Monday, February 27, 2006
BFF…Remember back to fifth grade? Best Friends Forever. That is how I used to sign notes in school to Stacey, or letters to Wendy when she was at camp. This is a picture from last summer of Phillip and his friend Mia. Mia is our neighbor and both Samuel and Phillip enjoy playing with her. She is an adventurous little girl who doesn’t mind playing pirates, exploring in the forest or riding shotgun in Phillip’s Gator (other boys always want to drive; Mia likes to ride).
Mia came over to play yesterday. They have such a great and easy friendship. At five, Mia comes over, they play, she goes home. So, here I am at thirty-three finding myself challenged to develop, maintain, or nurture friendships. Where did I go wrong on this one? I keep trying to think what event in my life made friendships get weird for me (always analyzing…I think I have been to therapy too much in my life).
While I don’t know what even triggered this, I know at some point, I really started thinking that everyone else has plenty of friends–but me. At some point, I grew insecure not about a particular friendship, but about the very idea of friendships. At some point, I just got bad at making friends, and even worse at successfully maintaining friendships.
I meet plenty of people and have lots of acquaintances, but when it comes to developing real friendships, I usually find my self saying things like, “I am sure she already has plenty of friends.” And, at those moments in life when regular people call on their friends, I rarely feel comfortable picking up the phone and calling someone I consider a friend.
How much do I share? At what point? If I call her and ask her to do something and she says no, is she really busy or just doesn’t want to do something? What if she says yes–does that mean she wants to be my friend or is just saying yes for something to do? How many times do I call and extend an invitation after getting nos? How many times do I call, period? Should I call her and then wait for her to call me the next time?
Sounds like I am talking about chasing a man–the same thing, I guess. I want someone that I can share the challenges and celebrations of life with today…and have it mean even more tomorrow. I want to be at the birth of my friend’s child and in the pew the day he or she gets married. I want to be able to be honest about my feelings and concerns (I think sometimes people don’t really want you to be honest, more on that topic another day). I want someone who listens to my petty shit and finds value in it. Yeah, yeah, my husband does that. But I want a female friend to share that with as well.
I try and tell myself I have years to find this friendship, and I cannot make it happen. In fact, one friendship that I really thought was headed for a lifelong connection recently fizzled. I know these things ebb and flow, but this one just isn’t want I had hoped so desperately it was going to be. Maybe one day I will once again find a friendship that offers the joy and innocence of a childhood friendship. Oddly enough, I am still friends with Stacey. That is one of my greatest accomplishments in life. Stacey and I have been friends since we were five (although she lives out of state now).
But, unlike a childhood friendship, which offers memories, I want a friend to share the future with. This is the best time in my life–I want to share these joys, opportunities, and adventures with someone who will be around for awhile. Certainly, there is someone out there that God has in mind to be my forever friend. BFF