I love everyone. I honestly cannot think of a soul I don’t love. Even those who have hurt me, ignored me, never met me. I just love people. I think individuals are amazing. Their intricacies and quirks amuse and intrigue me.
That doesn’t mean people don’t often annoy and frustrate me, and that I don’t choose to avoid socializing with certain individuals due to their negative and destructive habits. But I will still love them and treat them with respect and dignity. And it’s not because I’m a strong and humble person (because anyone who knows me can attest that humility is something I need to work on) but because I have an instinctual gift for appreciating and embracing even the most minute amounts of positive attributes in others.
But there comes a point when close friends and acquaintances must be separated. And let’s be realistic- why would I choose to make a negative and destructive individual a deep and dependent part of my life for any season? Obviously I’m not realistic as I continue to do this year in and year out...
After an insightful and eye opening discussion with a dear friend (and amazing individual from anyone’s viewpoint) this morning, I’ve concluded that it is not possible to be close friends with many. Only a few. Multitudes of acquaintances are just fine, but true companions are harder to maintain with the few hours we have in our life that are not spent eating, exercising, working, and sleeping. We really do have to make an effort, whether it be conscious or sub-conscious, to hang out with those that we want to invite into our lives wholly on a consistent basis and limit the time we spend with those who will never amount to a closer connection than another generic social contact. It may sound harsh, but coming from someone who loves everyone for exactly who they are, I attest it’s nothing against that person. It’s the lack of connection, the lack of chemistry.
Lately I would describe myself as quite alone. Let me be clear, alone, not lonely. I’m not saddened by my solitude. It excites me. It gives me more time to spend with God and more time to write and read and pray and cook and ride and think and run and dream and swim and reflect and remember… and just love life on my own. To just be me and enjoy being me (and I mean that in the least narcissistic way possible.) For a long time I constantly surrounded myself with people and it made me feel alive. It energized me. And sometimes it still does. But now I find I can draw the same energy from being alone and quiet. So when I think about spending my time with others, I think about why I’m doing it. Because they asked me to? Because we’ve been saying for a long time that we should? Because it’s convenient? Because I’m bored? Because I really, really miss them? Because we have intriguing and insightful conversations? Because they make me laugh until my face hurts? Because we make each other feel good? Because I can help them? Because they can help me?
I ask myself – Is the time I’m about to spend with them, the minutes I’m investing into this person, this friendship, worth the $2.50 I’m about to spend on bus fare and the 50 minutes I’m going to take out of my evening to bus to see them? Harsh? Not when the same friend wouldn’t spend $2 on gas and 10 minutes to swing by and pick me up. It all balances out. Because then I ask, why am I really going to visit with them anyway? Because they asked me to? Because it’s been a while? Or because I miss them? Because they want to see me?
When I choose a boyfriend, a husband, a companion, it won’t be someone convenient. I couldn’t put up with a relationship out of convenience. It won’t be because I want to cuddle. I like sleeping in the middle of the bed enough to get over it. It won’t be because we are compatible and share interests. I’m interested in just about everything and compatibility changes as much as the temperature. It will be because I so enjoy the time I spend with that person that I want nothing more than to live my life with them.
Until then, I will continue to take pleasure in the solitude of this season of my life.
So I now apply this same “logic” to my friendships – to only invest in a deep and intimate relationship with those who I truly enjoy spending quality time with.