Can you read my mind?

So I'm a little aggravated with my friend whom we'll call Tina. You see Tina never calls me unless she needs something. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for being there when my friends need me, but what about when I need them? What about having my friend call up just to say hi and see how I'm doing? After all, in my world, it really is all about me. Some would call that selfish, and they are correct, but if I don't put me first, who will?

So back to Tina. I don't hear from her for weeks and then one day she'll call me up and complain about her job, her husband, her family, her other friends and expect me to drop everything and listen to her. Which I have done many many times. In between her infrequent calls, however, I seethe. I get upset that she doesn't return my emails in a timely manner. I get upset that she can make time to go out with her other friends but not me. I get upset. Period. And I seethe. And I don't say anything.

And then it occurred to me- what if Tina has no idea how upset I am? What if Tina thinks nothing is wrong, that she is being as good a friend as she can while also juggling her family, her job, her husband, and her other friends? When I was in law school (which is a fairly long time ago- longer than I like to admit sometimes) I remember sitting in an IHOP at 9am on a Sunday morning, looking around at all the other people in there and it occurred to me that each of these people are totally wrapped up in their own lives. They don't know if I'm happy or sad and I don't know if they are rich or poor or excited or frustrated or worried or content. We never know what's going on in other people's lives. Each of us has issues to deal with: people are getting divorced or getting married, falling in love or falling out of love, welcoming new children into their lives or burying a parent, dealing with illness and financial concerns or coming into a financial windfall, feeling like the luckiest person on earth or feeling like they can't catch a break. We're all just here today dealing with what life has to throw at us today. So maybe we should all try to not be so hard on ourselves, not be so hard on our friends, not be so hard on our families and instead acknowledge that we're all- each of us- just doing the best we can for where we are.

I'll try to remember that next time I get upset with Tina. I don't know if it will work, but at least I will try.

After all, this is the life.

- a


  1. Assuming positive intent can have many simplifying benefits. Granted, it can be hard to do when others have historically given us reason not to do so, but even then, doing can sometimes eliminate unnecessary complication and strife.


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