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In which i discuss friendship … again

 

When I was younger I always had a “best friend.” When I was 10 I thought it would be forever but ALAS, my friend had to move to New Mexico (I lived in North Carolina) and even though I went to visit her and she came to stay with me, we were doomed.

 

The next time I had a “best friend” I was 13 and we stayed “best friends” for a very long time and, in fact, still exchange Christmas cards and whatnot to this day, but once again, the term “best friend” was transient and we went our separate ways.

 

I met my “best friend” in college practically in the first hour and we were inseparable.  Making the MOST common mistake two best friends can make, we lived together the next year, and although we were still VERY GOOD friends we were no longer inseparable.  I will say, however, that TO THIS DAY, when I see her we laugh and get along like we were never apart.

 

After that, I became the sort of person who had multiple good friends but not a single best friend.  Different friends represented different parts of my personality.  I might have a friend I went out carousing with and a different friend that I just hung out and chatted with.  I had no desire, and in fact rarely did, mix my worlds.

 

What I have discovered along the way is that friendships often have a commonality with what you’re doing in your life.  For example, when you’re young and single and going out to bars and parties, of course your friends are going to be doing that with you.

 

Once you settle down and get married, especially if you move to a different area, you tend to meet the mothers of the children that your children are in school with.  Therefore, the things you have in common aren’t necessarily what your likes and dislikes are as much as where you tend to hang out and what activities your children are in.

 

Some of my greatest memories are from the bleachers when my kids played sports like football, lacrosse and field hockey.  Weekends going to swim meets with Keely were particularly bonding experiences as “sweltering” in a chlorinated super-heated pool area is something that we parents love to bitch about together.

 

But even more than that, when you have these experiences it’s not just about your kid.  Being super excited that another child has achieved a “best time” or “scored the winning goal” is such a wonderful thing.  I miss the bleachers because I honestly remember some of my best times there.  Not just the cheering but the chatting and feelings of belonging.

 

Now that my kids are older and I’m no longer in the bleachers (much, I still have one season left) I find that I miss that sort of camaraderie and that it’s more difficult to maintain and even start new friendships.

 

I think that’s the reason that many people have a hard time when they’re empty nesters.  It’s not just that the kids are leaving; it’s the activities and social interaction that these activities inspired that are gone as well.

 

I have found that I have to constantly reinvent myself and make myself leave my house and go meet other people.  As a fairly outgoing person, and yet a loner, I tend to withdraw and forcing myself to interact is something I’m attempting to do.

 

I think its one of the reasons that I’ve enjoyed blogging so much.  I never expected, when I began that I would actually make FRIENDS while blogging but it become so much more that I counted on.

 

I suppose the point of this entire post, if I can EVER be said to have a point, is that friendship is a constantly evolving situation.  Best friends come and go, sometimes because you move or events change, and sometimes because you just outgrow each other.  However, finding people that you can truly be yourself with is important and speaking from experience, not something you should quit working on.

 

Just last summer I got in touch with an old high school acquaintance and discovered that we NOW have so much in common.  When she and her husband were in town the other week we all went out (I’m including my husband here) and the way we two couples clicked was amazing.

 

So keep on chatting and meeting and friending people (yeah, Facebook has affected my life too), you won’t regret it.

 

That’s just my opinion but then again, that’s the only one that I care about.

 

 

 

 

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24 Comments

  1. Tina
    May 2, 2012

    Like you my “best friends” in school are no longer around. “Best friends” I had in my earlier work years are mostly people I will have a conversation with when I see them. When I was younger and didn’t understand the way of the world quite so much I used to get upset when I gave my heart and soul to a friend only to feel it ripped out when they moved onto their next “best friend”. Now I just accept that our interests change along with our lives and age.

    I am very lucky and priviledged to have one true best friend that I have known since I was 12 who is there for me through thick and thin and who I hold on the highest pedestal. We are each others counsellors as well as best friends and we are each others “go to girl”.

    I found another best friend a couple of years ago and we are very very similar in nature and she fulfils a different set of needs in many ways. She has become and will remain a long-term “best friend”.

    Of course, my hubby and daughter are my other true best friends – I guess they could get rid of me if they chose to but that would involve divorce and disowning me and I think neither of them can be bothered with the energy required to do that and so continue to put up with me….
    Tina recently posted..See what major surgery does to youMy Profile

    • Lynn
      May 2, 2012

      Yeah, my hubby and kids are my bestest friends too…great comment

  2. Mayor Gia
    May 2, 2012

    All good points, methinks!
    Mayor Gia recently posted..Dog Sign Contest!My Profile

  3. Alexandra
    May 2, 2012

    Yeah FB. I ‘ve tried to figure out FB, the way I’ve tried to figure out Pinterest.

    Just doesn’t work for me.

