I am always slightly envious of those people who seem to have those really tight friendships that transcend the years. When I was a little girl, I had a best friend, a little. Kind of. But she went away to boarding school in grade 8, and she changed, and I changed, and we both stopped trying. I haven't spoken to her in years. I tried really hard with other girls. I had one friend who I liked, but she was the girl who everyone wanted to be best friends with. I had a group of friends, but never really a proper friend of my own. As I got older, the group seemed to get further away from me (or maybe I got further away from them) either way, I had people to eat lunch with, but I didn't always get their jokes, and I never felt like I fit in properly.
When Shane and I got married and moved away for Uni, making friends was hard. We were an old married couple when everyone else was young and single and fun. We had trouble fitting, and finding our tribe. We moved back home, but no longer really fit back where we once had, and it took an awful long time to make new comfortable grooves. I had friends, but they were more acquaintances than real friends. We were still too young to fit in with the married people but too old to fit in with the single people. It always just didn't seem to work, you know?
When I had kids, I thought I would find my tribe. I was introduced into playgroup, and bible study and all manner of mum related groups and activities. Aha, I thought to myself, now I will fit. And I did fit. But my mum friends are still more like work colleagues than anything else. It took a long time, and I did end up developing a relationship with one close friend, but even that feels a little less important lately. We always seem too busy to actually make our friendship a priority. And somehow, I still feel a little bit like I did in high school. One of the crowd, but only there as a 'should' not a 'want.'
I am blessed, abundantly, richly with my family. With my sisters, and especially with my Mum. I would be lost without my mother. My relationship with her is one of the ones I hold most dear in the world, and I thank God every day for the mother he gave me. I know many girls wish to be able to have the relationship with their mothers like I do with my Mum, that they would love to have a mum as great as mine, and I try never to take it for granted.
But still, it would be really nice to have friends.
I have chased and chased, and been friendly and chatty and nice and welcoming. I have made a real effort. I really want to just have friends. To find my tribe. To have friends that can pop over for a cuppa and stay until dinner. To have a friend who I can call in tears when my jeans don't fit. I tried, and I thought maybe I had it, maybe I was close. Maybe there isn't something wrong with me and I can find people who will actually like me and find a place where I can fit.
So it sucks. It just really sucks when you have that moment, when you realize that you are part of a social circle, part of lots of committees and groups, and you have so many, many people that you are very friendly with. You have people you can have a nice cup of coffee and a chat with. But still, the relationships all have about as much depth as a teaspoon. It sucks when you have that moment of realization, that you are very friendly with people. But actually, you are not their friends.
This isn't really a commentary on other people and what they should or shouldn't do. I'm not trying to place blame or guilt. Maybe, probably, like most things, this is much more about me and my own shortcomings than anyone else. It takes two to build a friendship, I realize that, and obviously I'm doing some things wrong. But right now, I am hurt, I am lonely, and I would still so desperately like to have friends.