Friendship. It’s a tricky thing, ain’t it? I thought it was tricky in high school, but it continues to grow more elusive with every passing stage of life. I’ve come to a point in my life where a true friend is quite a rare find. And still even so, those true friends you do manage to keep end up being compartmentalized. That’s where I find myself, at least. I’m not sure if everyone else does the same or if it’s just the circumstances in which I’ve found myself (please do tell).
My college friends and I scattered after we graduated. Some stayed in my home state of FL – although all over up and down the state – and others went to opposite ends of the country. I slowly acquired new friends in Atlanta through work, craft, networking, and the like. You know, the adult ways. Yet still I’m quickly approaching the ripe age of 29 and often feel very lonely.
Well, maybe I need to rephrase that. Saying I’m lonely makes me sound like a wallowing sob story. But I guess what I’m saying is that I miss that feeling like your friends are your extended family. Like you can call on them to come over, indulge in gross Chinese takeout, and watch Dawson’s Creek (you know who you are). My boyfriend is my extended family now, my primary best friend. He’s the only one in my life that knows all the ins and outs of my fluctuating emotional states, what’s affecting my day to day decisions, and ultimately how I’m navigating my life path. My closest friends used to know this too. So I wonder, did I replace that closeness I had with friends with the closeness I have in my relationship? And if I did, is that wrong?
This leads me to a couple of follow up questions. What qualifies friendship? How do I measure the level of closeness in a friendship? How do I know if my efforts to maintain a friendship are worth my time? What will happen when I get married and have children; does the entire friendship game get turned on its head? Can friends become family?
As you may already have guessed, I don’t have any of the answers. I’m just rambling here – probably because I don’t have enough friends! I do know a couple of things though. I know friendships go through highs and lows, times of constant contact and very little contact. The girls who I was closest to in college are still the people I miss the most in my every day life. For some reason, college friends are the ones dearest to our hearts (for now) – which can also mean that no matter how immediately close you are with a newer friend, it just won’t be the same. Work friends are very difficult to transition into real life friends, and even more difficult to retain through work transitions. There are still many future friends I know I’ve yet to meet, like mommy friends. And finally, no friend could ever compare to my partner.
Part of the reason I haven’t been blogging as much lately is for fear of who might be reading my words. For a little while, I allowed myself to reason my way out of documenting my thoughts so openly and honestly. But there’s no real reason not to be honest here. I know that even if what I write may be a little too revealing, others are probably experiencing what I am too and wish they could verbalize it. So I want to be one of the brave ones, laying my heart out there. It might not get me a single inch closer to my dreams, but it just helps. In some way or another.