I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships.
When I lived in The Cruz I had a close-knit group of friends to pal around with. We were, for the most part, serial dating and free for impromptu gatherings, evenings cooking dinner and watching American Idol, walks along the ocean, drunk karaoke-ing. It was the best of times and I didn’t even know it. I guess this is nostalgia at its finest but lately I’ve been missing the ease that came with living within blocks of my best friends and the sureness of those friendships. Now, years later, we’re scattered along the West & East Coasts (Hi Dumpling in North Carolina!) and our connection, while still unbreakable in my opinion, is stunted by busy schedules, grown up responsibilities and many, many miles. Weeks pass without conversation. Months fly by and my only glimpse into their life is a Facebook status update or an email.
Moving to Seattle was the right decision for me even though it broke me open, leaving my tight-knit group of friends behind. Maybe I set in motion what was meant to be- first I flew the coop, then the rest of them followed towards their own destinies. We did the right thing because life is about moving on. But grant me this moment of nostalgia. . . to remember when it was effortless and I felt surrounded by unconditional friendship.
I have friends here. I do not mean to imply that whatsoever. I know a lot of great people, actually. It’s just. . . different. I feel like I have been swimming upstream trying to forge friendships akin to the ones I left behind. But life seems too full for everyone and there isn’t enough time or impetus to make it so. We’re all so busy with LIFE- jobs and chores and errands and obligations and homes and kids and pets and family and boy/girlfriends, etc. Is this a part of growing up? That it becomes harder to make friends? As a 38 year old woman with two jobs, a live in boyfriend, and no kids, I feel like I am in limbo when it comes to fitting into distinct groups. I am no longer in my 20’s, interested in partying all night or going to concerts that start at 11pm on a work night, even though I delight in the company of my 20-something friends. I am not a parent so that puts me on the outside of that sector. I can’t meet up for play dates or swap birth stories. Even being part of a couple presents its challenges- trying to find like-minded couples to hang out with where both of us meld with the couple can be difficult. And factor in you have 4 schedules to balance rather than 2 and well, making plans is difficult to say the least. I joked to Mr. Darcy that someone needs to make a couples website where you can find compatible couples to befriend (not a swingers site, ahem).
I try to plan get togethers in the hopes a community will be born. I send mass emails to local acquaintances inviting them to shows or festivals or what-have-you thinking maybe if I just keep asking, the connections I long for will appear. Maybe it’s the dreaded Seattle Freeze- where everyone is friendly but it’s hard to make friends. I piece together what I can but I feel. . .left out. It’s juvenile and silly and, well, it is true for me right now. Recently I’ve been feeling the left out-ness acutely. A series of small moments have occurred with friends and acquaintances and this feeling of not being on anyone’s A list has built up inside of me. I feel lame even typing that but that is the feeling. And as Kaply reminds me, feelings aren’t facts. But damn it, sometimes they suck.
I debated even posting this because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings (because that is so not my intention!) but in the end I needed to type this out to gain some perspective. Maybe I’m just in a mood or this is a phase. I’m sure things will shift with time. I just wanted to pause and give myself this moment to feel the nostalgia and the longing. And to honor that twinge of sadness plucking at my heart.