Where Have All My Girlfriends Gone?
I have been working really hard for the past few years and a lot of my friendships have fallen away.
And a lot of them didn’t get to come back to life this past year because, between Rick, my family and my first year as a teacher, I didn’t make room for them.
Rick was my best friend this last year. That’s really the way I like it. I want to be best friends with my significant other. In fact, he was one of the few people outside my family that I spent much time with. It’s not like I was turning down social engagements left and right in order to hang out with him…that’s not how I roll. (Although, I did skip church on weeknights quite a bit to be with him.)
And honestly, being a first year teacher, I probably wouldn’t have seen much of anyone — besides my family — if he hadn’t been coming over to my house. ‘Cause no one else was coming over to my house, and I sure as heck didn’t have the energy or the time to go much of anywhere.
And last year (2013-2014), well I was in graduate school.
And the year(s) before that (2011-13), I was a working waitress. Which means that I worked most of the times that my friends were playing.
And the year before that (2011-2012) I was working two jobs to make enough money to pay off credit card debut and save up to start my own business.
Oh yeah, and then I started my own business in there somewhere too. And ran it.
So, for the last four or five years, my friendships have not been as deep as I might like. And I haven’t been spending as much time with my friends as I would like. And honestly, I had myself busy enough that for the most part I didn’t even notice.
I am lucky enough to have a couple of great friends living in the same apartment complex as me. (You rock, Dee, Cameo and Lauren — and now Annalise.) Without them I know for a fact I would not have been able to make it through the past few years. It would have been lonely-city for Crystal. And probably depressed-city too.
I can imagine slipping slowly into a lonely depression fueled by ice cream and bad TV that would have led me to start getting the proverbial lonely-woman cat companions. And I hate cats. Well, I don’t love them. And I’m allergic to them.
But I’m not even completely happy with those friendships, because I would like to be closer to those ladies as well.
And there is a deeper truth surrounding all of this too. Honestly, I think I have been a little scared to make new friends. I had a few weird friend things happen over the previous years that have made me a little gun-shy.
For a long time, I was investing in people who would ultimately leave. This goes as far back as 2005 when I was working at the Air Force base nearby. I’d get close to people, learn all their stories, meet their families, come to love them and spend a lot of time with them, and then they would get deployed or reassigned.
Suddenly, I’m alone on Friday nights and I have no one close to me. And, unfortunately, I have been awful at keeping up with long distance relationships. (BTW I miss you Kim.)
But the Air Force kiddos were not the only ones who left. A long list of them got married and then moved away. Or moved away and then got married. Or had babies and fell off the face of the earth. Or I started a friendship and it never quite materialized. That has happened a lot — I think because of how busy I have been in the past few years.
So, I maybe have developed some fears of, I don’t know, abandonment?
This gets even more tricky because, around 2009, I had a major life change. Or that’s when the change started. I’ve moved past the religion I was raised in. And as I’ve written in this blog, I’m not just Christian anymore. I’m really loathe to hang out with my Christian friends because I don’t want them to try to convert me. The truth is, I’ve been converted.
So that cut a lot of people out of the mix too.
I guess what I’m saying is that I feel lonely without Rick around, and I’m not sure what to do about it. I want to really connect with other people on a deep level, but I’m not sure how to do that. At the very least, I’m out of practice. And how do adults make new friends? I think I’ll leave this here for now and write a post about that for tomorrow.