Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Friendship

I've been really struggling with friendship lately, in several ways.

I've never had a really super close best friend that has actually stayed my friend through all my life changes. My mom and my husband are my best friends and I know they will never leave me, but I want more.

As a pre-teen and  teenager my two best friends were Mandy and Lettie. Mandy got married and started having babies, there is a long story as to why we didn't stay close that I am not going to share other than to say, we grew apart. Lettie and I stayed close until we were about 18 or 19 and then we drifted our separate ways as well. She got married, got busy with her new life as a wife, and then had a baby. I was still single.

When I was 16 and working at Country Mart in Bonne Terre I had a few close friends, but circumstances in each persons life caused us to drift our own ways as well. Lori got involved in drugs and that wasn't something I was interested in. Michelle and I were close for quite awhile and I even lived with her when I was 19, but after I moved to St. Louis it was harder to see each other and we drifted....are you getting the picture?

When I transferred to Country Mart in Farmington I met Amy Reed, we were tight. I love my Amy! We had so much fun together. We laughed, we cried, we were just best buds. We even dated best friends briefly. My date didn't turn into anything, her's turned into her husband. I was a bridesmaid in her wedding. Every night after work, we would meet at the Civic Center and work out and then go tan together. Thursday night was dinner at her house and then watching Friends. Unfortunately, she wasn't real fond of Ross and I wasn't real thrilled with her husband either. So when I moved to St. Louis in December of 2001 we started drifting as well. We would talk occasionally, I'd go down and hang out every once in a while, but the distance made it a challenge. We eventually stopped putting any effort into keeping our friendship. I invited her to our wedding in 2005, but they weren't able to come.

Thank goodness for MySpace and Facebook. When I started up MySpace I searched for who I could think of and she was one of them. At first I just perused her page and didn't ask to be her friend because I wasn't really sure where we stood after all that time. Finally I friended her and we got a second chance at our friendship. About the time that we started connecting through MySpace was about the time that her and Aron were finalizing their divorce, that was also the time that I had just given birth to Alexis in 2007. The first time I saw her was that summer when Alexis was about 3 or 4 months old. Ever since then it's been so nice to have a friend again who knows my history and my present and who will always understand me when I'm having a bad day and need someone to vent to.

There is still distance between us (about an hour) but we try really hard to fit some Amy and Jess time into our busy lives. Amy took me to my first winery, where I fell in love with Blackberry Wine! She called me on a Monday after I had found out I was pregnant with Isabel the previous Friday. She had some news of her own as well! We got to be pregnant buddies! She was due on September 16th, me on the 17th. Her Callie was born on August 27th, 2009 and Isabel on September 10th.

I had a really great friend when I worked at Sam's Club too, my Monica! We've been through some challenges in our friendship, but we are still close today even though we don't talk much and rarely get to see one another.

I guess the point I'm trying to get around to is that you really have to work at a friendship to keep it alive through all of life's changes. I have another friend, Krista, who I have known since we were in diapers. Our mothers were best friends for many years, but circumstances led them in different paths, therefore we went with them obviously. As teenagers we reconnected when we worked together and since then we've kept in contact on an irregular basis. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding and I in her's. But, if it wasn't for Facebook we probably wouldn't have any contact at all. I did get to see her this summer, and that was nice.

It takes a real effort to keep a friendship alive when there are obstacles, and it takes both parties making an effort. I've had friends that were very one sided, they were only my friends if I called them or I went to see them or I initiated the contact. If I waited for them to call or visit, I would still be waiting.....those aren't the kind of friends I want to have, maybe that is selfish of me. But, I would really like a friend who will reach out to me as much as I will reach out to them.

I think a lot of my frustration is coming from the fact that I so badly want to have a circle of friends right near me. All of my friends that I consider close friends are at least an hour away from me. I can't just call them up and say, "Hey, what are you doing? Can I come over?" I do have family that I consider friends, but even families go through seasons where things change too.

I think that it is really difficult to break into an already established circle of friends even if you have things in common with them, or maybe I'm just not outgoing enough to make myself a part of those circles.....

I have found lots of people that I have things in common with in the bloggy world, but that's not the same as a real life, in the flesh, best friend. There is a bloggy meet up in my area soon, but I'm so bummed that I can't go, I have a prior commitment. I would love actually putting a voice with the faces I see every day on my computer screen.

Since I'm on a roll here, my other friendship issue is the fact that Ross and I have a very hard time finding couples to hang out with. I either don't like the wife and he likes the hubby or the other way around. It's so frustrating. We have no one our age to hang out with and do things with. It would be really nice to find a couple that has a few small children that we could go out to dinner with, or have over for a BBQ, but we can't seem to find them....Now I'm not saying that we have no one, because we do have a lot of family, but it's not always the same.

This is me.....stepping off my pity party stool. I haven't resolved any of my issues by writing about them, but I feel a little better getting it out of my system. One of these days I'm going to pull an all nighter on the computer and write all the blog posts that are floating around in my head. It's hard for me to find the time to really write these days. I'm so ready for winter and the slowness that comes with it!

4 comments:

Nel said...

I know exactly what you are talking about...

julielollar said...

I totally understand what you are talking about Jessica! I to have had the same issues in the past. Almost the same story even. The bright side is that me girls are all in school now (1 2nd grader and 2 kindergartners). When Brinley started school 2 years ago I quickly made friends with some of the other moms. It's been great and we get together just the girls, with kids and even with husbands. Each year we have added to our circle of friends and most of our girls are in girl scouts together. These are women who I can call in the middle of the night and I know that they will come running! We've even dealt with some heavy stuff like breast cancer, depression, the loss of family members etc. I love it and am looking forward to making some new connections with the mom's from the twin's classes!
I know that my comment was long winded but I hope that it helps! There is light at the end of the tunnel! You just have to be open to it!
-Julie
The Wanna Be Super Mom

Sean Elizabeth said...

Hi Jessica,
I feel your pain. I had the same thing happen. My circle fell apart when I got pregnant and couldn't party anymore. And, I was 31 and my friends were all older! Needless to say, I do agree that it is VERY difficult to cultivate good friendships. We all lead busy lives and have our own issues to deal with. I keep telling myself that when I meet someone worth my time, I will know and things will work out the way they should. I guess it's always good to have hope, right?

Mrs. Haid said...

I really understand.

Is there a church with a small group or Sunday School class you could attend? I know there are a lot of people who are in the same life phase as you who also go to these types of things.

I miss having a BFF who lives in my city, too. A LOT.