Tell Me How You Really Feel: 8

Because it’s Wednesday, I felt the need to jump on here and give you my feelings. It can’t be that hard to come up with a quick post, no? I mean, I usually have so much to say, and here it is at 5:49 in the morning. So far, no one is up; that means I should be able to write. (We’ll see…I probably just jinxed myself.)

But I’m not sure what I’d like to say. I mean, I do have some things that probably could stand to get off my chest, but at this point, my ability to articulate them is shaky. I guess I’ll try, but I apologize in advance for my lack of eloquence.

So what do I feel today? Well, lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about friends. I think it has to do with the fact that my very good buddy, Julie, who goes way back to 1991 (!?!), will be moving much closer in a few months (a 4-hour drive away instead of a 9-hour drive). I find that idea of having Julie only a small car ride away thrilling, and if I plan things right, I should be able to see her more often within the span of a year.

This post isn’t about Julie, though. (Sorry, lady, maybe another time I can wax poetic about our friendship. You do actually show up in a novel I’m working on, but your name is Lauren, I think. Anyway…) This post is about the idea of friends and friendship. As an introvert, I’d much rather sit here at my keyboard and pound the keys, or go running, or read my book, because all of those are solitary activities. I can do them by myself, and I often prefer to be by myself. It’s not that I don’t enjoy my friends, it’s more that I cannot handle being around people all the time. (You know, it’s a classic case of it’s not you, it’s me. I think we’ve been through this before.)

I do value friendship, though. Very much. Having friends and a network of support is integral to good health and happiness, in my opinion. And when I think about my friends and friendships I’ve cultivated over the last decade or so, I’ve got to think about how and why we’ve interacted.  Lately, I’ve been very busy and so have they, and finding times to get together and chat has been hard. But when I reflect on the situation, I also feel that some of my friends call only when they need something. And that means, truthfully, that they aren’t friends.

It’s easy to discard a friend on Facebook. Easy. You click the the button and move on your way. But when you think about cleaning up your friend list in the real world, that’s more difficult. What makes you keep a friend? What makes you toss a friend? And where is the line between keep and toss? Furthermore, what act makes you think that you should no longer be friends? It’s too much for me to think about, and yet I do. And that thinking makes me close up further, and sit with my cup of tea, in  my house, by myself.

I guess you’ll know where to find me. If you think the friendship is worth salvaging, give me a call.

And that’s how I really feel.

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Christina Consolino is a mother, dreamer, author, editor and teacher from Dayton, Ohio. She's a member of the Plot Sisters and teaches Anatomy & Physiology at Sinclair Community College. She writes women's fiction, young adult fiction, personal essays, and more.