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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Friendship.

Friendship is so strange, isn't it?

Some days I look at my life and think to myself - I don't really have friends locally.

Not that many, any way.

Not the kind that I can call up at a moment's notice and say, hey, what are you up to and do you want to come over?

I underestimate the relationships I have in that way. It remains true. In many ways. And then when I decided to sort of wallow in it in my head, life threw me some curveballs and I connected with some friends again.

A friend called me up to take a walk with her. She came here, we walked my neighborhood and talked for like an hour.

Another friend texted me and twisted my arm to join her for a night out.

A third asked me to go for coffee/tea/whatever with her one morning.

Another asked me to grab lunch on a free day.

That same friend picked me and my kiddo up yesterday for lunch out the four of us.

On Sunday I got a call inviting me to go for dinner. These friends had already coordinated my pick-up and drop-off. Talk about good friends, right? (Yes, I'm like a child. This non-driving thing still sucks sometimes.)

And then I look back at my opening sentence. And I scratch my head at myself.

Because I just proved otherwise, right? I suddenly have friends, right?

But it's not sudden, because they've been there all along.

But I wonder what makes me feel the way I do.

Is it Facebook? So many people say how Facebook makes them feel horrible. Alone. Friendless. Like they have a crappy life.

Weird, isn't it? The one place where you can truly SEE the number of "friends" you have leads you to feeling alone and without? How does that even make sense?

It doesn't. I can promise you that.

Is it that I have relocated from my "home" and moved here from New York, where a majority of my friends STILL live. At the very least are in the tri-state area. And sometimes they get together and I miss them. And I see their kids connect and want that for mine.

Is it that some *friends* are the kinds who are supposed to be blogging friends and are really so much more? I said as much ON Facebook recently. When I expressed how many of my list of closest friends are people I've met once. ONCE. Through blogging. Attending conferences is how we met IRL. But really we knew one another before then. Or some of us did. Some didn't. And yet we connected. That's amazing, isn't it? It is.

But it's not so uncommon anymore.

Blogging friends don't need to be called blogging friends. They're just friends now.

I belong to a mommy board that I have been on for years. I used to make reference to these people and talk to my husband about who I was going out with, etc. I'd say so-and-so from the mommies' board. And another so-and-so ... but then they became names. It's like that with blogging, too. It's not this friend I met through yadda yadda ... but it is, when I explain. When I say I'm heading to Atlanta and rooming with two people I only met once in June, and another who I saw in June and met once before that. How's that work? It just does.

We sleep side-by-side and just KNOW one another. Weird? Maybe. Odd? Also maybe. Real? Truth? Totally. We just get each other. We just know.

Sometimes I wish we could all live in the same community. Have a bunch of houses in the cul-de-sac where our kids would roam freely through open doors. Sometimes I wish these friends were right next door on the days I have extra food leftover from dinner and want to share with someone. Or made too many cookies. (I usually find takers for those!)

I'm starting to know my neighbors and I already have friends here. I won't say I don't. But it's rough. Schedules conflict. Timing is off. Kids are into everything and all over the place and have us busy. And so we pass like ships in the night. Or something like that.

But I remind myself that things wouldn't be like they used to be no matter where we lived, because I'm uprooted from the world I knew back then. I'm not single. Or not engaged, or newly married. I'm a mom with a husband and a kid. And pets (lots and lots of pets)!

And I can't just pick up and run, though I so wish I could with my husband and my kid. We'd take drives to Connecticut to see the friends that we used to, and our children would know one another. Or we'd head to New Jersey for best friend connections and her son and my daughter would remember one another - more than just from one NY visit. And my old roommates in Long Island would know my child and I would know their son from more than when he was about a week old. It would be easy. But it probably isn't that easy. No matter where you are.

You can't always take your friends with you, so you carry them with you as a part of who you are. What makes you the kind of person and friend you are and always want to be.

And you continue. *I* continue. To make more friends and connections and then say to them, or myself, omgahhh! I'm going to meet her in Charlotte in May! And I'm going to find a way to spend some real and quality time with her when I see her.

