January 2014: One of the hardest months I'd had in awhile.
In 2012 and 2013, I had a friend. (We'll call her JM because those are her initials). She and I would swim together. We'd bike together. We'd race together. We always shared hotel rooms. We were so much alike; even though we had about a 10 year age difference. When we rode together, we would talk and joke and then....we'd also have long periods of silence. When we raced together, we ALWAYS competed against each other. We were each other's biggest supporters.
In January 2014, without warning.....I got an email. The email was a generic message sent to everyone in our riding group. She was divorcing her husband, quit her job and moving back to NY.....THAT VERY DAY. No warning. Nothing.
I knew she was having marital problems. We talked about them. But, I was hurt that out of the blue (to me) and without even a phone call or text message....I get a generic email telling me what was going on.
A friend of 2 years, and she was ripped out of my life like removing a tree from your yard. There was a huge hole in my life. (Many of you know all the other stuff that was going on at the time. It was just one lost friendship after another for me, for a while).
I had emailed her once or twice with no response. After awhile, I got over it. I knew I had nothing to do with whatever was going on in her life. I took it as one of those situations where she needed a clean slate. She wanted and thought she needed to start fresh: new home, new job, new friends.
I never contacted her again.
During this same time frame, I had another situation. At the time I thought we were friends, but I realized later that she was just a *fake* friend. I don't want to go into the details, but it was really bad for me awhile. I'm an extremely loyal friend. I take friendships seriously. This woman ended up doing and saying some really bad things to me. I wasn't hurt by this. As soon as she showed her true colors, I cut her out of my life. She was a really bad person. When people do things like that, it says everything about them and nothing about you.
She and I swam together. We went to the same masters. There were several times that we all (as a group) went to lunch and to happy hour. Within this group, this fake friend had other friends. Women that I knew, but I wouldn't exactly say I was friends with. We had very different lives, and I often found it hard to strike up conversations....because we were so different.
One of these women was a triathlete. (I'm going to call her Janet). As long as I knew her, she was IM obsessed. I mean the "unhealthy" obsession. I always got the impression that she didn't like me. It always felt awkward when we were around. I thought it was because of the fake friend. After all, the only time we saw each other was at those events where there were a ton of other people.
I would see Janet at races. I would go up and talk to her. I would talk to her after her races. She would pretty much blow me off.
Although we were the only two triathletes at masters, I gave up on her. I'm not going to like everyone, and not everyone is going to like me. I'm totally cool with that.
These two seemingly random and unconnected and completely different relationships. Two women that I haven't really thought of in awhile.
For a long time, I had a love but mostly hate relationship with FB. Since then, I've figured it out. I narrowed my friends list down and only follow the people that I really like. With my job and training, it's hard for me to keep in touch with people that I don't see on a daily basis.
That's where Facebook comes in. I log in after work. I can check in on people, see what's going on in their lives and comment on their funny quips. It's a great tool for messaging, adding events, etc.
Best of all, it takes me 5 minutes. Can you imagine trying to email all those people....on a daily, even weekly basis? That's one of the reasons I really enjoy reading blogs. I can really catch up with what is going on in people's lives and in their minds.
Yesterday, I was doing my evening Facebook check in. Within 5 minutes of each other, I received two FB friend requests. The first from Janet. The second from JM.
JM was a slam dunk. I figured it's taken a year and half, but she must be in a good place now. Friend request ACCEPTED.
Janet was a bit of a surprise. I left that masters swim over 6 months ago. As I said, we were never friends. The whole situation was really awkard. (For so many reasons, and they don't matter).
Before FB, people were friends, acquaintances, etc. FB tried to recreate that, but instead it changed relationships forever. People get mad and unfriend others. People take offense when they are unfriended.
People break up with people via text message. We've lost that ability to communicate.
It's harder to be human when technology is involved. Even I find myself thinking (sometimes), what are your intentions? Why did you send me a friend request? Although, I don't care anymore when or why people "unfriend" me.
Actions only reflect the image of the person doing them. They have nothing to do with me....you.
I realized I was getting caught back up in this complicated technology relationship thing.
Who cares WHY she sent me a friend request?
She did. She was reaching out to me.
That's all that matters.
Friend request ACCEPTED.