Know when to fold ’em

People come into your life at different times and for different reasons…. ugh blah blah blah.

Yes, I know that whole “for a reason, season or lifetime” quote. I get the sentiment. But when people’s lives split onto divergent paths, it still hurts. When you have to say goodbye to a friendship, it frankly still just sucks.

I played poker the other night with a group of people that I used to hang out with about once a week.  During football season, every Sunday would include a multi-screen extravaganza of games as background to an on-going poker tournament. While not my immediate group, they were still people I considered friends.  These were the guys who taught me to play poker. They coached me in appropriate bets. They helped quell my obvious tells. But they never did quite teach me how to bluff.

Which I have realized. I can’t bluff. I can’t pretend that we have anything other than a tenuous connection anymore.  Over two years went by while I gallivanted around the US, ended a long-term relationship, adopted New-York and grew into my own.  And they had their own lifestyle changes and developments in that same time period. But as I sat there at that table it was suddenly clear to me that we have absolutely nothing in common anymore. Our lives don’t overlap. Our desires and dreams don’t compliment each other. Even our senses of humor are on different channels. We had grown out of our friendship, or the friendship had simply faded away.


(Such a serious post needed a terrible pun intermission. You are welcome.)

Certainly the friendship-spots that used to be held by my poker crew haven’t sat empty. I’ve made new connections… people who get the me of here and now. People whose life paths seem to be going a similar direction as mine.  People who I have stronger bonds with than just a card game. And I am constantly thankful to have such amazing relationships in my life.

Sometimes it’s hard to face when you have a losing hand.  Even pocket aces should eventually be folded after you have see the flop. (That was my last poker metaphor, I promise.) But even knowing that “it all happens for a reason” and “other cheesy figure of speech about life”, realizing that a relationship has run its course is always sad. And while this feeling is straight up crappy, it’s  nice to know that I haven’t grown jaded. I would rather be sad over a thousand friendships if it means being fully emotionally invested in life. I think there is a saying that goes “without darkness, there are no dreams.” And I don’t plan to ever stop dreaming, darkness or no.

It doesn’t mean I can’t play the occasional game of hold ’em with this Poker Crew. I just have to accept that they are only that and nothing deeper.  And that is absolutely okay.

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