I have this string of thoughts that has been floating around my head, pulling at me. There was a writer’s workshop at Mama Kat’s that I missed awhile ago that asked the question of what 10 lessons your child would teach you. One came to mind, instantaneously, I wish I could make friends easily. Kids just see someone in a vague age range as themselves and they just start talking, start playing and suddenly they’re friends no questions asked. I can’t do that. I’ve never been able to just do that.
I make friends so easily, in my mind. In my mind I haven’t escalated far beyond an initial childhood reaction of you seem nice, we have something in common, let’s be friends. However, I am acutely aware of the fact that the feeling is almost never mutual. Most people take time to make friends. They are guarded. Unwilling to reveal. Their time is precious and difficult to penetrate. I hate this.
I make friends by telling. Perhaps, usually, too much. I reveal from the get go. It’s a good thing I never dated because I’m sure this earnestness wouldn’t work well.
Why is it so challenging to be friends as adults? Have we been hurt too much? Scorned by childhood teasing and gossip? Why do we have a limit of how many friends we’ll have? At what point does someone transition from acquaintance to friend?
To me friendships are more complicated than relationships. Much more complicated. In a relationship to an extent you know where you stand. They are milestones that you complete. There are late night whisperings. When was the last time two friends sat together to discuss just what kind of friends they are?
I am loyal. To a fault. I will do anything and everything for my friends.
I forgive. Always. Often when I shouldn’t.
I am compassionate. My empathy is endless.
Perhaps because I give so much, always, that I never feel like I get what I give. I never feel equal. Like in a relationship where one loves more, deeper, stronger, there is that endless imbalance in my friendships. That endless doubt in my mind of where we stand.
On some level I’m always surprised when my friends are there for me. I am expecting them to disappoint me. I never feel worthy of their friendships, so I never trust it completely. So I give more and more to compensate for these feelings of inadequacy.
I have an arsenal of fear.
I’m often so disappointed in myself. Disappointed that I care so much, try so hard, and feel so terribly alone at the end of the day. I miss my friends from Chicago with a tremor that shakes my core. I know I idealize them, idealize a childhood friendship we once had for in reality the friends I’ve known the longest know me the least. They know my past though; they know what has shaped me. Molded me, broke me, put me back together. So I carry them with me. I find that the internet makes it all the more harder. These virtual relationships you’re building with people you’ve never met.
I miss the days when we all wore friendship bracelets and hearts torn in two.