16 October 2013

The Art of the Fade

Anyone who follows me on Facebook knows it has not been a good year. To be honest it has, for the most part, thoroughly stunk. I have spent more of it discouraged than in recent years. Part of it is that I feel trapped by life circumstances, which I'll save for a future post. Part of it is all the things I feel I can't or don't say in the moment. I don't have a journal, so I have made a goal of sorts to say the things I want or need to say here, to feel that I am doing something to express myself at a time when I increasingly feel too busy or emotional to do so. Plus, I was always better at writing my thoughts than speaking on the fly.

The idea of a person's essential-ness has been on my mind a lot. As a single person, there is a very small list of individuals to whom I am essential. And even those family members would not have a drastic alteration to the ebb and flow of their lives if I moved to Fiji or disappeared into the TARDIS on an extended trip with the Doctor. They would miss me and there would be an empty space that I use to occupy but they have their spouses, children, step-children, grandchildren etc. to take up the day-to-day space. This not a statement of desolation or that I think no one cares about me. It is acknowledgement that I am, in fact, not anyone's first priority (nor should I be).

This notion of nonessential-ness is not something I mourn over on a daily basis but I have noticed it affecting my current friendships and my thinking about future relationships. I find myself expecting people to move on, fade away, or disappear because they have before. Career opportunities, family issues, marriage, babies, etc. have a way of physically and emotionally separating people. Even those who are really good at maintaining friendships post-marriage and baby are still, rightly, operating with a different set of priorities. Priorities that shift where I'm at in their lives. I don't begrudge them that, however, it does mean I'm putting less effort into making deep, best friend-y sort of relationships because it never lasts. This probably has a lot to do with my whole issue of feeling unable to express my experiences. It is a lot of work to build and maintain the types of friendships in which I trust people to that extent and I'm tired of starting over. I don't really know what this means for the future or if it is just a phase everyone goes through at a certain age, regardless of life circumstances. I just know I've unconsciously gone a long time perfecting the art of the fade as a self-defense mechanism.