One of the things I regard as important in my life are my friendships. I would hop, skip and jump for a friend of mine, if that is what they needed. And because of the love I often have for my friends, it takes me a while for me to realise I am being taken for granted, because they assume my love for them will be the reason I stay, no matter the treatment.
After being ‘a fool’ for friendship, I searched within myself to find what it was that made me not see that my companionship was being loosely regarded. One of the voices in my head loomed with a very plausible response. It’s not that I do not see. The mind sees and feels more than the heart. And because of that, it also needs time to transition from one state to another. That transition is what allows me to close, not a chapter but the whole book. And move on. Then I came across a quote, that is now etched in my mind.
“Stop hurting yourself by overestimating your value in people’s lives.”
That has been a mantra since.
Having said all of that, one of my (past) friends just had a baby.We still talk from time to time, but we are not what we used to be. I had a chat with my Mother yesterday. As a church Women’s Ministries tradition, they do a home visit with new mothers, to see the newborn and bring it gifts. So she was telling me how she had found the perfect gift for the baby (which is a white towel, her signature gift) and they were going later.
Then she called, to tell me all about it.
Mom: All in all, it went well. And Avery looks well. She said she had just spoken to you earlier today.
Me: Oh, yeah, I heard the baby had been admitted in hospital. So I was just checking on her.
Mom: Oh, that is good to hear. So, is she still together with the father of baby?
Me: Uhm, I don’t know,
Mom: Are they getting married?
Me: I … I don’t know.
Mom: She didn’t tell you anything?
Me: I didn’t ask. Honestly, I don’t think I care. Not my circus, not my monkeys.
Mom: But I thought you guys were better now.
Me: We are. We talk, from time to time. But I am not getting emotionally invested in her again.
Mom: Once bitten, twice shy huh? So I guess it’s not some temporary spat?
Me: Yuuuup. Closed book Mom.
Mom: But don’t let these experiences stop you from opening up to new friendships. Although the saying is “Once bitten, twice shy”, I want you to be brave and live by, “multiple bites, still not very shy”. You have tons to give. Don’t hold it in. Give! You are strong, not bitter.
Me: Aaw, I should take all that with a pinch of salt. You are my mother, you are supposed to say that 😀 … And I will try to live by that, although it could mean I end up with a thousand bite marks.
Mom: Or an even more beautiful friendship. You never know!
Me: Alright then. “Multiple bites, still not very shy” it is.
Every time I talk to my Mom, I go to bed in high spirits. And because I know having her is a blessing, given a lot of people have no Mothers for one reason or the other, I cherish her. She is my best friend, despite how much she spanked me growing up [hahaha], and a gift that just keeps on giving, and giving, and giving.