[This post was x-posted on My Trending Stories here]
Christmas is approaching and I find myself thinking about a friend of mine. We have been friends for years, although, there have been a few ups and downs. Now, every year we exchange birthday and Christmas presents. In fact, I picked up something for her in April before the incident.
I won’t go into the incident here but the link above covers it well. In short, I last had contact with her two months ago around my birthday. She sometimes combines my birthday and Christmas gift but part of me is hoping that neither come. That’s because we are currently in what I call friendship limbo.
What is friendship limbo? Well, it’s that period of time in which the friendship is less of an unbreakable bond and more of a laid back game of tug-of-war that could go either way. I think we’ve all been through it. Even within our closest friendships. Perhaps it’s closely linked to out of sight out of mind. Or maybe it’s just life. We commonly hear of long lasting friendships and that’s what we are all supposed to be aiming for but in my mind, friendship is like a pair of shoes. Occasionally, you lose a few pairs due to wear and tear. Some we keep and only wear a handful of times a year. Right now, I have two new pairs and nowhere to wear them. I also have a pair of mouldy Vans that I keep meaning to clean. I think that last example sums up friendship limbo pretty well. The mould is the conflict that keeps me from cleaning my shoes and the incident is what keeps me from contacting my friend.
That being said, this is technically a byproduct of the issue I had with my friend and often friendship limbo is the stage that comes after a series of disappointments. It’s kind of like the detente phase after what we perceive as bad friendship. The string remains but we aren’t ready to cut it yet. In my case, I am not ready because I think the failure of the friendship will go down as my fault. For not taking things lightly and for not being able to forgive and for finding myself in this situation once again.
For all my talk about shoes, they’re easier to let go of. No one looks down on you for replacing a pair of shoes. There’s no emotional damage, no past memories. Friendship limbo is a dark scary place full of silence and conflicted emotions. And the worst part of all is that I hope it fades into nothingness. I say this not because I don’t value the friendship but because I know I won’t get what I need from it. I’m never going to get the apology I deserve, nor the understanding that I would appreciate.
And I’m slowly learning how to be okay to with that.