Making friends has always been something that has come fairly natural to me. I’m easygoing, flexible, and nearly always in a good mood. I interest myself in the passions of others and have often found that just simply listening is often key to maintaining relationships. I am usually the peacemaker and, even if I feel I am in the right, often back down in order to prevent fracture.
I had a conversation with a friend last night about my forthcoming re-entry into the world of the gainfully employed and the trepidation that comes with my uncertain future. She said I was one of the most well respected and well liked people she knows, and that my worries are fruitless. Which all worries are, actually, but that’s not the point. The point is that my nature and outlook on life reflects positively most of the time. I truly am rich with friends.
But that’s not what I want to write about. The thing that bubbles in my mind most often are those friendships and relationships that have NOT gone well. Some have mended over time; others not. When I’m alone in my mind with nothing to keep me busy, it seems I always return to these soured friendships. What went wrong? What could I have done differently? Is there any way to patch things now, even if I don’t want to remain a friend? I don’t like thinking I have ‘enemies’ out there or folks who think ill of me.
I now consider that a weakness. Why should I care if someone doesn’t think I’m all wine and roses? People are different and that’s life. If I dedicate myself to just making others happy, I myself won’t be happy. One of the things I’ve gained in my travels is a greater sense of self worth and identity. I see myself approaching relationships in a different light, but not in a bad way. Just in a more assertive way. This is fine and good. I call it progress. But I do still find myself returning to the collapsed friendships of years past.
So, what’s the deal? Does this mean I haven’t moved on? Does this mean I’m a perfectionist and not wired to just let sleeping dogs lie? As a famous Captain said, ‘As a doctor, you of all people should be aware of the dangers of reopening old wounds.’
It’s just hard to forget the good times, I guess.