The Fine Line Called Friendship

Friends are a necessary part of life.  Friendships are a required human relationship among social and communal beings. Few can get through the journey of life without having friends. The amount of friends we acquire in life is unique to each individual.  Just as unique as the type of friendships we develop with different people. Certain types of friends are temporary, serving a specific purpose at a precise point in our lives.  Other types of friends are much more permanent, remaining steadfast throughout all of the changes we each endure in a lifetime.  Even the permanent types of friends may come and go, being more present at certain times and less at others, but still they remain always in the category of “closest friends” even if years pass by with little or no communication.

*This is a sponsored post. This scarf was provided to me by Zaful for purposes of this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.  Be sure to check out the Zaful Valentine’s Day 2018 sale!

I am a very social being, craving interaction with people on a level deeper than just mere acquaintances.  As a result, I do have a lot of people in my life who fall into the generic category of “friend.” Some friends have had a presence in my life for most of my existence.  I will often refer to these friends as my oldest and dearest.  But there are other friends in my life with whom I have become faithfully close to in more recent years. By virtue of similar circumstances or location or interests, we meet new people all the time as we go about the business of our days.  While this type of friend does not have the benefit of an extended personal history with you, they can nonetheless become the nearest and dearest to your heart.  These friends with whom you have the opportunity of regular interaction quickly become the ones you rely on for companionship, for advice, for help, for a shoulder to cry on, for a partner with whom to celebrate your successes large or small. These are the friends you spend your days with and become the closest to in the present.

*Scarf: Retro Soft Fringed Blanket Long Shawl Scarf c/o Zaful. Available in 8 colors.

While your lifelong friends know all the details of the person you once were and have watched you grow and change and evolve throughout the years and have loved you through the journey, your daily friends know all the details of the here and now. They know your every trip and fall, your every tiny achievement, how you drink you coffee, your favorite restaurant, your little secrets and your grandest dreams.  They know the nuances of your personality from frequent exposure.  They recognize when you seem a bit off and know exactly what to do to get you back on track.  Heck, they may even know your daily bathroom routine and what medications you take.  These daily friends are the ones whom currently, right at this moment in time, are your very closest friends.  They may be lifelong friends if you are fortunate enough to still live in close proximity to them. But in any regard, they are the friends who are the keepers of your deepest secrets and they hold onto those without judgment and you trust them without fear or shame.

*Vest: Cato Fashions (Old).  Similar here and here.

But when you know someone this well, the line between knowing too much can become blurry.  Boundaries can begin to get all wiggly and wonky.  Perhaps too much has been revealed and one or the other or both involved in the sharing of intimate knowledge becomes uncomfortable.  Ashamed. Fearful. Embarrassed. Judgments can even begin to creep in. Disagreements can happen.  Feelings can get hurt. But just like any other intimate relationship, communication is key.  Without proper communication, all trust begins to break down.  Once this happens, there is very often no recovering from it.

*Jeans: Torrid Premium Stretch Multi Zip Jeggings – Grey Wash.

We walk a very fine line in our closest friendships and sometimes we just plain old get derailed.  So what are we supposed to do when that happens? For me, it is considering all of the factors involved that tripped us over that fine line.  What we could have done differently is really an insignificant pondering since we can never undo what has been done.  All we can do is reevaluate, reconsider, and decide which direction is best to go.  Unlike a marriage, where a court needs to be involved in the dissolution of the relationship, a friendship, or any other non-marital relationship at all really, can simply be dissolved by one party declaring it so. In fact, a conversation on the topic doesn’t even ever have to occur.

*Cashmere Sweater: Kohl’s. (Old). Similar here.

When a friendship is no longer satisfying for one reason or another, perhaps the best decision is to accept that it has run its course and served its purpose. Perhaps it has caused too much drama.  Perhaps there is too much negativity.  Maybe it is just too demanding to maintain it in your current state of affairs. It is possible that friends just grow to not really like each other anymore.  Or maybe life just got too busy for one or both. Whatever the reason may be, it is perfectly acceptable to dissolve friendships throughout our lives.  Moving forward is never a terrible thing.  And nurturing relationships with every single person whom we have ever called a friend is nearly impossible.

*Hat: Nine West from TJ Maxx.  Similar here and here.

So as we journey through this life, meeting new people with every new experience and adventure, it is important to know that some will become acquaintances, some we may never know at all, some may become our temporary friends, and some may become our friends forever.  Recognizing the purpose of these relationships in our lives is as important as appreciating that we had them at all.

