Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankful - Day 27 - Knowing Who Your Real Friends Are

Note: Today is day 27 in my series "30 Days of Thankful."

Ending a 7 year relationship is more like a divorce than anything else. Besides splitting up "things" when you break up with someone, you normally have to split up other relationships, too. People who are your best friends one day become complete strangers the next. It's a strange thing to go through.

When my ex and I broke up, I understood that I'd immediately lose 50% of my friends. Which was fine. We'd never really done a great job of integrating our "old" friends anyway. I'd spent a lot of time with his high school and college friends, but there was no one I was particularly close to. After we broke up the first time, many of his friends never really accepted me back into their social circle and vice versa. My ex always had this belief that crazy liberal Roxanne would scare his friends so I had to censor myself a lot when I hung out with them. When you're only "allowed" to talk about pleasantries, your relationship with someone can only go so far. Plus, in my own insecurity, I was jealous of a lot of the women in this social group. They all had what I wanted - or what I thought I wanted - commitment and seemingly happy marriages.

My ex always thought my friends were "weird" or "troubled." I'd say they were just honest. Everyone has good times and bad times in their lives. And my friends weren't afraid to talk freely about the bad things in their lives. I have friends from all different backgrounds and walks of life - and I care about them pretty much equally. Any person who plays an active role in my life is there for a reason - not just because I've known them for a long time or because we happen to be from the same home town. I try to surround myself with people who share my interests, or who support me, or who can teach me about myself and life in general.

The real wake up call after losing half of my friends was seeing who stuck around in my life and was there to support me. If you're my friend, I'd give you the shirt off my back, the money in my savings account, or I'd hold your hand if you were in the hospital. Surprisingly, to me, there were a few people who I thought I could count on as friends who really let me down. Maybe misery loves company, and once I made a decision to start getting my life back on track and moving forward, some people didn't want to make that journey with me. That was a hurtful lesson, but it really opened up my eyes as to who I can trust and who will really be there for me when the going gets rough.

So for today, I'm thankful for realizing who my real friends are. I'm thankful for every person who's been supportive during my life altering chaos and I only hope to be able to be able to repay the favor someday. And to those that showed their true colors? It was nice knowing you. The new Roxanne is moving forward without you.

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