For whomever may read this, I simply want to wish everyone a very merry Christmas!
It is Christmas Day. My mother has just beat me at three game rounds of checkers. It is just the two of us--a quiet Christmas Day with a roasted brisket and fingerling potatoes in the oven, and some string beans. I am blessed to have a family member I can spend Christmas Day with, because it may not be this way forever or in years to come.
I think the thing I am missing the most on this day, is hearing from my extended family by phone and a few of my friends on Facebook or by phone. Friendship means a lot to me and in not hearing from the three to five friends that matter the most to me, I question whether the friendship is still there. I question in my heart if I have truly left the friends that I consider close to me down and just don't contribute in a meaningful way that makes them want to hear from me. I wonder if all the stresses I have faced have watered down my value in their lives, or if I am just busy. I ask this question because I see them interacting on a much closer level with either their significant other (ignoring their other friends) or drawing their other friends closer to me. One friend last week said that they do not trust me, and that comment has stung me ever since it was said, and yet I have to go on pretending like I can handle whatever is verbally thrown at me. It makes me wonder whether I am truly dysfunctional as a friend when I don't want to be. Two of my other friends... one I haven't seen since last April and the other I haven't seen in over a year and a half who is so involved with their work, their school, and their upcoming marriage. I feel invisible to them, like I don't matter or exist. The hardest thing, is when I'm on Facebook and I post positive, happy comments on people's photos and wall, I sometimes don't hear back from them. It's rude, cold, and transparent that these people aren't really friends and I somehow have to be fine with it, even when I truly am not.
I am trying to stay positive, but I feel like... I don't have best friends or close friends. This Christmas--these things matter more to me than anything else, and yet I feel I have to become a vastly improved version of myself before these friends will like me. In the new year, how can I make a valuable contribution and impression in my friends' lives such that they will always have fond and positive memories of me?
I miss my extended family too, The ones that are in Texas. But just with my friends, I feel powerless to change the circumstances of getting to be with my extended family that would necessitate changing the relationship dynamics within the family.
So I ask myself this Christmas--how can I give myself the gift of more, close friends? How can I clear the worry and the anxiety of not having my warm wishes and my presense reciprocated? My mother gave me a small gift for Christmas--a meditation CD from an author who has been a guest at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in West Marin. Perhaps listening to some of that music will put some new life in me. Mary and Joseph were given a new lease on life when baby Jesus was born which is the reason we celebrate the holiday season. Perhaps I need a new outlook on happiness and its meaning. I hope to reconnect with some of the friends I miss that I haven't seen in God knows how long, before the new year. We shall see...