Monday, April 15, 2013

friends

I've been spending a lot of time the past few months thinking about friendships. How they're made; how they're kept. It makes sense, considering it's time to start the process of making more friends. Again. And in the dark corners of my mind, where self-pity and parties of the same sort reside, I've had this recurring thought: I just want a best friend. Let me change that: I just want a best GIRLfriend. Jerry is pretty stinking rad and will blow any other friendship out of the water, so it's just not fair to compare that. But still, a guy can only do so much for a girl. Sometimes another lady needs to step in and intervene. After all, does a guy really know how to stop a run in your pantyhose?

It's not that I don't have good friends. I have great friends! I feel like I have been blessed to find more girlfriends than most people have. Surely more than anyone can ask for. But sometimes I start to feel like every "best friend" has a best friend- and it's not me. And that started to get me down. I had finally just chalked it up to the price of being a military family and moving around. It makes sense to me that those in nearer proximity to the friends I had left behind would be closer to them. It's a pain to have to walk around the "so catch me up on all the news" bush before you can get to the "so what's your heart on the matter?" sidewalk. Distance makes the heart grow fonder. Distance can also make you forget what you have. And I had even started worrying about moving to Fredericksburg. What if everyone else here already has enough friends? What if they don't need one more?

I'm good at throwing a pity party, right? I go all out.

Eh, every girl has some sort of nagging worry. This is mine, lately.

But after spending the weekend with three of my best friends from my college days, it was nice to pick up where we left off 5 years ago. And we went together to celebrate a baby shower, followed by a 30th birthday party. I was surrounded by girls.


Actually, guys should be very jealous. I spent the weekend surrounded by HOT girls. Hot, SMART girls. Boy, did they miss out. ;)


And you know what I learned? Whether through direct conversation about friendships, or by hearing it mentioned off-hand because of something else, I learned that I wasn't the only one with "girlfriend problems." Other girls wish they had more girlfriends or feel like they didn't have a "best friend." Which got me thinking- I already have my BEST FRIEND. I married him. He's pretty fly. {for a white guy.} And I'm going to keep him. And, just like the perfect spouse doesn't exist (What? He's hot. Doesn't mean he's perfect. Hey, me neither!), the perfect singular girlfriend doesn't exist. Because perfect people don't exist. So looking for a "best friend" may be an impossible affair (and if you have one, hopefully reading this will make you smile and you'll realize what a rare and precious commodity you have found!) or perhaps a childish aspiration. Why does that title seem so important to me?

We will never find perfect people.  There is no magic combination. And it is, comically even!, entirely possible you'll find that the friend who understands your heart best is the one whose personal style is the opposite of yours. Or maybe the friend who shares none of your passions/hobbies in life is the one who can make you laugh and forget bad days. I say we keep those. Who doesn't need to laugh?

Maybe...just maybe it's possible that we start to feel alone when we place unrealistic expectations on people, thinking they need to be everything we need to be, all in one package.

I have friends I literally have nothing in common with but we both found ourselves a long way from home, and we both just needed a friend. I have friends that I felt shared my very soul in my past, but who I, in the present, can seem to find no common thread. I have friends with different political beliefs, different religious beliefs, different financial situations, different definitions on what defines success..... And wow, are they i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e women. I am giving none of them up.

Cool fact: when you spend time thinking about how awesome your friends are, you stop the pity party and send the violins home. ;)

So what will I do about my dilemma about finding new friends yet again? Why, I'll just look around. Yep, that's my great plan. Because I've decided when you need a friend....all you have to do is look around.

You look for the women you admire. The ones who will make you a better version of yourself. You look for the strong ones and the wise ones. The ones who make you laugh and the ones to whom you can cry your darkest secrets. You look around for for the best-dressed ones, and for the fellow mamas who encourage you and show you that there is hope. You hold on to the coworker who gets you through your long work day or the neighbor who makes you feel less alone because she waves good morning, or the one who knows you from your past even when they don't share any of the future. You even hold on to the one who disagrees with what feels like everything you say, because she makes you think things through more thoroughly, and that makes you better.

You find those- in as many people as they come in- and you hold on tight. Because we all need each other. We all need to be the best version of ourselves.

And who knows...maybe we can be one of those people for someone else along the way.

8 comments:

  1. I was just thinking about the best friend thing this week too. I was playing out this scenario in my head where I advertised, "Wanted: Best Friend," and all my really close girlfriends applied for it but then I disqualified them because of distance, other friends, difference in beliefs, difference in life walks, or whatever.

    Then I started moping because I feel like more than once in my life I have had a best friend and then lost her (and different girls, too) and then thought there must be something wrong with me.

    Then I realized, like you, I married my best friend, too. And I don't need to have one girl to run to - I have Herb and I have Jesus. And then having a few really close gals (OBVIOUSLY yourself included) rounds it out perfectly.

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    1. What is it about the desire to have that one, exclusive girlfriend? But Jesus, our men, and each other- we have it all! You're right. And just so that you know without a doubt, I stinking love you. I'd be lost without you. And you make my life better because you're in it. You're my "inner circle friend."

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  2. It's not an uncommon want - the desire to have a best (girl) friend. Finding one is like finding a needle in a haystack, or more appropriately, a bobby pin in a hand bag. An inner circle of friends is so incredible, but having a best friend is quite different. A best friend to go through life with, with whom to be vulnerable, myself, the ugly and the good, the sad and the fun.
    Yes, I have my husband, my very best friend, but he can't relate to my "girl" emotions, nor can he push me at times when I need to be pushed. Why? Because I'm married to him and I know he will love me 'til death. My best friend and I on the other hand (while I'd love to have that sense of security)did not exchange vows before God. There will always be something that hangs in the balance, which is why the assurance of each others feelings are frequently needed within our friendship.
    I've had only one best friend in my life prior to my current best friend. My first best friend and I grew apart, both geographically but more so in personalities. No doubt I could see her today and have a wonderful time, but I also know that sense of closeness couldn't happen as it does with my best friend now.
    The family of friends I have are incredible, and I do cherish each and every one of them. No one will "top" my friendship I have with my husband, nor my relationship with God. In fact, my very best friend encourages me (as I do her) in those relationships.
    As you said, Lauren, in your first post to those who have a best friend - a rare and precious commodity. I'll go one step further and say a best friend isn't a commodity at all, as that would be so selfish of me to have a best friend to meet my needs and wants. We share life with one another, wanting to meet each others needs and wants, enjoying, encouraging, and sharpening each other in a way that other friends cannot.
    I love my God, I love my husband, and I love my best friend.

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    1. Jen, thanks for your thoughts! You made some great points :) hold on to that best friend!

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  3. This is one of the hardest aspects of military life. I have friends all over the place but its hard to remember that when you just want a friend. Here. Now. For the mundane. I'll be looking too :)

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    1. Jamie, exactly. You understand. It goes hand-in-hand with military life for sure... But I think the transient lifestyle is also the reason I feel like I have more friends than most. Because I have an entire set of friends every place we have lived. Cool when you need a vacation... Doesn't feel so cool when you need someone to understand your day.

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  4. I just have to tell you that I think you are one of those rare individuals who makes every one of your friends feel like they are your best friend! We had a short time together at RHS yet I feel like you a close friend. Though miles separate us and we may not see each other face to face for a long time, I feel like you are a close friend. You have a gift, my friend. You ARE a gift.

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    1. Debbie, I can't tell you how much that message meant. I consider you to be a close friend, as well. Sometimes, when two hearts are so similar, it doesn't take much time ;) I love you.

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