As a mother it thrills me when my young adult children get it. You know, like when my daughter recently told me the reason we have such a great friendship now is that she grew up with firm boundaries and respected me from an early age. She also learned about wants, needs and budgets and despite what she often thought, she came to understand her wants wouldn’t kill her and her needs were always met. She is now good at budgeting and she has developed great insights and life skills. Or when my son, who is in the process of buying a house, remarked that he could afford more, but knew it was important to not be house poor and to keep money in the bank for not only fun, but also for emergencies. This from a young man who watched his parents pour hearts and souls into their home, while he bought new toys and we did without. Now he understands priorities, budgets and the thrill of building a future.
While they weren’t saints, they’ve always been good, grounded, thoughtful, and mostly courteous kids. I am very proud of the independent young adults they have become and the careers and lives they are building for themselves. I am also proud of the friendships they have built and maintained throughout the years. That’s truly no small feat.
One of my daughter’s friendships is with a young woman who is dear to me and as she also blossoms into an adult, I find myself proud of her, too (note that I had nothing at all to do with that…she has an amazing family)! She has had her challenges, but keeps at it and no matter what, she embraces the lessons she learns. Like me, she felt all those lessons learned could be valuable to others who are facing challenges, and like me, she has started blogging to share her insights.
While her blog, Melissa Explains It All, is geared toward a younger audience, much of what she shares transcends the generations. Her recent blog, Besties, Bridges and New Beginnings, reminded me of a few important things…and I loved it because of the happy ending! You can read it by clicking the link above, but for your convenience I’ve pasted it in its entirety below (not sure what’s up with the formatting). If you like it, please pop over and subscribe to Melissa’s blog!
The Yellow Kite
Besties, Bridges and New Beginnings.
Friendship means supporting, inspiring, and genuinely caring for another person. You should never have to ask a friend to do any of these things, those should come naturally. When it comes down to it, you must make difficult decisions about these relationships; cross the bridge or burn it.
There are 3 relationships in my life that standout, each telling a different story. Let me explain…
So there’s that…I burnt half the bridge and wish to rebuild it in order to cross it.
There is another girl who I was friends with since 6th grade. Although I was there for her through a tough time in middle school, our friendship phased in and out through high school. Our class was split and sent to different high schools. She became someone I hardly knew but I still held strong onto our friendship despite herpoor choices. In college we became pretty close again, rooming next to each other in the dorms! It was so awesome to have my best friend right next door! However, trouble stirred with her and a few of our other friends. That put me in the middle and as I tried defending both sides, I again held tight to my long-time friendship with HER.
Anyways, I lost touch with the girls I once considered friends because I was busy defending the girl who I called my “best friend.”Skip ahead a few years: she found her faith and I supported that entirely even when it felt pushed upon me. I let it go and knew that she was making better decisions now. At her wedding, I was asked to be her maid of honor; truly an honor for me. I was proud to stand next to my best friend and express my love and gratitude for her.What happened next shocked not just me but everyone who knew our relationship. She started ignoring me and unfriended me on Facebook.
No explanation. Finally, I messaged her on FB to see what was going on. Had I said something? Did I make her angry? What was going on?
Long story short, she decided that we were in different places in our lives and chose to explain how quite poorly. The things she said stung me like a swarm of angry bees, over and over. After this rant, she called apologizing and I decided to meet her for dinner; I decided she deserved a chance to explain. At dinner, she told me she was having a baby.WOW! I was excited for her. We caught up and decided to start over. I was going to forgive her but not forget the hurtful things she’d said.
Guess what? I was blamed for not reaching out to her after that dinner. It was MY fault that we weren’t going to be friends anymore. WHAT?! I was appalled that she was blaming me for not trying to maintain the relationship. Again she chose the most cruel things to say to me. That was it, time to let that relationship go. From that day on, I decided to forgive but never forget. Through all of the phases she went through and all the bad choices she made, I still remained her faithful friend…not anymore.
That is a bridge I can finally burn. It would be dangerous to ever try to cross it again.
That bridge is one that I will cross over and over again.
(well because I have to get over the river of tears, from both sadness and laughter, somehow!)
Be the friend you want to have and when there is someone in your life who is less than what you expect a friend to be, don’t be afraid to burn that bridge; the fire will light your way to better opportunities.