"You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy."-Author Unknown
A friend posted this on her Facebook page this morning and I thought it was very poignant. Yesterday, I had a phone conversation that solidified the end of a friendship. Later on in the evening, over hamburgers, another friendship's sturdy foundation was being framed. I appreciate God's direction and His timing.
Years ago, when I was about 18 or 19, I overheard a woman mention how years prior she asked God to remove people from her life who meant her harm, were not adding anything good to her life and who were not overall positive people. She said that after doing this, people started "dropping off like flies". I thought this was ingenious and followed suit. I made my request clear to God and tried to verbatum, recite mantra-like, what the woman said. The funny thing about how God works is He does not always make an announcement that He is going to do something, He just does it. Almost immediately, both men and women started literally disappearing from my life. I would have a date with a guy and he would never show, never call. After stalking him and his family for several months (I was young; this was pre- widespread cellphone usage, so I was calling the house phone) I finally got the message, he was no longer interested. Years later, after we reconnected, I discovered, he was an all-around semi-loser: a failed marriage by the age of 30, 3 kids, 2 baby mamas, shitty apartment (not like mine is all that), panties on the floor, etc. I had dodged a major bullet!
There was another boy that I was crazy about, I wanted him so bad! The hopeless romantic in me thought we would be perfect together. But he would just disappear from time to time. What seemed at first to be his flaky-ness, I soon discovered was a greater plan. An exit plan that is. It took forever for me to make the connection, but it was one of the best things that could have happened. He, who is great on paper, was an absolute disaster in more ways than one. Bullet whizzes by ear.
It has not always been guys that have performed disappearing acts. I have had a series of girlfriends whose friendship did not prove to be as loyal as mine. There might be that highly audible silence or the sharp sting of a "defriend" on a social media site. When confronted (and usually that ends up being my role) they wince at my me-ness, i.e. the essence of me being me. Their faces twist and turn and they, whether on the phone or in person, exhibit absolute discomfort.
Yesterday's phone call was no different. After the conversation, I felt a mix of annoyance, irritation and clarity. I have to giggle sometimes because I totally forget my request to God. He, as always, has kept His promise. I, on the other hand, have a short term memory and tend to be heartbroken and confused. I asked Him to remove those individuals without a positive influence in my life, but I did not specify how He should go about doing it. While I am staring at a tree trunk, His sight is 10 miles deep into the forrest. For that I am grateful.
I will admit, I have a bad habit of clinging on. I want desparately for relationships to work. I am nostalgic about how things were, or at least how I perceive them to have been. I spend a lot of time thinking far into the future, about how things might turn out. I try my best to be a good sport. And I tend to miss my "exit stage left" cues. So the fact that God takes time out of His inevitably busy schedule and looks after me is humbling. It, for so many years now, has been my only defence against a potentially bad situation. But not for Him, who knows whom I would be married to, or hanging out with.
But again, that conversation left me clear. Oh, yes, I was to some regard dumbfounded, but a lot of what was said by this friend, I literally (in speculating with other girlfriends and my mom) had already predicted to be the "issue". When we disconnected, I felt sorry for her. But glad for me. Later, a newer friend and I had dinner and I realized that my friendship glass was not really half empty at all. In fact, I just needed a smaller cup. It leaves less room for mis- understandings and interpretations. Our conversation was genuine and honest. In between tears, we laughed- hard. Without me going into details, I mentioned how I would from now on, "just shut the fuck up" because obviously my personality and opinion is a problem (this is what was brought to my attention by my telephone friend). My dinner friend waved off this and said, "you don't even worry about that".
If ever there is any misconception, please let me clarify: my blog is about ME. It is not my commentary on the world, rather commentary on MY life. The good. The bad. The ugly. I do not use this as a forum to challenge anyone's thought. You can look at it as an exposed journal. These are my thoughts and feelings. If you read something and it makes you say, "I don't want to be friends with MJ." You missed the point. As a friend, you could have made this a teaching moment not a time to judge me or my personality missteps.
What the reactions I get from my blog prove to me? That I must be writing well. Well enough that I have ruffled feathers. My descriptions of individuals are steady and honest enough to evoke irritation. You can read my blog and know who it is I am talking about. That, my friends, is good writing. Which makes me happy!! I have crossed a threshhold. Not only with my writing and the blog, but also with my friendships. On this Thanksgiving eve, I am thankful for a creative outlet. I am also thankful for friends, in my life, and those God and circumstances pushed out. I fondly look at life as a series of swinging doors. When one door closes (my friend coming clean about how she really feels about me) another one opens (me having a free-flowing conversation with a newer friend). May God continue to let the door swing.