Water and blood are two things we cannot live without, they are essential to our very existence. However, when using them in the context of the phrase, “Blood is thicker than water” their meaning drastically changes. So, this is what I’m pondering:
Is family thicker than friendship or is friendship thicker than family? Or, perhaps, are they both equal?
Lately, I have really been pondering the bonds between people, whether they be blood or water, so to speak. During my life I have had plenty of ups and downs with friends and family alike, as any other person does while growing up. The issue is not about the past, even though some people enjoy living there. My issue is about the present. I thought I had finally gotten to an age where losing friends to unnecessary drama was no longer going to happen, especially without any real conflict, but sadly this is not the case. I have lost waters in the past couple of years whom I have always felt were blood. A fact of which I have been thoroughly warned about since forgiving and taking people back into my life. Unfortunately, I can’t help it. I have a forgiving heart.
2012 started off the way I had anticipated, with a kiss from my sweet and the cracks of fireworks. My phone chiming as the New Year’s wishes rolled in from family and friends. Everything felt fresh, like a chance to get things started off right, especially after some pretty crappy things occurred in the prior year. Shortly after, certain things went a bit downhill, but nothing earth shattering, while others became better than expected. I really couldn’t be happier with the positives but it’s those pesky negatives that still lurk in the shadows, casually nipping at my heels every now and again. Those being the loss of particular friends, one to distance and the other to theatrical drama. Luckily though, the distance isn’t a loss from my heart, it is just a loss of frequent friend dates with my GFF, which I really miss by the way! 😉 The other friend chose to remove herself from my life after some personal shortcomings she was dealing with, which is sad because she has always been like blood to me and my family. I know that these things happen for a reason. I fully accept that people grow apart and need different things throughout the journey of life but, well, this just came out of nowhere and, truth be told, it stung. It seems that our bumpy history from adolescence to adulthood still weighs heavily with her and her family and I am still scrutinized for fights we’ve had over the course of 15+ years. I know, that is pretty unfair as well as unrealistic. We are constantly evolving as people through our experiences so it is crazy to think that I could possibly be the exact same person that I was in high school. However, if not having me around helps her to move on in life and pursue things, then so be it. I wish her nothing but happiness on her journey, not because I wish her to come back, but more because I know what it is like to have such personal struggles holding me back from my dreams. I’ve been through a lot the past few years but now I am finally in a place of pure happiness and am surrounding myself with people I love and whom love me, without prejudices. Whatever makes us happy is what we should do. Period.
On the side of blood, there was also some tension at the end of last year and it leaked into this one, unfortunately. My family was very close once upon a time. I know that makes it sound tragic but it’s not, really, because I am leaning more upon distance than personal affection. We were born and bred in Connecticut, coming out of the womb practically holding hands and giving smush hugs like my cousin and I were famous for. (A smush hug is essentially where you squeeze the person tight and rock back and forth until you fall to the floor in fits of giggles…a must have kind of hug in life.) Anyway, when I was barely 5 years old, my mom and I moved to South Florida and shortly after my grandparents, aunt, uncle and two cousins followed suit, only they moved to the Tampa area. We were still incredibly close, family gatherings for the holidays and cousin pictures at “our park”, which are still great memories, especially the one of my cousin Kortney and I pretending to be dudes in the men’s room. Over the years we have remained pretty close but age has definitely divided us as we continue to grow into ourselves as adults (speaking of my cousins mainly). I love my family but I desperately miss the days of old, sitting on our great-grandmothers porch in her beautiful yellow house, enjoying the gentle breezes of summers in Connecticut. I miss the abundance of family. The comings and goings of friends and friends of friends randomly stopping by. Even though our lives have changed and continue to do so, I still know that our blood is thick, we can overcome anything. Recently the tensions have subsided and it has been a welcome relief because, who really wants to be at odds with their family? There are weddings, anniversary parties, holidays, new relationships, and just general progression of life to be had. I have realized that you can’t go back in time and change things, but you should love the people in your life, no matter what, so that you don’t miss out on the important things. Putting aside any nonsense that you may have going on in order to appreciate what matters.
So, I suppose that my answer is that blood and water are equal to one another in regards to certain people in our lives. It is also true that even though certain relationships, no matter if they are romantic or platonic, don’t work out, they are still important. My closest friends are an extension of family to me, as they should be. I think that is really important to have in a friend, and it is very hard to find. My family are very dear to me as well, even though, like all families, there are sometimes conflicts. At the end of the day, we are blood and we love each other. The hardest thing in life is trusting your heart in the hands of others, that goes for romantic partners, friends and family. You are opening yourself up to pain whenever it involves your heart but it is worth it, I feel and I am glad that I have the people in my life that I do. Even while we have our busy lives and may not be able to be with each other as often as we were as kids, the love is there always. After all…
“‘Tis better to have loved and lost, Than never to have loved at all.” ~ Tennyson