I am an incredibly thoughtful and generous soul. This isn’t just me tooting my own horn, I’ve been told this on numerous occasions. I don’t think about doing thoughtful things, they just come inherently to me. I know that this is not a trait that is instinctual to most; I really wish it was. I do these things because it is in my nature. I don’t do them to receive something in return. My friendship and kindness isn’t a tit for tat situation. However, every now and then, things get out of balance and I am usually the one who get injured.
A perfect example is yesterday’s half marathon (which incidentally I finished in 2:43:15, I was pacing at a 2:38, but I got a bad cramp in my calf and had to walk for a bit. However, insanely good with so little training). This half is a huge deal; many of the elite runners come to the United NYC Half as their warm up to marathon season. There are 30,000 runners from all over who come to participate. It’s even televised locally and on ESPN3. To run it, is an honor and a privilege. Earlier in the week, one of my friends asked me if I would come cheer for her next Saturday at the Sleepy Hollow Half. I said, of course. However, was the gesture reciprocated while I ran the NYC Half? I don’t think the thought even registered on her radar. I had expressed my apprehensions and concerns over my performance numberous times and I could have used support from friends along the course but, I didn’t have any.
I had a friend who relocated to North Carolina. I use to fly down to visit her every few months, however when she would come back up to New York to visit, she would not make time to see me. She felt that since I would come to her, she did not need to see me when she came home and she could focus on the friends who didn’t make the effort to come to visit. This became a large obstacle in our friendship which eventually caused the demise of our friendship.
There are many other examples. I actually have a stash of evidence of this imbalance, like unclaimed Christmas presents for friends too busy to meet up and $50 in Babies R Us credit for a baby gift I kept having to return for a larger size for a friend whose baby is now a year and I still have not met. I promote their causes, I praise their victories, and I support them when they need but I don’t always get the reciprocal treatment.
I’m not going to change who I am; as I have said, it is in my nature. However, I realize I need to be a bit more aware that not everyone is like me and it might be time to reevaluate some things to get back in to balance.