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.