Tag Archives: friends

Formative Friendship

lets_bee_friends

As I was putting my daughter to bed last night she told me I was her best friend. Those are the moments parents live for, and it got me thinking about the different types of friendships I have / had. Feeling nostalgic, thinking about memories both good and bad.

Making friends hasn’t always been easy for me. When I was a kid my parents had a trailer in a seasonal trailer park. We’d go every weekend and for weeks during the summer. I knew almost everyone and they knew me, as family all camped there too. I loved it through my younger years. But when I was about 12 the friend group I spent every waking moment with decided they didn’t want me anymore. They carved mean things about my weight into a bench. After that they’d ignore me, but I had a part time job cutting lawns so I had to continue to go up each and every weekend. It was torture, whenever I saw them they’d go the other way, no one would talk to me. It was a constant reminder that I was no longer good enough in their eyes. I’m not even sure the reason behind it to this day. Looking back I don’t feel angry about what happened, but I can still feel that hurt and melancholy when I think about it. That stays with you.

But one thing that experience gave me was appreciation. For every new friend I make, every person I’m nice to or bake cookies for, it means more. I value it more. A few years ago I was welcomed into a group of coworkers/friends who lunched (and now do dinner) together every month or so. Even though this group existed long before I came along, they accepted me and that is something I think about often.

 In my later years, things were (and continue to be) much better. I’ve had a best friend since high school that is the best, I could tell her or ask her anything without judgment and would is there for me when I need her. I think about the high school parties we went to and the crises we had, that seemed so crucial at the time. Back then we walked through snow storms to the LCBO, met at the bus stop in the rain with one of us in tears and the other carrying ice cream. While our crises have changed as has the physical distance between us, I’d still get in my car right now and drive to her place if she needed me.

 High school is what it is with its raging hormones and rampant insecurity, but I had fun friends and I am still friends with or in touch with quite a few of them now. There are some I haven’t seen in a few years that I still like to drop a line to every now and then and social media (primarily Facebook) allows me to see how their doing and how their lives are changing: growing families, new relationships, new jobs. I know there are a lot of people who gripe about our constant connectivity and the awful things about social media – and sometimes I agree, but I’m glad to have a forum to see how people are doing.

 I think about the better high school memories, the one house we always partied at, the people I was close to and shared everything. The friend who mentioned me in his yearbook graduation write up that I’ll never forget as long as I live. A close friend I wrote notes to every day that has moved across the world, but technology allows us to keep involved in each others lives.

 In University I didn’t make many friends, the extreme downside to living at home and now in residence, but during my post grad college year, I made up for that in spades, so many awesome people who I wish I saw more often. I miss you guys.

 There are also the friends that aren’t part of my life anymore. I don’t have many but there are a few, one that was even a bridesmaid at my wedding. And while I think about that friendship often, miss it and wonder about it, I try to remember the good there too. Camping trips, crazy youthful drunken adventures, and so many laughs that even now I don’t try to forget. Would I change out situation now if I could? I’m not sure, but some things aren’t up to me and I try to be ok with that.

 I just wanted to take a break from the lamenting about parenthood, money and the stress of the uncertain employment future to reflect. I guess what I’m really trying to say is thanks to you guys out there, for hanging out with me: past, present and hopefully future.

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The Art of Making Friends

I appreciate the potential of a blank page. I can just blurt out everything I’m thinking and feeling, leave it all there without judgment and it’s pretty nice. I guess that’s what I love about friends too; being able to unload on them (and vice versa) without fear or judgment. They accept you, good and bad and I try to practice the same.

Over the last year I’ve lost contact with someone who I considered to be one of my very best friends, one I certainly planned to have for life – and it weighs on me. Without going into an emotional sob story as to why this situation occurred, it leads into an issue I’ve been thinking about a lot lately: how does one make new friends at this age?

A few years ago I moved to a new city and it’s been a tough transition. My husband, outstanding guy that he is, has done anything he can think of to make me feel better when I feel far from my friends. At times it’s felt worse than others, just like anything else.

But, a few weeks ago, I started a new job and left somewhere I’d worked for five years. I worked in a lot of different departments and made a lot of friends, and I miss them. It’s just not the same not to see them everyday – in the hall, for a lunch date, whatever. Don’t get me wrong, the people at the new place are nice, and they’ve done everything to make me feel welcome – but I haven’t made any friends. It feels solitary at work and sometimes, at home. I can’t remember the last time I went out on a weeknight!

It just feels like when I was younger, in school or working part time, I went to parties, met new people constantly and my friend group grew wider and wider – but as I get older I feel like its shrinking beyond my control and I hate it.

This passed weekend we had a bunch of people over for my husband’s birthday party and I had such a good time, it occurred to me after I couldn’t remember the last time I had so much fun and felt in the company of such good friends. I don’t want that to be a selective feeling in my life. I’d like to get out more, preferably locally, but how?

I’ve met a few people recently that I’ve thought were really great and wanted to get to know better, but it all seems so strange. How do you approach someone you hardly know and attempt to strike up a new friendship with them without seeming like a weirdo?

I feel a lot like Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) in I Love You Man, looking for friends as an adult and feeling ridiculous. I don’t know how I got here, but I know I’d like to fix it. Problem is, I’m not really sure how. How do you make new friends at this age?

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