I am amazed at the changes in people over the course of many years. The change in family members is the hardest to see sometimes. My brother has turned out just like our father in so many ways. Makes me sad that Daddy is not here to see him interact with the kids. Others, like my friends and acquaintances from my teenage years are the ones I have trouble understanding.
I had two very good friends in high school. Due to relationships, they have not spoken in several years. I am still friends with both of them, even if one I just rekindled our friendship again. I will not stop associating with one over the other, just not have them present at occasions together. I would hope, however, that they are MATURE enough at this point, that they can set aside differences. We were friends over 30 years ago and still are, like the intervening years never happened.
What I do not understand so much are the people who have not MATURED at all. They are still forming cliques and excluding people from them. In talking to one of our former classmates, we marveled at the associations that have formed post-graduation in the past couple years since the advent of Facebook. There are a few women who would never have been in each other's circles back then who are now thick as thieves now. Who knew? And some of the superficial antics that go on are what I would term, IMMATURE. Then again, maybe I am still not MATURE enough to not have sour grapes over being excluded.
Fast forward to college years. I suppose since we were tossed together without any prior knowledge of each other's circumstances, we had no preconceived notions about one another. We were already starting to MATURE. I am certainly glad to have gotten in touch with so many familiar faces so that we can catch up with each other.
Now I have branched out into other areas of friendships with people who have gone through college, some grad school, one or two marriages, births and deaths, careers and lifestyles changes. I accept these people at face value. Some I have begun iron-clad relationships with and others I keep at arms' length so I do not get hurt. Is this being MATURE or just cautious? I have found what I want out of a friendship and what I am willing to give back. If there is not a good balance, then I question if it is a healthy one to start. Very similar to what I went through with romantic relationships after my divorce. I am saddened by one friend in particular who seems to have pulled away. I feel as though it is based on finances or in my case, lack thereof. The jury is still out on this one!
Additionally, I have made some strong friendships with several women who are active in the fight against Cancer. I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them in whatever it takes to raise awareness and and funds. Being MATURE means having to deal with life and death in a totally different way than we did when we were younger. The "buffer" generation of our grandparents is gone and our parents' generation is starting to disappear. When we were teens and young 20-somethings we were invincible in our minds. Nothing could touch us! Now, we see the ravages of disease affect our peers and their loved ones.
It has touched us personally as well. I am very active in FORCE, Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered. If you know me at all, you already know this. Over the summer, I went to the very first funeral of one of our local members. It really made me MATURE some more. One of the biggest things it made me realize was that, although trite, our time on the earth is limited. So, in agreement with my friend from school, cast off those people who seem to be so shallow and continue with those who you can laugh, cry, share good and bad with, whenever you need to.
Thanks for listening!
Love and hugs,