Because we're already friends. We just need to confirm that in person with a huge hug. Or two.

And maybe a snuggle ...

Friendship can be hard. It can be something you miss so very much. And it can be something that lasts forever. Forever and a day, if you're lucky. And your memories? Those never fade. So hold onto them and remember, far or near, next door or across the oceans, it's all good.



* Linking up this week with Pour Your Heart Out over at Things I Can't Say.

27 comments:

Stephine said...

I feel the same way! I feel like I don't have very many friends but in reality I know that I do. However because of my anxiety I don't hang out with them much anymore.

I feel the same way about blogging friends. I am so much closer to my friends on twitter or my blog than in real life. It's kind of crazy but so awesome!

Sunshine said...

OMG!! That was awesome and have some of the same feelings. I relocated from NY and I don't really have any friends here. (SC) Loved this post!

www.cancerinthecity.com

Rach (DonutsMama) said...

I can relate a lot to this. Sometimes I feel like I have no local friends, then I'll get a text or FB message or phone call and I'm reminded that I really am making friendships. I think the hard part is that people aren't readily available like they were in high school or college. And when I was working full time, I didn't miss it a lot b/c I was busy & tired with work. But yeah, FB doesn't really help when you see the people with 1000 friends (which isn't true, b/c it's impossible be friends w/ 1000 people.) Really, all I need is a few quality relationships. And that's what I'm working on now.

Adrianna Domingos-Lupher said...

I still cannot believe our instabond...if I even try to explain it to someone, I know I'll get the deer in the headlights look. How do I explain that I met you and in less than 24 hours from our encounter to our departure, I knew I found a like spirit...someone I knew I could pick up the phone at any time and just talk...like we'd known each other for more than just a fleeting moment. Big hugs!

KathyMorelli said...

Hi Andrea - Gr8 post! I often feel like I don;t have many local friends, but that is not true. I have alot of friends from all over the tri-state area and also all over the country. But it's not so easy to see everyone as we are all very busy with children, jobs, elderly parents. It's not like on TV (or in my head) where people can get together for dinner on potluck night in the middle of the week. That w/b hard for me anyway as my office hours are 9 - 9 Tues Wed Thurs, so be it. TY for the thoughts. Kathy

James and Jax blog said...

I don't have a lot to add, because you said what's in my brain, but I wanted to comment to say I loved your post. :)

Tricia O. said...

It's weird, right? My husband says that I collect friends like other people collect stamps. But sometimes I feel so lonely I wonder who all of these people are, especially when I'm seeing their highlight reels on facebook.

I also think friendships get harder as we get older-more responsibilities and time constraints make it harder for us to form and nurture the bonds we made so easily as kids and young adults.

As you know, I've had some disappointing friendships in the past few years, but the best lesson in that for me was to be particular about whom we spend our limited time. And when we realize what a gift that time and those people are, it's a great feeling.

xoxo

Shell said...

I relate to this so much. I start missing friends from back home- but if I were still there, I know that it would be different anyway- since all our kids are older now and we don't have the time we used to.

ER said...

I love this post and it made me feel almost 'normal' as I thought I was the only locally friendless one around. I am from another country so I get to see my friends and family every other year or so for a day or two and it's so good to see them and pick right up where we left off 2 years back. Making new friendships when you are a wife and mother is sooo hard and I'm not the most outgoing of people which makes it even harder.

Great post!

Melinda Hamby said...

Well said!!! I so understand where you are coming from. I only have a few local friends. And I rarely go out. I feel a bit jealous when I see the FB posts with pics of friends out having a good time. I guess I really need to get out more lol

Fox in the City said...

Well said is right, although the timing is a bit weird for me. You see just last night I was rather suddenly and unceremoniously dumped by someone I thought was a close friend. Ah, friends are strange! :)
Jenn

The Dose of Reality said...

OH..Yes, yes, and YES!! I started out saying someone was a "blogger" friend but then realized...wait they are a friend. No qualifier is necessary. I've never even actually met any of them in person.

