Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's Complicated

You know that part of your profile on Facebook where it is possible to designate the status of one's romantic relationship as "It's Complicated" as an alternative to single, married, divorced, in a relationship, etc.? I have never really understood that, thought it somewhat vague and bothersome, and now find myself irked by Facebook's commandeering of yet another word in the English language having to do with relationships.

Earlier this year I liked to joke that my life could have been called "It's complicated up in the air", based on some of the uncomfortable similarities between my life and the lives portrayed in the films "It's Complicated" and "Up in the Air". The challenges of navigating through a world of frequent travel and newly unmarried status in mid-life, the complexities of maintaining a relationship with my ex and engaging in a few with bad -boy types, the discovering of self and continued attempts to strike a work/ life balance all combined into an admittedly complicated state.

My emotional roller coaster put a strain on my closest friendships as i forced my friends - and me - to see parts of me i was not so proud of. We had to examine our boundaries and assumptions, our willingness to be honest even when honesty was really hard. It was complicated, indeed, and testament to the strength of our relationships that we could and still do work our way through the ins and outs of our needs and wants, our ups and downs, our abilities to give and our needs to protect ourselves.

Having recently been accused by someone with whom I have a rocky past and a very different communication style that I was making a friendship too complicated, I had to pause. Too difficult and without enough benefit may be an accurate assessment, but too complicated? Life is complicated, relationships - real, meaningful friendships - are complicated, and the only way I know to grow them is to deal with the full range of a person honestly and directly. None of us come a la carte with our qualities to be picked and chosen from.

It's complicated? You bet!

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