One of the things I thought about over the years is my friends. I always felt like I was on the outside and didn’t fit in anywhere because I didn’t have a core group of girlfriends. When it was time to celebrate or cry or go shopping, I didn’t have the same 4 girls to call. I think things like Sex and the City and Friends messed me up even more on that. (Kinda like how romantic comedies have messed me up what a happy ending is, but that’s a topic for another day.)
When I was married, it wasn’t as big of a deal because I had friend TD (see once-husband, see now ex-husband) as the automatic go-to person for celebration and tears. (Not shopping though – needed a girlfriend for that. Oh who am I kidding? I rarely went shopping until about 2 years ago. If I didn’t walk by it on sale or clearance at Target, I didn’t buy it.) Sadly, I think a lot of my married life centered around my husband. I mean sadly only in that I never put myself first nor did I look for relationships/friendships/hobbies/activities/interest outside of TD. Throughout my marriage, I had a few friends left over from my single days. Only a few though. Didn’t talk to them much though.
Divorce hits, and I realize most of my friends were either his friends or our friends, and I didn’t have a ton in common with them. I was also trying to figure out life as a single 30something. So I drifted from those friendships. Friend JF has been a good friend since we were 6 months old living next door to each other. She’s been there for me through it all. I’ve gotten closer to friend TB (see brother) in recent years, and now I count him as a close friend. But I don’t know how much I had for friends beyond that.
Then I started dancing. What a livesaver! (Again, topic for another day.) I met fun people, and after the last few years, I’ve become good friends with a few of them. I’ve met other people in life in the last few years too. So I had a friend here, a friend there, a few friends at the dance studio, another friend here. But I was still missing a core group of friends to hang out with and have automatic plans for New Year’s Eve with. This bugged me a lot. Where were my Carrie and Samantha and Miranda and Charlotte? Where did I automatically fit?
Then a few weeks ago, I realized something. I may not have a core group of good friends in the same circle of friends. And I may not have a ‘best friend’. But in some ways, that may be better. Instead of seeing the same 4 people for everything, I get to go listen to a band with friend AM and her friends one night, go for drinks with friend ND and his buddies another night, hang out with friend LS and our other friends at the dance studio on another night, and talk to friend RM on instant message another day. And these people and a few more are amazing people that inspire me and I know would be there for me when the chips are down. Come to think of it, they have been there for me in those times. I think I’ve cried (or had serious conversations) about different things to each one. And each one has given me the gift of their presence, their experience, their friendship, their laughter, their knowledge and sometimes their liquor. (Crap, I owe friend ND a 6-pack for fishing my earring out of the drain in the sink at work. It’s on its way, ND, it’s on its way – I promise!)
Of course, these friends also make me compare my life to theirs and go “What the hell am I doing with my life? Man, I’m inadequate.” But I think that’s more a part of figuring out who I am than anything else. (Side note, do you think everyone looks at another’s life and thinks theirs doesn’t measure up, but in the meantime someone is looking at your life and feeling theirs is inadequate by comparison? Hmmm….)
How blessed am I to have friends in so many circles and able to be part of and hear about so many different experiences? How great is that I get to have so many awesome friends to lean on, laugh with, cry to and drink with? I’m really starting to enjoy the close friendships I’ve got, especially those I’ve built over the last few years. I’m so lucky!!!!!!!!
“Best friends. They know how crazy you are and still choose to be seen in public with you.” -Unknown