Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Friendship and Fish

I've been thinking about Himself again.

I don't know really why. This year marks the fourth anniversary of last contact, and the fifth anniversary of the failure of The Firm. It's not as if I have moved on in time and space from that event, but there it is.

I go through this periodically. I'm not quite sure what to call it: Nostalgia? Regret? A nagging sense of guilt? A restless sense of failure? A need for closure that is not there?

This isn't about The Firm. That has been long closed out in my mind and in my soul - and given the current state of that industry, the fact that I am still not in it has more than likely greatly reduced my stress level.

No, it's more the personal aspect and side of an relationship that (if I live long enough) will arguably encompass 13% -20% of my lifespan. Not many relationships last that long (good heavens, many marriages don't last that long!). A relationship that for many years was the standard against which I judged the relationships of myself and others, a relationship that withstood the test of different locations, different states, different jobs, and different life experiences.

But either could not take the stress of business - or the stress of a friendship with business.

But then my mind asks itself, "If contact were to come, what would you say? 'How's your job going? What are the kids doing?' Be honest, the contact would be no more than reconnecting on Facebook with someone you went to school with 20 years ago." And in that my mind is probably right: there are some relationships that seem to pick up where they left off, even after a long period of time. However, there are others which lie there flopping on the pavement like fish out of water, gasping for air, counting the moments until they can be pulled out of this uncomfortable situation and plunged back into their regular environment.

I used to believe that friendship was a resilent thing, taking time and tide without fail. What I've found is that it is far more like an aquarium fish: pH, temperature, and water quality all affect the quality of it, even though they are not visible to the outside.

What prevents me from going back into that aquarium? I don't know which is more powerful, fear or shame: fear, that I will either be rejected or hear the feedback I don't want to; shame, because of this incessant need to find out why and how and the neediness it may be indicative of.

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