I have discovered, in what my son would call my ‘long life’ that the journey to friendship can vary in length and direction.
With some people I have found that friendship is immediate and ever-lasting. With other folk I have become aware that the road to friendship may be a slow and long one, but you do get to a solid place at the right time for both of you. This last journey may follow a windy and bumpy road but all the time you know the destination is certain.
Recently I also realised that some relationships never reach the level of friendship because the pre-requisite trust is never achieved. This revelation came about after meeting with some people in a neutral environment and attaining some degree of comfort in each other’s company. Fast forward to a different environment, for example, the home of someone. Once inside this building that provided familiarity and comfort to one person they let their guard down and a different side of their character was shown. I felt that they were still very friendly and genuine – I guess that’s where the concern arose for me, but in their unfettered state they spoke without barriers. Their free speech caused me to raise my own barriers and not feel as relaxed as I previously thought I could be. While they freely shared their opinions on the situation of a third party’s family I cringed and reverted to a super polite demeanour. I left as soon as was convenient, without being blatantly rude.
This person will never know, from me, what that conversation did to my perception of them because I don’t think it is worth the drama and potential confusion and back-pedalling that it will cause if they ever know that that other person so casually (and cruelly) assassinated could easily have been me. In fact, it may well be me in a few months time.
Some battles are not worth fighting at the time – especially if the collateral damage includes irreparable harm to your children who are present and implicated by carelessly used words. These situations do, however, remind you that at times caution is sometimes necessary before removing the chuck blocks and taking a friendship flight.
Well, that’s what it did for me anyway. So there will not be any loud calling of ‘chocks away’ in this area for a long time. I’m staying grounded.