    But, twitter: now, twitter’s my girl.

    Good points, Lynn…who can explain chemistry and why we like who we like and why we’re comfortable with those we’re comfortable with. If we’re not drawn to someone, it’s nothing that person should take personally. And vice versa for me, too. I tell myself, some people go for me, some don’t…just like I feel I can be myself with someone, and not with others.

    You know what would be interesting, and I know you have the guts to do it: a post on internal dialogue when we hear or see someone for the first time. What makes us decide we want to know them further, and what doesn’t.

    • Lynn
      May 2, 2012

      hmmm…perhaps that would be interesting. maybe i’ll do that. Sometimes people click and sometimes they don’t. Goo point

  4. Julie
    May 2, 2012

    I totally get this. I’ve told you before that my girl friends are my oxygen. The mix of who is the “bestie” can change along the way, but all are vital in my ongoing quest for sanity.

    • Lynn
      May 2, 2012

      yeah…mine come and go mostly at this point

  5. Melanie
    May 2, 2012

    Great post! I so agree that friendships evolve and change, and sometimes die out, and that’s okay. I have good friends all up and down the coast, some of whom I only talk to once a month, but they’re still people I consider to be very close friends.

    • Lynn
      May 2, 2012

      me too..i see my college friends every 10 years and we have a great time

  6. Carol
    May 2, 2012

    You know what this post is really happening in reality. Friendship will build so much love that may lead in love :)
    Carol recently posted..moving ratesMy Profile

  7. Sandy Rose
    May 2, 2012

    You put into words exactly how I’m feeling these days. Not quite an empty nester, but my youngest is 15 and the older 3 are all away. We moved to a new state one year ago and I haven’t connected with anyone and the longer I go without connecting, the longer I go without connecting……

    • Lynn
      May 2, 2012

      Awww…I’m so sorry. It must be so hard to have to start all over again

  8. Dawn
    May 2, 2012

    So true, Lynn. I have to say that I enjoy the evolution process – I think it keeps us on our toes and forces us out of our comfort zones. This, in turn, keeps us from being defined by our kids and their activities, which I think is healthy for us in the long run. (Not that you ever allowed yourself to be defined by your kids. I’m speaking in very generalized terms, here. Really, I think as moms sometimes that is our greatest challenge: not to lose ourselves while we are working so hard to be good moms. And yet, maintaining our sense of individuality within the framework of our families is quite possibly one of the greatest gifts we can give our children.)

    • Lynn
      May 2, 2012

      I think I get as defined by their kids as anyone whose primary job it is to raise them. It’s been difficult at times redefining my role around here

  9. Jester Queen
    May 2, 2012

    I’m very lucky. In spite of having hellish school years (from the in-school-time perspective – the rest of my life was fun), I have had a best friend since Preschool. We live hundreds of miles away, and she’s still my best above all other bests. But I get your point and I absolutely agree with it.

    • Lynn
      May 2, 2012

      lucky you

  10. Dhyann
    May 2, 2012

    Friendship is very important for me because without them we cannot develop certain things in our life today.. Actually, even your shyness can go away through them..
    Dhyann recently posted..aerials southendMy Profile

  11. Laura
    May 3, 2012

    Friendships often end or fade away over time, as old friends lose touch with each other, or life becomes too hectic to find time to communicate regularly.
    Laura recently posted..Fixed denture implantsMy Profile

  12. The Anecdotal Baby
    May 4, 2012

    So true. I’ve recently realized – after becoming a first-time mom – that the friends I once had just don’t have the same things in common, and I see less of them. It was a harsh reality for me. But I understand that we’re just not in the same place anymore. I’m finding out that some friends are meant to come into and go out of your life with the changes. It’s kind of sad, but I guess it’s the reality.

    • Lynn
      May 4, 2012

      Yeah, but sometimes they come back in again

  13. kathykate
    May 4, 2012

    we could so be friends.

    being a friend is hard work, especially w/o forced social situations like bleacher ass at swim meets. But girl, I’d hang with you anytime.
    kathykate recently posted..Crying in the Lord and Taylor Dressing RoomMy Profile

  14. Amy
    May 5, 2012

    I can’t be that good of a friend since I just read this. But kind of karmic since just a few hours ago we texted about being glad we’re friends. And I love it.

  15. Traci
    May 10, 2012

    It is forever evolving, I still have the 3 girlfriends I grew up with, we have stayed in touch over the years. We become friends with the people that are involved in the same things as our kids — each stage of our kids life keeps it evolving. My kids are grown and there are a few friends that are precious to me and I am so thankful we had the commonality of our children, they will always be with me, and the rest have come and gone and I don’t miss them, happy for the experience. Appreciated the blog.

    • Lynn
      May 10, 2012

      thanks…i appreciated the comment

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