This picture of the cat sort of reflects my mood today. So.
I decided to give myself a Valentine's Day break tonight by skipping Ashtanga class. I must have been more tired than I realise. I fell asleep on the bus. When I woke up I was three bus-stops from home and Tegan and Sara was playing on my earphones.
I haven't been reading much lately, although I like the two books I have been reading on my way to work: Shadow of the Silk Road and A Time To Keep Silence. Hopefully I have something to share when I finish them. I think I will read Herodotus this weekend though. And maybe catch Juno at the cinema.
I have an idea why I feel so sullen suddenly. It's something that has troubled me for a very long time, but I've simply avoided thinking about it. Yesterday the issue was thrusted back into my face in an ugly way, and I think I need to seriously consider what to do.
Did you ever think you could out-grow a friendship? Not because he or she has changed -- but because your priorities has changed?
I am not a sociable person. I keep to myself a lot, or else I tend to keep to the same small group of friends. As such, each time I lose someone, it feels like tearing a part of myself.
There is a friend I have known for many years. We have drifted apart the past few years. Our interests -- or rather mine -- has changed: I became interested in Buddhism. I took up yoga. I stopped eating meat. I became happier.
I thought being a happier person means you will automatically learn to be a better friend. But what if your friend actually prefers to be unhappy? What if the reason for your friendship was this shared unhappiness?
Something happened yesterday. I thought something my friend did was selfish, unprofessional -- even a little irresponsible. It wasn't so much what she did that bothered me. That she was unapologetic about it was what really made me consider the question: is this the kind of friendship I want in my life? The truth is, my friendship with her has been feeling pretty toxic for the past couple of years. She is insecure, like myself -- and often, her insecurities lead her to lash out unfairly at those around her. I speak to her about this, and often we argue, then she accuses me of acting superior now that I am Buddhist and "enlightened".
It smarts. I tried to speak to her about her impulse control issues not because I am better than her -- but because I have been there. And it has costed me so much. I have lost too many friends because I was angsty and angry, and I really don't want her to have to suffer the way I did. She is younger than me, and she reminds me of a younger version of myself -- the passionate, angsty, insecure girl who really just wants to be accepted. I see how her irrational anger has already alienated a lot of people -- it's just that they don't discuss it in front of her. They are afraid of her.
She told me many times, how she regrets never being able to keep any friends throughout her life. Somehow, she always end up losing them. I empathise with her, and it makes it difficult to walk away; I would be yet one more friend who failed her.
And because I see myself in her, to abandon her would mean betraying myself in a way. A lot of my friends left me from long ago, but some stayed -- and I love them for that. What kind of friend do I want to be? A quitter, or someone who stays? Or am I trying to justify staying in a friendship that is getting increasingly abusive?
I feel like I am caught in a hostage situation -- because I cannot accept the choices she makes that hurts others, or which involves stealing. She is not a bad person -- but she makes some really bad choices.
I cannot look away at the harm she is inflicting on herself and on others, just because she is my friend. But she accuses me of judging her by my "superior" standards -- standards and principles which she does not abide by. That is true, to a certain extent. There is something judgemental involved. I do not deny my own ego in this.
She is selfish, and greedy, and despicable, she tells me -- and if I am not happy with that, so be it, she tell me.
Last Christmas, she left me a present and a Christmas card. Inside the card she thanked me for my friendship all these years. I did not know how to respond, so I did nothing. How do I tell her that I feel stressed trying to be her friend? That while it would hurt me, I know I would be more relieved not to have to stay around for her drama anymore?
And if I am making the right decision -- why do I feel bad about it?