Monday, June 22, 2009

A mountaintop contemplation.

This weekend I was able to hike with one of my best friends in the world. I really had forgotten how much I love to hike... need to hike. It is one of the most exhilarating experiences that I know of. No matter how strenuous and exhausting the trip up the mountain is... the reward at the top can never be achieved otherwise.

In our 24 hours together, my wonderful friend and I spent the majority of the time discussing relationships: relationships with family, friends, lovers... everyone. When you get to a certain point in life, you must stop and reassess the relationships you have, the ones you don't have and the ones that you need. Her and I are both at this point in our thought processes.

As we grow, we acquire more relationships with more people. Geography, jobs, school, parenthood, etc. all provide opportunities for new relationships. But, at some point, the depth of relationships will suffer if you spread yourself too thin with too many. Do you really need to hold on to that friend from 3rd grade who you really have nothing in common with anymore? Relationships with family are a little more difficult to contemplate since society tells us that we need to sustain blood relationships regardless of how shitty they may be. Take my father: he would not even acknowledge me for the first 18 years of my life. And since then, I feel obligated to sustain whatever thread of a bond I can. But why? If I had to choose a person to be in my life now... someone who I would expose my children to, someone I would expend my emotional energy on... I would not choose this man. But, because he contributed a specimen to my mother, society makes me feel as though I need to continue to put myself through the mental anguish & develop some sort of connection.

The same holds true with friendships. We meet people at different points in our life and forge friendships. But, we might know someone since we were five who we really just don't like when we are 25. You could could have turned into people that are 180 degrees from each other. But you can't 'break up' with them. That is unheard of. If you stopped contact, you might be thought of as snotty, snobbish or something of that nature.

As we grow and mature, we have less time to cultivate relationships as we concentrate on our children, our homes, our lives. It is even more important to choose people to surround yourself with that are inspirational, joyful, kind and make you a better person. If you lost your memory today, who in your life would you chose as a person you wanted to surround yourself with? Would you choose your dad, your sister, your friend you've know since 1985? Or do you just keep them because... you are obligated? Is it ok to cut ties with a person because you know they drain the life from you at every interaction? Do you deserve better? Do you deserve to live your life out with only the most uplifting people so that you may enjoy each and every second of this short stay on Earth?

Are you waiting for answers to these questions? Sorry, I don't have the answers. This is a part of what we discussed on our wonderful trip up the mountain and I do not think there is a concrete answer for anyone. I'd love to hear feedback on any experiences with this subject, since I struggle with it continually...


  1. Great Post- I have thought about this a million times especially with the Facebook craze! Lots to think about here!

  2. Does this mean you aren't calling me back? :)

    The people in my life are there forever. There is no seniority for time spent with me. They may be present in my every day life, they may be reached out to only once in awhile, or they may live on only in memory. However, if I happen to forget you, then I guess you didn't make the cut. :)

  3. I sometimes analize my relationships by imagining if someone will be there in 5 years, 10 years, 50 years. Do I imagine sitting around with us/them and our adult children telling stories?

    Thinking 'probably not' doesn't preclude them from my friendship and loyaly, because you never know how things change. But thinking 'yes, definately' tells me enough about the importance of the relationship to know that I'd rather spend my available social times there.

    I'll see ya Friday?