“Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.” — Tennessee Williams

It’s no secret that life has been a royal bitch lately – the headaches come and go, but seem to be more or less stress related (funny how they mostly disappeared in Poland and came right back once I was in Denmark) than anything else.

And this is where my claws come out.

I had a bit of a light-bulb moment the other day while I was waiting for the bus with a friend. The last few months in Denmark have been really lonely. I had a great support system of friends when I was here before, but this time around it’s been virtually non-existent (which is hard when you’re contemplating such a huge shift in your life and the only people who seem to want to look at the pros/cons are available online only). But as I was waiting for the bus, my friend said something that really stuck out. Maybe people, my friends, are hesitant to really commit to a friendship because I’m always on the move – and why put the effort in when I’ll be gone again before long.

It makes sense, I guess, that I’ve created some of this loneliness for myself. But with the vast choices of social media – facebook, twitter, email, etc… keeping in touch isn’t much of an effort. I can’t tell if you’re writing me whilst nekkid, so you don’t even need to make the effort to put pants on.

My last week in Denmark before England I reached out to several people in order to catch up/say goodbye and while two were able to meet up (one postponed, but at least it happened) the others cancelled, couldn’t make time or ignored my invite all together.

My goodbye to my roommate (who I used to grab dinner or lunch with on occasion) was done through a letter because I felt as if she was borderline ignoring me for the last week and conveniently was in the bathroom for a shower as I was getting ready to leave. Under normal circumstances I likely would have put up a fight, said something, done something, but I just don’t have the energy for that. I’m sorry if my leaving pissed her off, but it had nothing to do with her.

So I guess part of it is my fault, bouncing around back and forth between Denmark and the US. Maybe it’s because I was gone two years instead of the one I had originally planned on, I don’t know. But a little effort from other people would be nice as well.

At what point does one step back, throw hands up and say ‘I’m done putting all the effort in’ and walk away? Not that I’m going on a massive unfriending spree on Facebook (let’s be honest, if you aren’t friends on Facebook, it’s not legit), but at what point does on say they are doing putting the effort in to a one-sided friendship? It’s not as easy as it seems, not when they someone has been such a great friend before. I almost left without telling some people that I was leaving. And honestly, people would’ve more likely figured out I was back in the US by a random Facebook tag rather than being unable to get ahold of me in Denmark.

Now that I’m in England and have been able to step back and look at everything from a new angle, I guess part of it is my fault, bouncing around back and forth between Denmark and the US. Maybe it’s because I was gone two years instead of the one I had originally planned on, I don’t know. But a little effort from other people would be nice as well. Three people from various parts of England 3+ hours away have driven up to see me while I’m in town visiting Amy (well, of course they want to see Amy too, but they are doing it while I’m here too). One person from Sweden had already been in the UK twice (and already saw Amy) in November and she flew in for the weekend to see me. And that’s eye opening when people couldn’t set aside two hours for a cup of coffee or a beer in Copenhagen. Eye opening and a little painful.

Last full day in Manchester. I has a sad.

One thought on ““Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.” — Tennessee Williams

  1. i feel you.

    i think it’s ironic how i seem to have closer friendships with people who don’t live near me, and i’ve never really been able to put words to it, but you described it well. it’s almost like everyone’s too busy to meet up if you live close by. but – at the same time – for those of us who are used to keeping in touch and cultivating long-distance friendships, it doesn’t seem like the biggest inconvenience to set aside some time to send a facebook message or a letter. (even if you’re as sporadic about it as i am.) unless i see the person who lives near me on a regular basis for a specific reason (like a class or club meeting), getting time with them usually falls by the wayside. i used to be really busy and think i would have all the time in the world so i wouldn’t feel so urgent about arranging time to see people. now that i have more time and i’ve become more aware of how important it is, it’s a bit of a rude awakening how difficult it is to get people to make time to see me.

    thanks for sharing this. it sucks that your time in denmark has been difficult but i’m really grateful to you for writing about it. and i’m grateful to have you as a friend.

    (p.s. i got your email and will email back tomorrow 😀 bedtime. love you!)

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