Awkward friendships

A few days ago I was thinking again about the people who have come in and out of my life. Especially the group of students I hanged out with in first year. Surely that was memorable! It is where we first learnt how to cook, how to do our own laundry, how to do our own shopping. That was also the group of people whom I first went to the markets with, explored the Italian restaurants along that street, and Asian foods in the city. I lived with them for half a year and saw them regularly thereafter for at least another half a year.

Yet most of them are strangers now, and worse than strangers because at some point we talked, hanged out, took photos together. I was thinking about why I didn't become friends with most of them. I guess they were always more my ex's friends than mine to start with, and when we stopped talking they stopped talking to me too. Maybe I didn't spend enough time with them, maybe they didn't click with me because we were different (ha, I remember how they used to tease my "Australian accent"). Still, I can't help but feel resentment for the sake of the seventeen year old version of myself. What was wrong with me that you didn't want to be friends with me? Back then, I would want to be friends with someone or a group (haha, the stereotypical thing of teenagers wanting to fit in, maybe) and be quite sad when they ignored me. I guess now when people don't show interest in conversation or prefer other friends to me, I'm less bothered because I recognise that for whatever reason, we don't get on fabulously and that's okay - after all, friendship has to be two ways.

Then last night my mind was bothering me about all the other people in my life that I have awkward relationships with. It was simple when we were little - there were people you liked and were friends with. Then there were those you didn't like, you might hate each other and either be friends again, leaving all that in the past... or you wouldn't talk to each other and never had to deal with each other again. Now I have "friends" who were never friends in the first place, and I wonder what it will be like when I move back to M because I'll be bumping into plenty of them. Friends who I made an effort to be friends with, but who didn't respond. I have friends I'm sure have some underlying dislike for me, but ask to catch up nevertheless, goodness knows why. Perhaps that's a notch better than the friends who hate me and never want to see me again. Friends (that I've known for years) who remove me on Facebook without any precipitant cause, and especially if they are people who I will definitely meet and have to talk to in the very near future. Even if I don't happen to click on their profiles, it's just sooo obvious when you have them in the "people you may know"/"suggested friends" section. I have friends who I get annoyed with, and who get annoyed with me, and I suppose sometimes we get over the sourness and sometimes we don't, but it's hard to tell. Then there's a bunch of people who I don't know, and who don't know me, but we are wary about each other because they are caught indirectly between relationship issues - eg. they're the girlfriend of someone you were close to, or they're good friends with someone who hates you, or they had a strange fling with the guy you're going out with, or whatever the case may be.

I felt sad, thinking about how I've accumulated so many friendship issues that make me feel ergh inside when I think about them. I guess I don't need to think too much about things that have past, but will try to start on a new page when if I happen to meet these people again. Oh yeah, just to keep things balanced - there are a handful of good, meaningful friendships too, and some acquaintances whom I never had the opportunity to get to know better, but would be delighted to do so. It's been better in the past two years since I left M, and I'm not sure if it's the nature of the people I've come across or if it's changes in my own character that has made friendships easier to come by.


Judy said...

So complicated, my Winnie. I guess it shows how much you care about the friendship.

Old friends become good friends again only you have such solid foundation. I realised i could have lots of conversation to my uni friends after so many years apart when we actualy meet again and if they are interested in my life. This is because we had 5 years student life together. Similar thing is that my hospital colleagus. Well those old friends without strong foundation could become awekward friends or even worse than new friends or strangers.

However i do learnt yesterday when we discussed out the normal relationship. The starting point is so important. The reason that we usually couldn't be a friend with someone is that we already make an assumption that "he/she doesn't deserve me knowing/loving". So biblical teaching of course teaches us to love your neigbours as you love yourself". At the end, no matter what they are, your old friends or new friends, the friends you had good momory with or bad one, the one with simpler friendship or more complicated one they all deserve us to get to know to love in Christ! Difficult lesson though!

Good thinking and consideration!

Winnie said...

thanks mum, it's true that whatever I feel about these people, and what they might think of me, we should forgive as we have been forgiven. love our neighbours as ourselves. and love our enemies too, out of love and obedience to God


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