Yesterday I told a friend that I couldn’t be her friend if she ever went back to being the person she used to be.  It was probably one of the most uncomfortable things to say to somebody.  Of course saying this just wasn’t some blurb that appeared out of nowhere.  There was context to me saying this.  I didn’t get a text back for a while.  I knew that my words had cut deeply.  I don’t like people possibly being mad at me.  Especially friends.  But I felt I said something very necessary in my new world of… whatever this is.  Whatever this is of not just keeping my mouth shut when I see people I love doing completely stupid things or heading in the direction of complete stupidity.  I’m not talking about decisions I think *might* be stupid… I mean things that actually really are.  By anyone’s standards.  Whatever this new world is where I have higher standards for myself and the people I include in my life.

It’s hard to explain to somebody that after seeing them come so far, you absolutely refuse to see them go back the direction in which they came.  It is hard to explain to somebody that because they were your partner in crime, when they were forced to grow up and get their shit together that you kind of were too.  It’s hard to explain to somebody that in growing up you now hold your friends to higher standards.  And that you hold yourself to higher standards.  But I did, because I could see absolutely no point in sitting idly by and letting someone else affect my life negatively, especially when this is somebody who I speak to almost every single day.  It involved a road that I would never travel down again and I needed to let this person know that.

I explained how important it was for me to bring a positive influence to her life.  That I felt like I had done that over the past few years and I wanted to continue to do that. It’s important to me that friends do that.  That’s the kind of friend I want to be.  That’s the kind of person I want to be.   That I could no longer support or encourage certain actions.  That I never would again.  I even explained the guilt that I had carried with me these past few years since the “incident”.  I don’t know if she even knew I carried that guilt, but it was time for me to tell her that I had and it was a defining factor in me deciding what I would and would not do or be as a friend.

I see my friendships…any relationships in my life really… as a reflection of who I am.  Those relationships mirror who I am in some way, negative or positive.  And I am going for much more positive than negative.

It was hard to say all the things I did yesterday without making it sounds like some “oh I am better than you if…”or something… I was afraid it would sound like that… but that is so not what I meant and I think she finally understood that though I know she was initially a bit hurt by my bluntness.  I just truly figured life is too short to live behind flimsy facades of nodding and smiling when it comes to your most important relationships.  If she wants to take that path again, that will ultimately be her decision to make, but I just know that I don’t have room for it in my life and I thought I owed it to her to explain that to her rather than leading her on to thinking I would be supportive of actions I would rather not even talk about because they are so far gone from who I am.

Not that long ago I would have felt like I was being selfish but this time I really truly feel like I am standing up for what I believe in, what I want for myself, and what I need in my life.  And in doing so I am standing up for our authentic friendship, the friendship that exists beyond the barriers of bad decisions and opposing viewpoints.  And in doing so I am also standing up for my friend, the person that she has become that has grown so much.  It’s not just myself that I want the best for, it is her too.


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