Today I said no for the first time in a while. A friend needed a ride to Chicago for a flight and I honestly don't want to blow my whole night away driving to and from Chicago. More honestly, I want to hang out with other friends. I feel like a jerk for that. Maybe I am. But, surprisingly, I think the real reason I'm a jerk isn't that I said no to my friend, I think it's that I made it seem like I was committed enough to make the drive. I made it seem like I would give the world for her. But the honest truth is, she cares about the relationship more than me. And I'm too scared to say so. I think we both know. But it took a while to realize. Maybe it took a while for me to realize. Maybe that's how relationships work. You spend a lot of time figuring out how important someone is to you and there are tipping points (like this) that tell you a lot. It still just feels shitty. I feel like I'm not the hero I make myself out to be. And that's the problem, I think I often use people, use their needs to make me feel good. It's messed up. Though I think I'm beginning to understand why.
The past few months have been a hell of a struggle for me socially. I spent a lot of the past couple years trying to create real relationships, learning and growing along the way. What I've only recently realized is that I can't have real, deep relationships with 30 people. It's just too much. I didn't know that when I was just starting this process off. I figured it was good I had a lot of good friends but now I realize I'm shortchanging many of them, over-promising and under-delivering. I act like I can meet their needs, and do in spurts, but it's not sustainable. Really what's coming is a pruning. I'm going to have to prune my relationships and I'm scared of losing people (leaving me alone) and I'm scared of hurting people. It's moments like this, when I say no to a friend, that hurt and scare me the most (and likely do the same for them). I should probably ask how my friend feels about this, because I could be all in my head. But still, this feels like a creation of boundaries, which is probably good, which might mean I'm a jerk, which might just make my life fuller.