Tuesday, January 4, 2011

You’re Crazy but I Like You

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.” Mary Schmich

A good thing about connecting with friends is that your universe gets a little bigger.

I find it interesting to see how friendships change. I have a group of friends from high school and we all managed to stay friends for several years after graduation. In the past couple years I have noticed a shift. I’ve always been really nostalgic about change. In my childhood I moved a couple times, at the age of 7 I can clearly remember looking out the back window of the car as we drove away from the house, even at that age I knew the moment was significant. Before a second move in my early teens I went one Saturday and sat in my school playground. Scanning the empty playground, trying to make a mental memory of this place before I moved to a nearby town.

Everybody is growing up and starting to do their own thing. We are no longer all home for our two week Christmas break from school, some only have a couple days off from work and traveling eats up a lot of their time off so they want to get in as much time with their families as possible. Some members of the group aren’t as close as they once were and for others the holidays are being split between old friends and the new boyfriend’s family. I’m a latch key friend waiting for my weekend as per the new custody agreement.

I need to accept the fact that even though we have done an impressive job of staying in touch for 7+ post high school years that eventually my friends are going to have lives that they can’t or don’t want to leave for an annual girl’s trip/Christmas get together.

I feel a little sad at the realization that everyone’s got to go their own way. It’s the end of an era, the group era. Okay maybe it’s not over but it’s… let’s say evolving. Our lives are no longer intertwined and it’s been a conscious choice for us to keep these friendships intact. It’s not that this year was all that different from the last, the changes are subtle, but I can feel them. So where does that leave me? I need to do what I can do which is maintaining my individual friendships. I know I could be a better friend, but then I think about it and I’m an alright friend. I’m the first one to send out a big catch up email and I was the originator of the idea for the annual girl’s trip (which was a product of a Sex and the City Marathon).

The three most recent genuine friends I’ve made have been my past three roommates; I lived with each of them individually. In other words I am capable of making new friends, if you live with me… for at least two years… Making new friends can be scary. At least with a guy there’s the whole physical attraction thing to get your foot in the door, but with women you have to bring something more to the table. I keep thinking of that movie I love you man, where the guy is getting married and has no guy friends so he basically starts going on friend dates to find himself a guy friend who can be his best man.

I use my friendships back home as a crutch. Social skills aren’t at the top of my list of things I kick ass at and making new friends has always been… interesting. I’m bad at small talk, better at heart to hearts. More of a pick my spot and let people come to me than constantly float around a party type. My first impression is standoffish. I’ve never felt any pressure to create new friendships because as far as I’m concerned I have a pretty solid group of girlfriends from home. I’m not going to date around, I’m not a friendship whore. I’m only interested in serious long-term friendships. As much as I value my friends from home I do think I should have more face-to-face friends. Women love Sex and the City and it’s not because of the sex but because of the friendship between the women. I think I need more of that type of connection in my life.

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