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Saturday, April 27, 2013


I dreamt this morning about an ex-friend.  Let’s call her “Deb”.  We were friends for many years, she made me crazy, and finally after the last straw of the last straw and the broken backs of many camels, I finally said “farewell” – and I finally had a life where I wasn’t perpetually put out by her dramas.  My life is infinitely better.

“Farewell” is goodbye, but it’s a goodbye with good wishes.  I’m not sticking pins in a Deb voodoo doll.  I honestly wish her well, but it took me a long time to give myself permission to quit hanging out with someone who made me feel awful. 

Each farewell, even a temporary farewell, rips me apart and permanent goodbyes are devastating.  I try to hide this from people because it just makes them feel bad, or it gives them a power to hurt me, but it’s true – and since we all have the ability to create the situations we most fear, I’ve said goodbye a lot throughout my life.  I don’t know which farewell prompted this poem…

My face is wet with tears
And my chest is clenched with pain
Old sadness has come to visit
With me, yes, again.

This all sounds rather depressing, but the flip side of it is that if we have the power to bring what we most fear, we also have the power to get the things we most want.  If we face our fears we can live our dreams.

I recently acquired a houseguest.  I don’t know how long he’s staying.  What I do know is that my quiet, singular life has been disrupted by Sanford and Son repeats, philosophical conversations, and dirty coffee cups – and I find that I don’t really mind, and more, that I enjoy having him around.  I also find myself contemplating my tub with a deep suspicion that there are invisible dead skin cells lurking in it, and remembering past fights from many years ago that might presage future fights – and having enough personal insight to recognize that I might be looking to pick a fight so I can control how this comfortable living arrangement ends.

Which makes me think I need to confront my issues with farewells.  Farewells aren’t always goodbyes, and maybe it’s time to consider opening my heart again?  If I find myself with another friend like “Deb” or a lover like my ex, I’ve proven I can say “farewell” without the world ending.  I don’t have to put up with people who make me unhappy, and I don’t have to pick a fight to avoid rejection.

I signed up for online dating years ago.  I hadn’t really thought about that much because it was just something I tried back when and I’m too busy working now to think about dating… WAIT!!  I’m working for Religion now, and what did I say in that online profile??  I tore through my old papers looking for login info and revised some things.  I wonder how the “safer” profile contradicts my intention of being open?

Hey, well, maybe I’ll try to be somewhat more open in the future?


  1. You are so honest with your posts Linda, I can feel some pain in them but I feel Deb was never truely what I would class as a friend. True friends are those who would always put you before them, the rest are just acquaintances. As for the love life go for the on line dating. I was lucky enough to meet and marry my soul mate at the age of 20 but I do realise that this is the exception and not the rule. My daughter's friend has found a wonderful partner via online dating and they seem to be very happy indeed. Sending a virtual hug your way, it's a shame you live the other side of the pond....we could enjoy sharing a coffee (or tea!) break,
    Jane x (your blog friend ;0) )

  2. Always a delight to read your posts, Linda. And I always take something away to think about. Not that I need more things to think about, mind you. But your words give me different things to think about. Like dandelion thingies in the breeze. So thanks.

  3. Beautiful art and honest thoughts...just what *I'd* hope for in a friend. Thanks once again for mirroring exactly where I'm at right now!

  4. Thank you for stretching my mind on the theme of farewell. I was going to skip this week's IF theme, but I'm having second thoughts...

  5. I really don't like farewells either. The prompt made me a little sad, so maybe that's why I chose an inanimate object. Your dandelion fuzz is a sweet calming take for this week and accompanies your words nicely!
    Still, you're smart to say farewell to the Debs in your life, but to not totally close your doors.

  6. If you're ever in Ohio Jane :) It would be fun to actually see the people we talk to online, wouldn't it?

    Thanks for the comments everybody! I enjoy the thoughts I get from seeing your posts, so glad I can give some thoughts to think about too.

  7. You have closed a door and opened one. That is natural and okay, although it provokes sadness and anxiety.
    Your dandelion parachute is doing the same: saying farewell and heading for uncharged territories.
    I wish you well, Linda. I know you are clever in action and skilful in self reflection to do what is right for you and your friends.

  8. I've had a similar experience with an old friend recently. I don't initiate contact now. But agreed to have lunch a few weeks ago and it was the same old thing. He managed to hurt my feelings again. Just like old times. I'm feeling farewell, but it is hard to actually say farewell. Good luck with your house guest!

  9. So many things to comment on!! First, I love the image you've chosen to accompany these thoughts. The dandelion sees floating away seem so appropriate.
    2nd, I think we've all had a "Deb" or 2 (or more!) in our lives. It is sometimes difficult to break from people that are so self-consumed. You always want to continue to hope they might offer YOU support some day, instead of you doing all the listening & caring in a friendship. You are better off....
    3rd...I busted out laughing about your comment about your tub....frightening how my mind works in similar fashion...
    And lastly, about the online dating thing...I had tried many, many different sites, taking breaks of sometimes years between each one...with nightmarish results. And yet, I kept doing it after the trauma wore off. MY profile was funny...filled with wit & verve...somewhat as a test to see who might match it by answering with something clever. Sadly, many times over, I received replies that were boring, perverse, or evidence that they liked the picture & hadn't read a single word. I didn't go on many dates, & the ones I did go on will be fodder for the anecdotal book I've been trying to write for several years now - - hey, if I had to live through some of these experience, I should at least make some money from it!! Not sure exactly WHY I tried it again last spring...guess I figured it might be worth the comedy, if nothing more, but I can honestly say, I met an amazing (in a GOOD way for a change) guy. The male version of me, actually...except with a lot less hair on his head, & (thank God) more on his body! So........... well, I guess what I'm trying to say is, well, it might be worth a few disappointments & laughs.... :)

  10. I think the Debs of the world always try to worm their way back in, then there's often the honeymoon period again, and then they wear you out again. The best friends grow with us and there's give and take.

    Congrats on the success with dating Mit! Success stories give the rest of us some hope for trying :)

    Thanks for the comments everybody!

  11. I used to hang on to relationships because I thought, "No one's perfect, including me," so I'd try to value the goodness of the person.

    No more! Life's too short and time is limited, and there are so many interesting people in the world who stimulate my brain cells and emotions in a good way.

    I still pick up a dandelion and blow it and watch it "dissipate."

  12. I used to have the same thoughts Anita and excused too many bad behaviors from the Debs. Now I have more time to hang out with people I enjoy more too.

  13. Beautiful art, Linda! As delicate a subject as this, it conveys a very strong image. Hope there's a way to keep the "weeds" like Deb out of our green pastures! ;o)

  14. Thanks Michele! May you be Deb-free too -- or maybe the world would be better if all the Debs learned how to give and take?