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Friendship: The Suicide Lane on the Highway of Life

Posted by goldwriting on July 2, 2008

Before you get all worried about this being some morbid post where the ails and angers of life gets splayed out to the sound of keyboard strokes tapped by Hot Topic blackened fingernails, relax, this isn’t going that direction. The title actually comes from an early moment about seven years ago when I first moved to California and someone pointed out that daring middle lane in certain roads where both directions of traffic are legal, usually meant for left turns off the road, but commonly used for passing people we randomly decide don’t deserve to be traveled behind. As I first laid rubber to the road here I was astounded that more people didn’t just plow into each other in the lane so aptly dubbed “the suicide lane”, but some little piece of that evolutionary survival instinct must keep us from multiple head-on collisions every day.

So how does that connect to Friendship? What a good question! Here’s my answer. Friendship is a give and take relationship. You get out of it what you put in. If the friendship is solid and you call someone everyday to check in on them or just talk, you can very well expect that they will call you as well and think of you first when they need/want someone to talk to. On the flip side, if you put no effort in to keep in touch or show people that you still think about them, you can equally expect they will let you slip from their minds as well. It is the emotional equivalent of the one-lane/two-way street.

Added to this fun ride on the relationship road is the possibility that you and your friend might be driving different cars, traveling at different speeds or lastly, heading to different destinations. What’s to be done now? Truth be told, everyone is headed in different directions, but we can have very similar ways of driving there. That is the secret to being on the same road together, how do you drive your car/truck/Vespa/Segway? (does anyone know someone who actually owns one of these) There needs to a shared respect of the road and of the other people on it, but if someone starts flipping U-turns in the middle of the intersection or just plain ignoring those amazingly loud “drunk bumps” on the side of the road, maybe it is time to stop taking that road on the way to your personal destination. All that happens in those cases is you get slowed down, taken off course and sometimes redirected completely. The goal in friendships is to find those people that not only seem to be heading your way, but their driving style actually helps you even more. They might leave a nice tailwind for you to slide into or they could be clearing the way ahead, showing you all the possibilities that lie before you. Also, they know when to let their foot off the gas and let you move into the pole position, blocking for them instead of the other way around. Give-and-Take. What a novel philosophy.

So maybe it’s time to sit back and look at the road in front of you. Who’s on it? Where are they going and how do they plan on getting there? Is this particular road trip the one you need to be on? Trust me, if you even been on intensely long car rides, you know the importance of choosing the right passengers.

Safe and pleasant trips to you all. I’m packing Pop-Tarts and Pop music for mine.

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