You Won’t Know

I started, and finished, reading The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve. It was a mysterious and emotional book, and it brought up this question – how do you know when you truly know someone?

Sometimes I think that people don’t know me, and I’ve heard people say, “You don’t know me. You don’t know what I’ve been through.”

Perhaps in actuality you cannot give a definite yes or no about knowing someone. Sometimes you’re not sure. In the book, the daughter of the protagonist says to her, “No mum, you don’t know me.”

I don’t have many friends. It’s not something I go telling people all the time. If the subject comes up, then that’s it. I truly don’t have many friends, but it doesn’t bother me. In high school, I had a lot of friends, but there’s a reason why they all drifted away when university came around again. They didn’t know me.

James was the one who asked me, “Do they really know you well? Do they know you more than the superficial birthdays and favourite bands?”

Even people I don’t consider close to me know that I’m obsessed with Armor For Sleep and Nirvana (more so back then than now). It made me think, when James said that. We were a huge group, a large circle of friends. But when it came to knowing each other individually, I wondered why it was so strange and why sometimes we didn’t even have things to talk about. I thought I was close to a certain friend, when she didn’t even remember my birthday.

Not that I really cared. I’d go day after day just surrounding myself with a group of people who made me happy. I’ve been through friendships that have fallen apart because people refuse to let go.

Why do people keep holding on? If a relationship ends, no matter what kind it is – a friendship, a romantic relationship – just let it go. Sometimes I wish I could have told my younger self to just let it go. Relationships have their own reason for ending and the point is, it’s ended. It’s ended for a reason, and though some relationships flame back, it’s still not going to be the same. Sometimes you think you know a person, but you have a fight and something blows up, the fire your relationship was has now burned out.

You can still rebuild a friendship after it has broken, but you’re using the same sticks and the only way to make it work is to build a new fire. Friendships can be mended when completely burned, but they will not be the same.

Now, before I consider a person a friend, sometimes I wonder if they really know me beneath the surface. There aren’t many people like that. At the same time, you can’t keep hiding things from people. In the end, no one will know you.

Some things are worth holding on to, but you have to make the right sacrifices. If you don’t let people know you, then you can’t always expect them to open up and do the same. Relationships are mutual. This is why a lot of friends have just dropped out from my past. One in particular, was greedy and manipulative. I didn’t want to give in. Relationships need balance on all sides of the spectrum, but they also need trust. They have to be nurtured, they have to be kept alive.

There’s a reason why you lose contact with people.

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