|The beauty of life is that it is always has so much to offer. Embrace the offerings.
Last month I read a blog on Huffington Post (that I cannot seem to find now) where the blogger described how her once very close friend distanced from her without a reason. A reason that was never discussed, never brought up and never noticed before. They stopped communicating at some point and became unreachable for each other soon after. The unanswered phone calls, messages and voice mails, ‘Will call you later’ texts and the increasingly brief conversations (when they happened that is) ending always with “I have something to do, need to go.”, those were all supposedly tell-tale signs. Then one day there was just vacuum, nothing more left. I was floored by the number of readers who left a comment saying, “Know exactly what you mean, have been there. Wish we only knew why”
I also remember reading that story and cringing. Cringing because it has happened to me as well. I am sure it has happened to all of you. A friend, a sibling, a family member, a loved one disappearing from your life without a reason or a cause.
I once forgot wishing a friend on her birthday. A friend with whom we spent a lot of time as a family. Of course, I was not her only friend and she was not my only friend. But I would say we got along very well. So I missed her birthday and then left a voicemail a few days later with a belated message. That call and several others were not returned. We caught each other on FB, chatted and everything seemed fine but then those chats died too. Text, chat, email, phone all went ignored. Meeting in person was left much to desire. During all of this, somewhere, at some point I stopped making the effort. I stopped chasing and looking for the answer for what went wrong. Relationships are not meant to hinge on trivial expectations, that was my argument.
“You did not call me.” “You did not tell me.” “You did not share with me.” are trivial but difficult expectations to manage at times. Do we really need to share ALL with everyone we know ? Is it necessary to send periodic updates, see or meet often, do many other things or simply put, work so hard to sustain relationships ?
Meaningless banter, this is not. We all struggle with these sort of things. The only difference is I am choosing to talk about it very publicly. It happens to all of us in our various different relationships in life and we are all left struggling with the question – WHY?
While it is true that we all could do with less tantrums and drama in life and it is also true that life is too short to hang on to inexplicable reasons and harm relationships. We all know that well, yet however at times it does not feel right to cling on to threads that were already collapsing. Rightly so.
My father always says, “ Mend a relationship or learn not to worry about it at all. Do not carry a baggage. Do not always try to find answers.” He lives by what he preaches. I sadly did not and am usually weighed down by the stress of it. That changed somewhere last year.
Courtesy of this blog, the storytelling effort, meeting and connecting with people and my mad reading habits, I met a lot of new people last year. The hesitant me, made a lot of new connections, some transpired into friendships. I discovered the beauty of knowing people’s personal stories without intruding into their personal space. I learned to walk up to strangers and learn a valuable thing or two from them. Writing, reading, storytelling or a similar passion connected me with people and that is the strength of those relationships and friendships. It was not conditional. It was sans expectations. Most were virtual. Some happened in person. But each person left me with some humility, wisdom, life lessons, several things to learn from them and none of them expected me to remember their birthdays (the best part).
That is probably how relationships are ought to be, seamless connections.
That was my year and my story. But I know many who have had a rough year and most of it circles around relationships. Sometimes we very unknowingly carry a large load, baggage and obligation towards our relationships. Call it the wisdom by virtue of my gray cells or the experience that 2014 has offered, I believe It is worth lightening the load and making room for new and more. Don’t give up on relationships but also just do not carry the weight around merely as a baggage. For, life has so much more to offer always.
Story and Picture Credit : Piya Mukherjee Kalra