Saturday, July 12, 2008

Friendship as it is today

Is it 'age' --or is it becoming more of a realist? Or becoming more self/reliant and self/sufficient? I cannot say, but one thing that was so important ever since I can remember- I dont need so much anymore: the constant presence in my life of my 'best friends'.

Is it that I can cope better now with everything around me, and those long confidences and long conversations are not needed anymore?

Or it is because I am more jaded, more tired maybe -- and my friend's help and advice (although I still love them)- are not necessary for me to keep going and make decisions?

Is it because now I know them all better --and know exactly what can they do for me or not in my moments of despair?

I have always thought of friendship as a very tight relationship based on a fair and sincere give-and-take. An association with those we selected as 'best friends' because we liked their character, their sense of life, their sense of humor -and because we shared things that were important, and fell close to them as soon as we met. And feeling this way is how I grew up to have a half dozen of very, very good friends.

I dont know, but the fact that I dont 'need' them as much now, is a weird sensation that I like, since it gives me a lot of personal freedom, meaning that I depend less on people than I used to -- and at the same time I loath, because it makes me feel like an uncaring person!

I guess the whole phenomenon is probably caused by the passing of time and the complications of our private lives. Such complex private lives for all!...Plus us (the Cubans) have lived such a long exile, that this has created gaps in what before were 100% solid & strong friendships. Long periods in which we dont communicate as before. A certain physical distance that creates a bit of an emotional distance that grows and separates us. Although as soon as we see each other, we can ´pick up´the conversation as examplied by the famous phrase "Como decíamos ayer" --"As we were saying yesterday..."-- that Fray Luis de León (one of my father´s favorite writers) said when he came back to teach his class a the University of Salamanca, after being away in prison for many years during the Inquisition.

One thing that is also different is the degree of my generosity. My blind and absolute generosity towards those I have considered my close friends has been changing slowly, little by little --and the passionate desire to 'do all', beyond the call of duty, for my friends --and be the best for them ---has diminished. And now I am beginning to be more 'normally' generous --since I realize that I was exagerating my commitment, and always giving away too much of my time & my help --in my desire to do all possible for them. Joan of Arc/Mari is definitely gone. And a more normal Mari has blossomed. Much healthier, albeit not as dramatic and profound!

Is feels really strange to write about this feeling that I was so embarassed to voice! But it is OK. I know think that shedding all these things that once were so juvenile is perfectly normal. A true passage of life.

And I guess that my friends love me as I love them, without drama, but with deep feelings. And if I have an emergency they will there for me -as one of them was when years ago I separated from my husband, and she took vacation time to fly to NYC to spend a whole week patiently listening to my sadness and wiping my unending tears!
Wow... I hope I am not wrong!