I have spent many a day reflecting on one particular stormy relationship I have had for more than a year now.
Jono and I were, for the lack of a better word, forced into a work relationship a year and four months ago, which we embarked upon cordially enough. He was backpacking through the country before stumbling upon this work opportunity, and seemed to carry a pleasant European charm with him. Witty but cautious, friendly but mysterious. My sarcastic Sagittarian self instantly felt drawn to him, and felt like we would get along easily. I got along very well with everybody else, so why would this be any different, if not better?!
Within the space of two weeks, little arguments were making their way into our new alliance. Sporadic at first, they became much more frequent and exponentially more intense with time. Interestingly, these arguments only happened in the workplace, or relating to the work itself.
I have always been blunt, and in many unfortunate settings, hopelessly, tactlessly so. However, I have never been known to lose my temper to the extent that I find myself spitting venom at another person… for whatever reason. Except, I found, if the reason presented itself in the form of Jono.
Why, oh, why, did we shriek at each other the way we did? Why could we not seem to co-exist in the same business without wanting to shred the other to pieces? Who knows.
A beer usually acted as a Band-Aid, a quick fix, to the surface of our problem. Knowing that, it sometimes became difficult to even get either of us to sit to have that beer!
“Why would I want to try and “fix” this, when he’s being an insensitive nutcase?!”
“She’s freaking crazy, I hate when she speaks to me so rudely!”
Yeah, most times our mostly-senseless fights would stretch for days before we agreed to sit and talk it out. Over a couple of beers, of course.
We gradually came to realise that we each did not have the faintest idea of how to communicate with the other in a way that did not rub their feathers so violently. However, this problem only seemed to exist when work was the subject. Outside of work-related topics, we got along as well as peanut butter and jelly on toast. Which is pretty well, obviously.
Now, for a whole host of unrelated reasons, I ended up leaving the business after more than a year of having invested my time and effort into it. Strangely, or perhaps not so strangely, in the months following my exit from that workplace, my relationship with Jono seemed to improve. We caught up for drinks several times- mighty strong mojitos on one occassion- and I always walked away from those catch ups racking my brain for the tiniest inkling of a reason as to why we used to hold each other in so much disdain when we made a pretty terrific duo as friends! And each time, I struggled to find an answer other than the pure fact that, professionally, we never learned to communicate in a way that didn’t offend the other to huge degrees.
Jono has now left the country, and with him he has taken a little piece of my unsuspecting heart.
Two days before he left, we caught up for what I kept stressing to his laughing blond head was only our last meal together in this country this time. We spent the whole day after lunch together; if there was a way to make a day last three times its length, I would have done it then and still spent it the same way.
I was right after all. My sarcastic Sagittarian self still likes his witty and adventurous personality for what it is, and we definitely do get along easily. I do wonder how we managed to stay friends after so much turbulence for most of our acquaintance, but what is a great friendship without a little bit of crisis anyway?