I long for the time I once again have balanced and rewarding friendships. I’ve had too many friendships where I’ve been the father, big brother, or mentor, or oftentimes all in one. It’s emotionally, spiritually, and physically exhausting to be on all the time. I want to be taken care of as I’ve taken care of others. I earnestly believe I was born to teach and lead, yet I yearn for others who know more than I do, and are willing to teach me.
I know there are no guarantees in life, and it’s doubly so in platonic friendships. Friendships are in essence (sexless) relationships that must be maintained and nurtured regularly. I’ve expelled all fair-weather friends and colleagues from my life; it’s enough dealing with the categorized friendships. I have my writers, artists (actors, dancers, former models, and musicians), international yet deeply rooted in
Imagine the ringmaster skills needed when bringing these various personalities together under one roof for a birthday party or other social occasion. The writers and both international groups might look down upon the actors or dancers, the musicians might frown upon the models, and the models might try to hog the floor in a desperate attempt to attract attention.
It might be easier to use a GPS system to keep track of the various partygoers and steer them in the right direction in an attempt to stimulate conversation that might not otherwise take place.
I have been fortunate, I think, to have had an assortment of friends throughout my life thus far. Friends at school are different from friends outside of school. There’s inherent competition with classmates as friends. In junior high, I graduated second in my class, not because of my GPA; I would have graduated valedictorian, save for an unsatisfactory in conduct. The band director gave me a “U” in conduct for being mouthy. There I sat in the counselor’s office having forgotten (erased?) what I said or did to the band director while a classmate-cum-friend flashed his toothy smile at the news he’d graduate number one in our class.
I stumbled through my salutatorian’s address on graduation day. I saw red. I flashbacked to my former (and still) smart mouthed self: Why couldn’t you have shut up? My schoolteacher aunt wrote my address for me, having graduated at the top of her high school class years before; she knew what to say on such occasions. We were disappointed for different reasons after the ceremony.
Then there are people from the office who hover between professional and personal relationships. The office worker whose desk overflows with live plants, family photos, trinkets from theme parks and past national and international vacations, and a variety of coffee mugs. I've worked a few places where I've forged relationships that teetered on a fine line. The relationships were ripe with frustation and/or confusion. Most co-workers will allow enough access to their personal lives.