Thursday, January 26, 2017
Thursday, January 26, 2017
I've never had a big group of friends. And that's perfectly fine because I've never wanted that. I enjoy plenty of alone time. Some people get their energy from others, some get theirs from being alone. I must have been programmed for the latter, since I'm an only child. I have a difficult time being around large groups. I tend to sink into the background, and become overwhelmed when there are too many conversations going on at once.
They say friends are the family you choose, and I've always done my best to choose wisely. I guess this makes it hard to get to know me. Keeping a safe distance from classmates and co-workers has in some ways hindered me. I've often wondered if people think I'm hiding something, or if I'm just a royal snob ("the truth is, it's not you it's me." No, really though). But in other ways, this predisposition has affirmed my reasoning for cherishing the few friends I do have. Cultivating meaningful relationships takes time and effort, and I'd rather spend my energy on the people who have been there to witness and support me through some of the hardest times in my life. There's a certain intimacy in that, and I crave anything that feels real over the contrived. That's not to say I'm opposed to meeting new people and making new friends. I can get along with almost anybody. I definitely have space in my heart, but I enter into new relationships with caution.
All of my girlfriends are different, but their friendship means the same to me. Most of them have children now, and getting together to catch up isn't as easy as it used to be. It takes a certain amount of planning and consideration, which is honestly not a big deal. During my bout with serious depression last year, I wanted to hide from everybody, including my best friend. I would make excuses for cancelling a get-together, but then would spend hours in bed feeling sick about essentially lying. I felt like a fraud and a failure, a bad person. My fears were irrational, but I let them win every damn time. Isolation is NOT the same as alone time, and the disconnect between my friends and I made me even more depressed. It's a vicious cycle.
Now that I'm in a better place, I look forward to spending time with friends in whatever capacity that allows. Coffee dates, lunches, getting together to BBQ on the weekends...I'll take it! Even making sure to send a text to see how their day is going makes an impact. I'll admit that things have changed since we all got married and started our own families. We've entered into a new stage of friendship, the "new normal" as I like to call it. Life will try to keep us in our respective corners, but it's important to remember that your girlfriends provide you with comfort and advice that spouses simply cannot. There's an unspoken truth that binds us as women, and in some ways as we get older, I think we will need each other more than ever. My mom is a prime example. She is divorced and has no plans of getting remarried. I used to worry sick of something happening to her, but now that she has her best friend living in her home, I can rest assured that at least she has company. I find this to be true with many older women, and it never ceases to amaze me the level of relief that a friend can provide in different stages of life. As much as I love spending most of my time with Nate, I can't forget about making time for the people that were there before him. Don't ever underestimate the power of girlfriends. 💗