Friday, April 23, 2010

A Date!

I have a date this weekend!
Not a romantic date, but a friendship date. It is no less exciting and in fact I am probably even more excited!
You see, one of my goals over the past year has been to increase my friendship base. For lots of very legitimate life reasons, I haven't developed that many close friendships in the past 8 years. And the amazing friends I do have - most have moved away to other parts of the country or do not live close to me. They are still incredible friends, but we can no longer just hang out or go to the movies without a plane ticket being involved.
Although I was seriously dating someone for almost three years, I have been a single, stay-at-home mom and just finished graduate school. As a therapist, the people I meet on a daily basis could never be friends...So, I found myself finally lifting my head up and looking around thinking I need to work on this!
What do you do when you decide you want to make friends as an adult? It's not as easy as when you were in school, or even working in a larger office. There you see people on a daily basis.
How do you meet new people? Then moving a relationship from an acquaintance to friendship takes effort. First of all there has to be some sort of attraction - similar interests, similar views on life, or for some reason you just want to get to know them better.
But then what? Do you ask them out? Do you keep calling? What if your kids don't get along?
Juggling work, kids, husbands, boyfriends and families while trying to develop friendships is much harder than it once was! Because in addition, the time I spend with my friends is time something else is not getting done - laundry, housework, yard work, painting, reading...and really I have a fairly tenuous grip on those things anyways!
I recently ran across a new blog that is asking similar questions. And even though I had been thinking about this issue and in fact had written something last year, I never wanted to publish it because I felt a little, well, crazy. Even though we talk about making friends, and wish for deep connections with others, we don't really talk about how or why. Reading her posts on her own search for a deep friendship made me realize that deep down, we all have the same feelings. We all feel isolated and alone, scared and lonely, and even a little bit crazy.
And sometimes, sharing these feelings brings us closer together because we realize that we are not alone. We are not crazy. We are not isolated. We all long for someone to understand our own personal brand of crazy. Someone to make us laugh. Someone that can honestly say that your outfit isn't the most flattering on you and we appreciate it! Someone that can make us laugh. And someone that we can call up and be with, just because.
Husbands and boyfriends are wonderful, but nothing can replace the fellowship, friendship and love of other women! (Oh, and I have realized that friends are directly related to my goals of joy!)

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