Does anyone else get nervous when they put something a little different out there and it gets no comments? Just me? I’m always worried I offended people so much that they couldn’t think of anything nice to say so they didn’t say anything all.
I’m also a hot, hormonal mess right now so I’m absolutely taking that into consideration as well.
A friend was supposed to be in town this week but because of the government shut down her trip was shortened from one week to just one day and we didn’t get to see each other. We’ve grown apart as we’ve gotten older–she lives on the other side of the country and our visits are few and far between these days. I didn’t realize how much I was looking forward to seeing her until her trip was suddenly cancelled and I had nothing to look forward to Thursday night or Saturday day. Now I’m feeling this intense loneliness descending. Even if the connection between us wasn’t the greatest, I really could have used the distraction.
The loneliness is compounded by learning today that a huge group of (women) staff at my work were invited to a (woman) colleague’s wedding this weekend. Now I don’t think I should have been invited, and it’s not even that I feel left out by not going, I guess I just didn’t realize how many other people WERE invited, and that pretty much all of them are people I consider friends. Like so many things it makes me realize that I don’t belong in most groups, even if I like to think that I do, or consider the people in them more friends than acquaintances.
I guess I’ve really been noticing this a lot lately. A couple of weeks ago I called a friend that I knew was having a hard time. The purpose of the phone call was to make her feel better but I realized five minutes in that I had no idea how to do that. What followed was 30 very awkward minutes where in I kept fumbling to provide support while she very kindly and graciously made it clear I was doing just the opposite. This is a woman I have considered a close friend since college but we’ve grown apart as distance (both geographical and emotional) have come between us. I certainly don’t fault her for the withering of our relationship; it was mostly me who pushed her away, especially during the past years of TTC, loss and secondary infertility. In fact, I am quite cognizant of the fact that my lack of friends is primarily my own doing, as I haven’t attempted much to either find friends or keep them.
The cold hard truth is that I really only have two real, close friends and I have no one to blame for that fact but myself.
Recently one of those friends broached the possibility of throwing me a shower before my wedding and while I thought that sounded wonderful, I was worried I wouldn’t have enough people to invite. In the end I was able to scrape together a list of ten women that I would have liked to have been there, but I also realized that besides my mother and the woman (actually two women) who offered to throw the shower, I would never call or text any of them with a problem or a suggestion to hang out (at least not without kids). Again, I really only have two friends I call or text regularly and they are the only ones I ever do things with. The fact that I can barely name eight women (who live within two hours of here) that I consider friends feels kind of pathetic (two people on the list were my sister and my mom).
I know that being a mom is part of the problem–it’s not like I have a chunk of time every Saturday to hang out with someone sans kids–but it feels like something else, something deeper is at the heart of this. It’s more than just a lack of free time keeping me from building friendships but I’m not quite sure what it is.
It’s not that I think I’m impossible to befriend, or that I’m down on myself for not having friends, it’s more that I’m just sad that I don’t have many people that I feel close to, that I could lean on for support.
I know I’ve written this exact post so many times before. I know lots of other women have too. An attrition of close friends is very common for women–especially mothers–and knowing that other women struggle with it actually does make me feel less alone (though not less lonely, if that makes sense). I know the barriers standing in my way and while I’ve tried to work around them, I also know that meeting a friend is a rare occurrence, no matter how much you put yourself out there. You can’t just a will a friendship into existence; it requires to many factors fall into place. There is a reason friends are so important–if they were easy to come by they wouldn’t be worth so much.
I also know that the next two years are not going to provide a whole lot of opportunities to meet new friends let alone foster new friendships. I guess I’ll just have to be patient and hopefully, in 2-3 years I’ll be able to really dedicate myself to finding friends. In the meantime, I’ll keep being so, so, so, SO grateful for the two good friends I do have. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without them.
Have you lost many good friends over the years? Have you made any new ones recently? Do you think a soon-to-be mother of two has any hope of meeting someone new?