Truthfully, sometimes with reading and commenting on each other's blogs, I actually feel like we "talk" and interact more than people who are here in town! And honestly, some of my friends who I know through blogging tend to be more supportive. I think it's because we do interact almost daily.

I can't tell you how many times I've wanted all my "blogging" friends to live here so we could have lunch or a coffee. It's unfair!!

This was a lovely post, Andrea. I can't wait to see you in Charlotte in May! --Lisa

The Bold Blend said...

Great blog!

It's hard with kids to get together sometimes. TV does make it seem like it should be easier.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Larks said...

I so hear you on this. Some internet friends are just regular friends to me and sometimes even if I go hang out with local friends multiple times in a week I still feel lonely or friendless. Friendship is a really complicated thing.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

It's really hard for me because I'm so rural. I truly don't have friends locally! But, then again, I have chosen to live here and do love it. I definitely know where you're coming from.

Bodacious Boomer said...

Hey kiddo. Thanks so much for popping by my place. I've had BB for 3 years now and have actually met a lot of my readers over time. My favorite is an Amazonesque gorgeous black woman from Queens. When we went out together in the city we looked like Laurel and Hardy. BTW- Come check out my other FB page- Ecofab Arts. You can see what else I do.

Andrea Balcunas said...

I completely get this! It seems like a lot of people in my life have become more like acquaintances as we grew up, grew apart etc. But since I started a moms group in my area a few years ago, I have become really good friends with some of them, & a few I consider best friends now.

I definitely think blogging is such a great way to meet people & form real friendships. And you are so right that you definitely get to know others this way even before meeting them in person.

Great post Andrea :)

From Tracie said...

My blogger friends really have become my real friends. They are the ones who are always there to lend an ear, show support, and or share a laugh. I'm blessed by them.

My best "real life" friends live out of town, and I find myself connecting with them online more than anything else these days.

Kim@Co-Pilot Mom said...

I relate to this post - I have thought the same things and come to the same realizations myself. Friendship is great and it comes in many forms; sometimes it is close by, sometimes not.

Kim@Co-Pilot Mom said...

I relate to this post - I have thought the same things and come to the same realizations myself. Friendship is great and it comes in many forms; sometimes it is close by, sometimes not.

Tina Byland said...

Oh, I hear ya. And I wrote about friendship this week, too. Adult friends are sooooo much more complicated than kid friends. I found you via the sharefest. Come over and say hi. I think you'll relate to my recent post:

http://likeordinarylife.com/post/41189513372/seeking-a-friend-for-the-next-part-of-my-life

Khloé Belle Gadson said...

Visiting from #SITSSharefest

Adult friendships are a bit complicated. I feel just as you do. I just moved from NYC down to Florida about four months ago and I have no friends down here and haven't been able to really make any new ones because I'm a SAHM but slowly but surely, I shall.

Are you still a non-driver?

Btw, I'm hosting a giveaway so go now to be entered t win. http://bit.ly/140pnnc

OneMommy said...

What a beautiful post!

I think we all feel a little like this at times... Sometimes I wish I lived closer to blogging friends or that I hadn't moved so far from my best friend, but they are still there.

Love that last quote.
Happy Sharefest!

Fauzi @ Hodgepodge of Styles said...

This is a wonderful post. I moved across the globe 3 years ago and I have to say I do miss my friends. Thanks to blogging, I got to meet some really nice ladies, and of course new friends from church, gym and neighbors. However, nothing beats the company of old friends. And when you're in your 30s you get a little picky with the "friends" you want to be associated with. It's a little different but I learned to adapt. Well, so far so good.

Tami Von Zalez said...

Too much credence is given to Facebook - it is just another forum.

Popped in from SITS Girls best post of the week.

thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

Galit Breen said...

Love this topic, Andrea!

{I think there are different kinds of friends - it took me a long time to learn this. Different friends for different reasons. IE: We connect with different people in different ways.}

Love that you'r mulling this. So much!

worthingtonpost said...

Andrea, I love this so much!!! Here's hoping I get to meet you IRL one day at a conference! xoxo Aliza