Sometimes I feel like a butterfly, flitting through life spreading joy and color. I don’t have a lot of trouble making friends. As I get older and meet more and more people, fun and easy conversation comes more naturally to me.
But, like a butterfly, I always flutter on.
I had circles of friends in Colorado, during “Annie,” at SMBI, all my volunteer hot spots in Virginia, Bridgewater College, three different Churches in Virginia, and then, most recently, people from “A Christmas Carol.” You know those groups of people you hang out with multiple times a week. How close you can get. But I always left very anticlimactically and never saw those people again.
In the off chance that I did run into one of my old buddies, it was always very strange. We had been so close, and now we hardly knew each other.
It’s hard to know where you belong in that sort of world.
My friend Esta told me once that you have to really work hard to keep up a long-distance friendship. I guess she would know, because she’s done it multiple times. And I guess that perhaps I could have kept more friends than I did, had I tried harder. In any case, I stayed friends with her.
As for the others, I stuck them away in a box in my head and tried not to think about them. All of them, approximately twelve separate groups of people, shoved in that box once I had left for good.
I guess it is a coping mechanism. Or maybe it’s just called “moving on,” or “not dwelling on the past.” But sometimes the box bursts open unexpectedly, and I spend the night crying over all those lost friendships.