It can be hard when you realize that you no longer have as close of a relationship with a friend or family member as you had years ago. First you go to college and slowly you lose touch with your high school friends. Then you graduate college and you and your friends scatter across the country to grad schools and first jobs and travels. On top of that, as cousins and aunts and uncles become involved in their lives, it seems like they’re forgetting about yours.
When I was younger, I dealt with a biological father and his family who called me a few times a year, saw me once a year for a few weeks and sent me a card with some money for my birthday. It took me years to realize that I was better off with my stepdad, and when I was 16, I went through with an adoption. It wasn’t so easy to move past all the earlier stuff though, and it’s still not easy. Since then, I’ve taken it personally when friends lose touch, or when close family members become distant. It’s caused me to be reluctant in trusting people at times, and at other times, to need confirmation of someone’s love or support. It’s something I’ve been working on, because as we all know, it’s so easy to notice these things in others and try to help them, but to forget about helping ourselves.
Accepting that some people won’t change and that some people think differently and act differently than I do when it comes to expressing affection and keeping in touch has been something I’ve struggled with. I’m someone who likes sending letters and emails and talking on the phone. And if I say I’ll call someone, I do. If I say I have something to send in the mail, I’ll send it. And I don’t think that I’m too busy not to take 3 minutes to send an email, or to take 30 seconds to send a text. And I have a hard time understanding why others can’t do the same.
But- such is life and such is people. It can be hard to be the doer all the time when you’re not getting what you want in return. But if everyone were receivers and no one was a doer, nothing would ever get done, right? There are two paths one can take: you can cut out of your life all the people that don’t make time for you, or, you can accept it and keep doing what you’re doing, in the hopes that one day, they’ll write you a note back. And in the meantime, surround yourself with people that do take note, and that do make an effort. It doesn’t mean that the other people don’t care about you, it just means that right now, they have other things on their mind. And if something was wrong, they’d drop it all and come running.
Lesson of the month: Don’t take it personally.