Boy, am I glad I wrote down all my thoughts a few weeks ago and DIDN’T press the “Publish” button.
Last week I was feeling very down on myself because I had not socialized with any friends, face to face, in awhile. In part, was the fact that I had been dealing with some minor health issues and I didn’t really have the energy to put the effort into the endeavor. It took me a few days to admit it, but man was I feeling sorry for myself! It was pretty pathetic!
Within a matter of a few days, I was able to connect with several friends about long-awaited and much-needed opportunities to hang out.
Since graduating from college, I have felt this struggle in some form or another. As an introvert, it already takes me a longer time to really make a friend. I spent five years in the Midwest, living the post college life and had established roots and friendships. But it came time to move as I got married and my husband was seeking a new career path. We’ve now been in the Mid-Atlantic (DC/Baltimore area) for 3 years and while I have many acquaintances and a few friends, I don’t really see anyone with great regularity or consistency.
I’ve heard that friendships in your 30’s are different than friendship in your 20’s. I think marriage and kids are part of that difference, but regardless of age, that doesn’t make them any less important.
I’ve been experiencing a different season of friendships for awhile, but I have just not adjusted well. I have gotten used to phone calls with far away friends when they come and not worry about how often that is.
To my friends: No more apologies for not calling more often. Life happens and we chat when we are able to and I am thankful for that. Plus, traveling to visit friends in other (sometimes, warmer) places is always a perk!
Do I wish all my closest friends lived in the same town, even the same neighborhood so we could have coffee dates every week? Of course. But, it’s not realistic. Life keeps us all moving, which just means friendship takes more effort. While college life, surrounded by automatic friends was great, it doesn’t last a lifetime (even if you work at a college). Thankfully, I have made some pretty great friends, which I can call or text anytime. While it’s not the same relationships we experienced many years ago, they are still meaningful and rich in my life.
So, it’s time for me to put away the violin and keep living, keep being a friend, and when it’s hard and I feel lonely, to put the effort in because it’s always worth it.