So to my friends, past, present, and future, know that I appreciate you and the time we have spent together.  I hold memories that are fond and filled with joy and laughter.  I recognize that each relationship has merely run its course to completion.  And that is okay. Because this is how life goes. Our friendships are walking that fine line through life holding each other’s hands so we don’t trip and fall.  And if we do fall, there is another hand waiting on the sidelines to pull us back up.

*Boots: Josie Lace Up Boots from Shoe Dazzle.

Have you let your dearest friends know that you appreciate them?

Keeping it on the edge,

Shelbee

Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups.

 

 

 

Follow shelbeeontheedge@gmail.com:

I am a 40 something Army wife and stay-at-home mother of 2 boys and 2 cats named Dave and Frankie. I have a passion for helping other women feel fabulous in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life.

41 Responses

  1. Looking fabulous Shelbee! Lovely photos! xx

  2. Another great post Shelbee! I think friendships go through different seasons. The older I get the more I recognize the people I can really rely on and who care for and respect me. When the boys were younger it was easy to have friends with kids their age and we all hung out together. Now most have literally moved on (relocation) and it takes more time and effort to maintain those relationships while trying to find others to fill the void. I do believe that in all relationships you get out of them what you put into them and friendships are vital to our well being!
    xo,
    Kellyann

    • Kellyann, thank you so much for sharing your perspective on friendships! They are such a healthy part of our existence and being an Army wife you learn to build your network with every new location and those people become your tribe. The friends you rely on while you live near one another and the friends who remain Army friends for life. And yes, there are so many other friends we make along the way who bring all sorts of different things to the table. We would all be a very lonely bunch without our friends!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  3. This is such a true post Shelbee. Often, the more our lives change, the more we see who our real, true, abiding friends are. My real friends would never fall out with me over disagreements over politics or anything of that nature. It just wouldn’t happen. We might disagree and argue, but we would get over it. I’m the exact opposite of you though. I’m a total introvert. I’m not shy. I just don’t want a bus load of people that I socialize with. I keep that circle small, otherwise I would be worn out.

    • Thanks so much, Julie, for sharing your perspective on friendship! My most intimate circle is quite small, but I do love being social and I cannot stand small talk. I need depth and interest and mystery and intrigue. I love hearing people’s stories and getting to them on a deeper level. Thanks for popping in and have a great week!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  4. Love this post! Friendship is an odd thing. I love people and always want to be kind and helpful but I don’t really rely on anyone for anything. Maybe its because I am so introverted. I swear girl your pictures get more beautiful with each post. These captures are amazing and I love the color of your hat and scarf in the outdoors! Peace! Cheryl

    • Cheryl, thank you so much for the lovely compliments and for sharing your perspective on friendship. And I am sure many of my friends who may read this post will interpret in so many different ways, too. There are not a lot of people I rely either…but the military lifestyle often forces you into asking friends for help sometimes! And the only thing to do is adjust to that. Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  5. Years ago I thought that the group of friends we had, would be friends for the rest of our lives. And then my health went poorer. And that changed a lot. Sadly. On the other side, I gain new friends too! Beautiful photos dear. You are looking very good!

    • Nancy, friendship is really quite a crazy thing, isn’t it? But I do think we have the friends we need when we need them! And I am honored to call you friend! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your perspective on friendship.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  6. So very true. I am pretty much an introvert and some people don’t understand that. One thing I try to do is observe people and try to figure out where their heart is. That is the big thing with me. Many people talk big but don’t follow through or such. I want to know the real person and you will get to know mine.

    • Patrick, thanks so much for sharing your perspective on friendship! I am with you on the heart thing. I can’t be friends with someone who does not have a true and good heart. I need to surround myself with positive happy people who mean well in this world…whether they are introverted or extroverted doesn’t matter much to me. If they are good-hearted kind person, then I am on board! Thanks for popping in today and have a great week, my friend!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  7. Great article on friendship. I am glad our paths have crossed. Glad to call you friend. ❤️

    • Thanks so much, Lisa! I am so thankful that our paths have crossed as well! You are so fabulous and such a great friend with amazing energy that I love to be around!

