's a vicious world.