Another thing I'm letting go of is going to sound silly: it's the book list. Sort of. I will still have my Amazon list and my library list, but the library list is getting mightily consolidated. It used to be five closely written pages (with much crossing-out, but still), plus the file on the computer for things I should look up to see if the library has them. Some of those things have been removed from the stacks since I wrote them down. With some I've forgotten why I wanted to read them in the first place. So I've checked out a big stack of library books that have been on the list for awhile, and I'm going to continue doing that. But I'm also letting go of some books. If it's something our library doesn't have, do I want it enough to get it on ILL? Do I want it enough to buy it? Sometimes yes. But sometimes no. Fairly often no. If not, keeping it written down somewhere doesn't seem to serve much purpose. I'm letting go of the lists as a crutch. I'm using them as a practical aid or not at all. I have known for quite some time that I would never read everything that has ever interested me, and that's a good thing. Means that people keep writing good books. If the lists are going to be clutter rather than leading me to books I want, I don't want them.
There are a few other things I'm trying to let go of, triggered by the vertigo months. I absolutely hate it when people set up traps for other people, the kind that are phrased as, "If you were REALLY my friend, you would..." or, "If you REALLY loved me, you would...." I refuse to do that.
But it's not the same thing to set up traps like that as to realize that some people are not the friends they once were, and some people are not the friends you thought they were. Not everybody has to be your best friend. Not everybody even has to be the kind of cordial acquaintance with whom you interact frequently. But I think there does have to be some kind of feeling that one person is not carrying the whole relationship, whether it's an intense, close friendship or a casual, occasional one. There needs to be some sense of mutuality, whether that means that we exchange lj comments every couple of months or that we e-mail each other daily. And with one particular friend (who has told me that they never read stuff on the internet, so it's not you!), there has been neither the slightest whisker of concern for how I'm doing nor a particularly good reason why not. This isn't like the people who have a new baby, or the people who have a medical problem of their own, or the people in stressful work situations, or the people who never knew me that well in the first place, or...a million other things. It's just the expectation that if there is to be a friendship, it's my job to make it happen. And it turns out that I am not short on monkeys. I am not even short on monkeys who like me and are willing to do something so drastic as write a quick e-mail or make a quick comment once in several months of this difficulty. For quite awhile, I kept thinking that while I didn't actually want to talk to this particular person, I wanted to want to someday in the future. Now...I'm having some difficulty seeing why.
It's probably a sign about the friendship that all of the reasons why this is bothering me are not things that I will miss about being friends with this person -- I was missing those even when this person was around -- but doubts about how I ought to treat people. Have I given enough of the benefit of the doubt? Have I allowed for the way that friendships naturally ebb and flow? Did I talk to this person about things that were bothering me before deciding to just let it go? Am I trying to demand that my health problems should be the center of everyone's life and attention? But I think that's yes, yes, yes, and no, respectively. I think it's okay not to be angry, not to be snarky, not to be hurt, just to be...done. And to feel like you are seeing clearly that it's done, that this is not your friend any more. So I guess I am.