One of the things I’m starting to learn is how important friendships are to me.
I spent the evening hanging out with The Artist in her studio; we had a great time chatting about nothing in particular while she did some repetitive work on an installation.
I had originally intended to go to yet another networking event, but decided against it after I realised I’d rather spend time with my friend. Just random, plain, unstructured, lovely, friendship building time. I don’t remember the last time I allowed myself that luxury.
I realise there are a lot of things I’ve omitted or let decay while I was in a relationship with my previous boyfriend — so much so I didn’t even realise what I’d let go, and how one-dimensional I’d gotten. You can’t have this kind of time with a friend, when you’re in a committed relationship, really. There’s always something couple-related to do: some schedule to follow, some compromise to fulfill, somewhere to be.
Talking to The Artist made me realise that I needed to face the Corporate Lawyer and call it what it was. So, I met him for a late dinner (he’d just come off work), and told him that I’d prefer if we stayed friends, but that I really liked him and did mean friends. Not just sorta occasionally hanging out. And definitely not fading into the woodwork, or into the distance. Or whatever metaphor you’d like to pick to suit your mood.
He was worried about his job and really thinks he’s going to lose his position in his firm this Friday; or if not this Friday, then some other week. He looked dejected when I told him that generally most layoffs do occur on Fridays, not the middle of the week. He also told me about the argument he’d had with his sister and the annoyance he’d felt at his friend, a fellow corporate lawyer. He was going to say something really mean about her, but stopped himself, just as I intervened and tried to gently direct his attention elsewhere. I could see the stress and worry on his face. But I think that he’d be fine if he lost his job. He has good skills, works for one of the best law firms, and has done interesting work. It is definitely hard, though, and I felt guilty for giving him the “let’s be friends” speech given his current stress level.
But I certainly don’t think that giving him the speech would be better if I’d waited. There is really no good time to say “I’m sorry, I’d like to see other people.”
And now I’m off to bed. It’s been a long day.