I’ve asked my mother why this is, as any confused child just might. “Because this is what happens in life – it’s called growing up. You should try it sometime.”
“But I still have interesting things to say,” I respond trying to defend myself.
“Mandy, it’s no longer about you. Why can’t you understand that?”
“I’m your number one priority, right?”
“Yes, but only because if you’re not at least someone’s number one priority, you’ll probably throw a fit like a three-year-old getting her way.”
And, of course, she’s right.
Since living in New York, I have gone through several groups of friends. It’s not like it is in high school or college where you to cling to your friends in this impossibly devoted way that has no room in adulthood. People are constantly coming in and out of your life, people are changing, people are moving, people are mostly out for themselves, and at least that I understand. I guess it takes a selfish person to understand another selfish person, as opposed to one who has moved on to the next chapter of their life.
I have not spoken to my sister, whom I used to speak to almost everyday, in almost a month. I know this is because she has a lot of shit on her plate. She’s dealing with an extremely sick sister-in-law, a dog who was just diagnosed with cancer and two sons who are that age that they’re pretty much hell on wheels. And while part of me is sad and misses her, as I’ve been unable to hear her voice and share what’s been going on with me, another part of me is doing her best to truly understand. I need to comprehend that this is just how things go. I need to grasp the fact that I haven’t heard from my best friend Thal in months is because she and her husband thought it would be a great idea to take their 10-month-old to Paris to expose him to a city he’ll never remember having gone to in a first place. But hey, George is her priority now and that’s that.
I’m the first to admit I’m selfish and self-involved. I’m the first to admit to all of my flaws, because I am overly aware of them and try my best to have at least somewhat of a handle on them. But still, I’m at a loss sometimes and feel truly alone. So I call my mom and have her explain it to me again:
“I can’t believe we have to go over this once a week.” she always says. “Where on earth did you come from and why can’t your brain accept reality.”
I don’t know, but understanding people who don’t think like me has never been my strong suit. At least I’m aware of that, too.