I used to be a really good friend. In college, if someone needed a pregnancy test and was too embarrassed to buy one, I would walk right into the tiny convenience store on campus near the dorms and purchase it, making sure I looked directly into the eyes of the person behind the counter, for maximum awkwardness. If a friend needed housesitting or animal sitting or a ride across the country or money or food or several visits or a kidney, I was all about it. I gave and gave and gave to the people around me and I was happy (and maybe a little proud) to do it. My friends were my life, and I gave of my life according.
However, as time has kept marching mercilessly forward, and I’ve gotten consumed with the really important and super stressful workings of my adulthood, I haven’t had the time or the energy or the life force to really give to my friends that way I used to. I struggled with that for a long time – what does it say about me as a person that I can’t, with any regularity at all, return the phone calls of the people I adore? I have weekends free – why can’t I visit them? They need a kidney, Sarah – get on it.
There are people in Los Angeles County, who live a grand total of ten miles from where I live/work, who I haven’t seen for nearly a year. The way I feel about them hasn’t changed at all – the simple truth is that I am tired. I am tired and old and after work I like to come home and drink a glass of wine while sitting in the very center of my couch (where the cushions bow in, under the weight of many such nights), watching whatever TV show I missed the night before, when I fell asleep at 9 pm.
So, most of the time I’m still the nice, giving person I once was, just burdened by responsibility like every other schmuck in the world. Until, of course, May and June roll around, and everyone starts posting photos of their graduations from all their insane law school or med school or grad school programs, while I sit here and rot in my graduate school prison, still unable to graduate until I can convince the people around me that I am worthy of an email reply. I feel like grad school, for me, has been one bureaucratic or personal or financial nightmare after another, and I’m not above admitting that I am overwhelmingly jealous of people who have positive experiences – so, the end of school year can be a cruel mistress.
Basically: I’m sorry for being such a shitty friend, everyone. But that’s pretty much all on you guys, for being inconvenient and not living in my house, and for graduating from programs that are going to actually benefit your life.