To be a friend?
To tell the honest and complete truth, I am not sure I know.
There was a time that I was pretty sure I knew how to not only be a friend, but how to be a good friend. Maybe I even thought I knew how to be a great friend.
You know those people that have tons of friends? That are always going to the movies with this person one day, shopping with that person the next day, and lunching with this other person later in the week? I am not that person. I didn’t get the popularity gene. I have always been the girl that has just one — maybe two — really close friends and a whole bunch of other friends. Those really close friends are the ones that I would trust with my deepest, darkest secrets. The other friends are great, too. I don’t know what I would do without some of them. They boost me up in ways I didn’t think possible. And if any of them are reading this right now, I hope they know that I appreciate everything they have done for me. Thank you all so much.
Unfortunately, I lost that one great friend this past August. I don’t really know who to blame the ending of the relationship on. I want to say we could both take the blame equally, but I’m really not sure. Maybe I was being selfish and spending too much time with Joe. Maybe she was too wrapped up in her own problems to notice that life was going on without her. All I do know is that the relationship suffered from irreconcilable differences and there is no way it will ever go back to even a speck of what it once was. I grieve for her. Even though I know it was in both of our best interests to make a clean break, it still hurts more than I ever thought possible.
And now, here I am. A 30-year old senior in college. About to graduate and start a brand new life. A brand new career after eleven years of working in the same industry. And I feel like I’m doing it alone. I know I can always count on Joe to help me through any situation in which I might find myself; he is my rock. But there is a comfort that can only come from a great friend who is also by your side, and at the moment I don’t have that. I don’t even know where to begin to find a friend like that. It was easy when I was a little scabby-kneed kid. There was always someone in my class in school or in the neighborhood that I could be friends with. Now, though, I’ve built my walls and I’m afraid to let anyone see what’s behind them.
Being in my situation doesn’t help matters, either. A nontraditional student going back for my bachelor’s degree. Everyone I see at school is either fresh out of high school with barely any real life experiences or pursuing their graduate degree and settled down with a house, a car, a dog, a white picket fence, and 2.5 kids. I don’t fit into either of those molds. I know there are plenty of people my age who are in my position, but to me it seems like they’d rather spend their evenings closing down the bars after dancing the night away instead of living life on the tame side. I’ve grown out of that stage. I’ve sown my wild oats, cut down the diseased stalks, and harvested the healthy ones. I’m in transition. And it’s scary.
In the spirit of telling the truth, I have a confession to make. I am a little (OK, a LOT) jealous of the relationship these two have. Even though we all live in the same city, I haven’t met either of them. I only know them from the wonder of social media. And yet, every time I read one of their blog posts, see a tweet on twitter, or catch a facebook status, their friendship screams at me from the computer screen. And it gives me hope. They met each other because of this little thing the three of us share: a love for blogging and social media. I tell myself that it just might happen for me, too. All I need to do is leave myself open to it. And that is exactly what I am trying to do. I know my life is a little hectic right now, and cultivating my relationship with Joe takes up most of my free time, but when things slow down and I get a little bit more “me” time, I am throwing myself headfirst into this little social media thing.
Plus, I read somewhere recently that a good cook is never short on friends. Anyone want to come to my house for some homemade pizza and freshly baked chocolate scones?