A thought on friendship and rejection

Today I had a pretty enlightening talk with my friend over msn (who knew enlightening conversation was possible on msn!) and we were initially talking about change. I hate change- I most especially hate change that I have no control of. The twenties is seeming like a pretty tumultuous time- I always read in women’s magazines that women in their 40’s and 50’s are much happier and more “themselves” as they age- although maybe they are just saying that to try to offset their loss of youth- either way, the point is, the twenties involve a HELL of a lot of change. Then we got talking about friendship- and how hard it is to keep friendships vibrant and real when everyone is changing so much. Friends move, get married, get domestic, travel, and develop new interests and friends. The we got to talking about whether or not friendship can be “for a season” – because that can explain how some friendships just seem to fade out as people “move on.” So what do you do when you have a friendship that has changed so much that it is almost unrecognizable? When everything about how the friendship used to work is different? My friend, who happens to be unknowingly brilliant, said “maybe you have to let it go.” She said that true friendship, probably like true love, doesn’t need to be held on to so tightly in order to make it stay. Then she said something even more brilliant– she said, “Maybe rather than letting go, you need to dig deep and get real.” I paraphrased a bit there- but she is right. It makes a lot more sense to get real, to hold on- to not be afraid to show all of our insecurities, our weaknesses, all of the beautiful, ugly messes that we are. People fear rejection- and I am wondering, is there anything worse than being rejected by the people that we previously felt loved by? I think this is why it is easier to retreat, to move – than it is to say “I miss you, I miss the way things were.” Retreating is easier than fearing rejection- besides, who DELIBERATELY chooses to put themselves in a place where they could be shut down…especially when unexpected rejection is BOUND to happen.
Like it happened to me today…
I got UNINVITED to a wedding, I was never even invited to. Isn’t that awful? I was going to go with a friend as her ‘date’ but apparently there aren’t enough spots left (note to self- ughhh, if I get married- don’t do this!) Anyway, so it’s not really a big deal- but it’s definitely unexpected rejection- well, double time I guess, if you count not getting invited to the wedding in the first place!
So, this brings me back to friendship- the friendships that we have to work on, get real, get our hands dirty, be willing to be honest, be willing to go deeper than the surface. I’m realizing that takes a lot of guts and courage- and it definitely could end bad. Things and people do change and move on… so the question is, is it worth the risk? I’d like to think that it definitely is.
So…now, what is the first step?


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