      See you Wednesday!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  8. Dear Michelle,
    It makes me sad to think of letting go of friendships. I tend try to hang onto them even when they may not be good for me. I believe in communication and working out problems…that’s probably why I’ve been married for 35 years. But I have seen that others may not be willing to do the same. I miss my old friends who are far away now, and it’s not easy to find those special people who are the perfect fit. But I am appreciating more than ever those friends near and far who are good souls who see the good in me and share with open hearts.
    On another note, I think you have had enough practice that you can now become a model 😉 so go for it, Girl!
    Angie
    http://Www.yourtrueselfblog.com

    • Angie, thank you so very much for sharing your friendship story and your perspective on those kinds of relationships. Communication is the key in every relationship, in my opinion. I have some really great friends with whom communication is the only reason we have survived as friends through the years. Many times, the friendships could have ended over misunderstandings and silly fights, but being able to rationally discuss the troublesome issues is what makes for the strongest friendships. And as I am meeting more and more fabulous people through this blogging journey, I am realizing how many amazing people are out there that I now include in my list of friends even if I have only met them once or not at all except virtually. And that last compliment…wow…thanks! It has taken me quite some time to get comfortable being photographed and that is only with the people I am comfortable with! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful week, my friend.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  9. Spot on Shelbee! Truly a must-read post for any woman that has suffered from the loss of a friendship. You can always appreciate what was without having to continue a friendship line forever. People evolve and what once met a need may just not anymore. #embracethechange

    Elizabeth | http://nattygal.com

    • Elizabeth, thank you so very much for this comment! That is so validating to me that you have called this post a must-read. When friendships end for whatever reason, we often forget that we need to take a moment to mourn the loss of that special relationship. And it is okay to mourn those types of losses. In fact, it is very healthy do so, but also to be able to accept and move on. #embracethechange indeed. I love that! Thank you again and have a fantastic week, my friend.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  10. ¨So to my friends, past, present, and future¨ :wise words, Shelbee.
    I found your post really sincere and I loved that you talked about breaking a friendship too, when the relationship is not working. You don´t get to hear a lot of that, normally it´s about the benefits of the friendships. I had even made an online search about that matter, a few years ago, when I needed to get out of a friendship, and I was surprised by how little info I had found. Thank you for sharing.

    • Helen, thank you so much for sharing your friendship journey with me. It is true that many people will talk about the benefits of friendship and there are many. But sometimes you do have to “break up” with friends for various reasons. And people underestimate how hard that can be. Friends truly can be family that we get to choose and when we lose those people, it is often quite difficult and a mourning process needs to happen in order to properly heal from the loss. Like Billy Joel says, “Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes”. We just need to embrace the changes!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  11. Marilee Gramith

    These photos are so beautiful! The colors and textures in the wooded surroundings, fence line, lightly (!?!) snow covered leaves and the beautiful neutral colors, cable knits, furs, and leathers you chose to wear all create a lovely mood.
    The friendship theme is always a very compelling topic. Your philosophies about the depth of relationships, the roles friends play, the levels of trust, the vulnerability we allow or can tolerate, the losses, the changes, the growth, the act of just moving on , or forward, can all impact us in as many ways as we acknowledge or can perceive.
    Having moved away from a state I lived in my entire 66 years I also I left behind teaching colleagues who had become long term dear and cherished friends. In addition I left those lifelong childhood friends who knew me “when” and now (to a lesser degree). I’m currently feeling an emotional chasm from a lack of connecting to those beloved women. I’m also disconnected from the “me” that is part of the nurturing their friendship provides.
    Thank you Shelbee for the opportunity to write about friendship and uncover much of what I’ve been thinking and feeling for a few months now. I’ve recently met and enjoyed the company of a few women who are charming, strong, intelligent, and rich in character and kindness. I’m including you in that group Shelbee. Isn’t it wonderful that the world contains an abundance of people who can enrich our lives?

    • Jude, thank you so much for sharing your friendship story with me. I am so glad that I could inspire you to process the thoughts that may have been cycling around unresolved and also that I could provide the opportunity and the forum for you to share and “write it out.” I have always found the process of writing out things that I need to resolve to be so cathartic and helpful. And I do believe it really does get harder to make true and genuine friends as we get older…because we know better what we want from our friendships, we are more patient, but we tolerate less. Our boundaries become firmer with age and that really does impact how we make friends and with whom. But I agree completely with you that there are so many people in this world who can enrich us in one way or another…and they will cross our paths frequently, we just need to keep our eyes, minds, and hearts open to see them and accept them for what they can offer. Thank you, once again, for such a thoughtful and inspiring comment!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  12. Empowering and enlightening post Shelbee. Friends are a vital part of our lives and it’s important to nurture these relationships. For me, I struggle with not seeing my friends too much or being able to talk to them on say a monthly basis. Since I have had my son, resigned my job and moved a bit further away from these friends, it’s been rare that I hear about updates or anything unlike when we worked together and had the luxury to see each other in meetings, had lunch or go out after work. It’s been challenging me to work through what we have and if we were really just acquaintances meant to meet for a season or so. I am still working through that and I am sure it’ll be clearer as time pass on. I hope you are having a marvelous start to your week and happy Tuesday!

    Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com

    • Maureen, thank you so much for sharing your friendship story and journey with me. It is really hard when you see friends every day because you work with them or other similar interests make your paths cross often. Then suddenly, your life changes and you find yourself wondering where you fit in with that group before and if you will find your tribe again. I remember when we moved to upstate NY, 350 miles away from my friends and family, and I cried all the time for nearly a year before I finally found my people! I think we need to undergo somewhat of a mourning process first before we can move on, venture out, and find new friends. In time, you will adjust to your new life as a stay at home mom and you will be amazed that you ever doubted your place at all. I hope you are having a fantastic week, my friend.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  13. Good things to consider—love these shots!

    • Thank you so much, Dawn! I got inspired and I ran with it! I was very pleased with the therapeutic effects of writing on this topic. Have a fabulous day, my friend, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  14. Oh Shelbee, this was so therapeutic for me to read! Thanks for putting it out there. I am definitely one who hangs on for as long as possible, and finds myself tired and ragged from trying to make more and more efforts and wondering what “I did wrong” or why others don’t want to try as hard as me. Your line of hating small talk hit the nail on the head. I need to get to know people’s heart and see their true side, and if it never gets past superficial talk, it is really hard for me to feel a connection. I start to feel anxiety from the blank, stale talk. I sometimes feel like I wasnt “taught” that it is ok to let go of some relationships. Boyfriends, significant others, are expected to be let go when we break up. But as much as we need friendships, some aren’t the best for us or them. Good, healthy relationships with tons of communication are where it’s really at. Thanks for the reminder that we have friendships from all seasons of life, and THAT IS OK!

    I loved this photo shoot too. The colors and the background and YOU all just blended so magically!

    • Aimee, thank you so much for this wonderfully insightful comment and for sharing your friendship journey complete with its struggles. Sometimes just the process of writing it all down can be so therapeutic. And I am so very glad that my writing has helped you get through the same process. That kind of validation is so important! And this was a fantastically fun photo shoot, for sure. Thanks for taking the spot on the other side of the camera! That is true and dedicated friendship. I love you!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  15. You look gorgeous Shelbee! Love everything 🙂

  16. Those are some insane boots! The look very nice though. I love the shawl and hat, perfect for the cold weather.

  17. You look so amazing, I love your outfit! I am glad we’ve connected through the blog-osphere!

    • Me, too, Laura! You are so incredibly sweet and I am always so inspired by your fashion choices as well as your work ethic and how you do it all! Thank you for stopping by and for all of your support and your friendship.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  18. Well written, the different types of friendships are definitely something we can all relate to. And I love your outfit! Glad to have found you through Paula’s No Rules Weekend Blog Party!

  19. I love everything about this outfit but those boots are epic

    Mollyx

    • Thanks so much, Molly! The boots actually kind of shocked me when I first opened them. They looked a little more modest online, but then I figured what the heck, I’ll rock these bad girls anyway!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  20. This is so true. Some friendships come to a natural end when circumstances change, and sometimes they end abruptly which is always unpleasant. I have known my oldest friend since we were 5, and although we don’t see each other often, when we do meet up it’s like we only saw each the week before. I’ve been lucky enough to make new friends since moving 4 years ago – mostly parents of Isobel’s school friends, and they’re a lovely bunch. I love your outfit Shelbee, the neutral colours and different textures look great on you. Really gorgeous photos!

    Emma xxx
    http://www.style-splash.com

    • Emma, thanks so much for your lovely compliment and for sharing your friendship experience. I think we often take friendships for granted, too, and knowing that they change throughout our lives is helpful. For me anyway! I love that your best friend is from when you were 5. I have a dear friend whom I met when we were 8 and years go by and when we do see each other it is as if nothing as changed!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

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