Johnny Cash, in the beginning of his relationship with June Carter, the love of his life, wrote a song that they share, which became an anthem for their marriage. In "It Ain't me Babe," there is a line that stands out and fits practically any situation, whether it's a romantic relationship or a friendship: "You say you're looking for someone/ To pick you up each time you fall/ To gather flowers constantly/ And to come each time you call/ And will love you for your life and nothing more/ But it ain't me, babe."
Basically, what it means is that we can't depend on others as so much as we need to depend on ourselves -- that when we fall, we need to pick ourselves up by the bootstraps whether we like it or not. As much as we depend on those around us, sometimes it's best to fall back on our own so we know we are capable of barreling through and getting on with what needs to be done.
In 2012 everyone talks about being co-dependent on someone else, about not knowing enough to be self-sufficient, but then again everyone complains about not having someone who understands them. Where's the happy medium?
I'm forever quoting My aunt Mame because she's one of the few people in my life who will get right up in my face and tell me exactly what I need to hear, and when she's not kicking my ass to improve myself, she is constantly asking about my friends and about our attitudes toward each other and the constant cat-fighting:
Why don't you pick friends who raise you up, who know every nuance of your mind and who know when you are on the edge, who will pull you back? Why would you choose people who would help you push over the edge? You need someone who builds up your confidence, because you have people in your life who cut you down to nothing, you constantly whine that nobody understands you, but in this case because you have people who don't take the time to know you.
Which, she's right, friendship isn't about knocking each other down the ladder -- it's about who takes the time and makes the effort.
We all want the best friend like Rhoda or Laverne, but in the end we all have the same friend in our lives who we butt heads with. We feel like we're not getting anywhere with them, that we're stuck in a permanent rut and so we tend to not depend on that person because it's not worth the aggravation. So that's kind of how a person separates themselves from the pack and continues on the trek to being alone -- although who's really ever alone?
I feel lucky because while I don't have many friends in my everyday life, I have wonderful Facebook friends, a group of people who every day check in and say "How's it going? is everything all right?" -- just constantly keeping tabs, and we really look out for one another when things get hard or when we need someone to talk to. These people just make me look forward to signing into Facebook.
My whole roundabout point is that we are constantly changing and evolving, so why can't we evolve with new people? Someone amazing who we've overlooked could be the great love of our life, or a new friend. Someone who's willing to pick you up when you least expect it.
Do you have people like that in your life, or are you more of a social loner -- meaning you can only tolerate people for so long before you say enough's enough?
For more by Nikki Luongo, click here.
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