New Years Wish

Every time I’ve made a new friend over the past couple of years, within a matter of months the person has moved away. It’s happened so many times just in the past year that I have begun joking with my husband about it.

This reminds me of the old saying: “some friends are in your life for a season, some for a reason, some for a lifetime”. I am apparently a “reason” kind of friend: my role in these folks’ lives seems to be to somehow be a part of transitions. I am the person they meet during some sort of major life change which, once complete, necessitates that the person then settles somewhere else permanently.

It’s for this reason that I am grateful someone came up with the concept of social networking. Through sites like Facebook and Twitter, I can keep in touch with people as far away as Australia and as close as my own backyard. I have made some wonderful connections this way and am grateful for each one, although in addition I’d like a little more.

I know that distance alone does not cause the friendship to end but it does alter the relationship. I admit to being a bit clueless about what makes a friendship a “reason” or “season” one versus a lifetime one, although my “reason-season” relationships felt like real friendships while they were happening. I mourn each one when it ends, going through each of the classic stages of grief until I finally reach acceptance that I have drifted into the background of the person’s life.

In 2011, I want to make a forever friend. I don’t know how or where to find one, but I will try to have hope that it will happen someday. Years ago, another “reason-season” friend told me, when I was single, that I should ask The Universe for the specific qualities I was looking for in the Man of My Dreams. Now, I wish to meet the Woman of My Dreams (although I suppose under the right circumstances my BFF could end up being male).

My lifestyle might not be the most conducive to friendship. I work somewhat long hours, and even when I’m off the clock I still am kind of on the clock. My husband works several jobs. I have a special needs child. And – perhaps this is something I should change – I tend to give people their space, thinking that if I am too eager to be their friend it will be a turnoff for them. It can come across as aloofness or disinterest and has cost me friends, boyfriends and other opportunities in the past. There has to be a balance somewhere.

I don’t know of any matchmaking services for best friends that exist. If you’re reading this, what would you do if you were me?

I hope to make lasting friends in my own neighborhood someday. I think – hope – that I’m still not too old to have a best friend, someone I can call up at 2am, for example, and am opening my heart to finding that person, whomever he or she may be.

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11 Responses to New Years Wish

  1. Your first paragraph rang so many bells with me. Shortly after moving to Australia 15 months ago I made two friends; one later took a job on a tropical island, the other returned to her native US. I can’t complain as of course I moved away and left friends behind in the UK, but still it hurt. I’m now at the stage of learning to enjoy the friendships I do have, whether for season or reason, but I too would love a best friend who ideally is in the same country! I don’t have the answer, all I can suggest is that you keep making as many connections as possible and who knows? One might come along when you least expect it. Good luck!

  2. nlguy says:

    Thank you. I’m glad to know someone “gets” it! 🙂

    I always worry that I did something wrong in the relationship when really I might be overthinking it. I served a purpose in the person’s life and they need to move on. It’s almost like consulting, if you think about it. Still hurts, but it’s life, you know?

  3. Jen says:

    I hope you can find a “forever friend” in the new year, too. It is so, SO important to our mental, emotional, and even physical health to have a friend close by who you can rely on for anything. Over the last year and a half, I’ve built and strengthened relationships with several women in my town, and those women have been a life-saver for me. Now, none of them are someone I’d call my “best friend,” but I am very close and have been very open and honest with a number of them. And they, with me.

    Social networking and the Internet is a great way to stay connected to people who aren’t close to you, physically, but they just can’t take the place of that friend you can call up on a whim and go to coffee or dinner or a movie with without any fuss.

    • nlguy says:

      Thanks Jen!

      Maybe in the new year I’ll ask people to “set me up”; what do you think? 😉

      • Jen says:

        Couldn’t hurt! 😀 I’ve also tried to be more proactive about being the one to call and propose plans. Like you, I used to hold back and let others come to me, mostly due to shyness and a lack of confidence. But this year, I made more of an effort to initiate contact with others and try to forge new friendships. It’s helped.

        I wonder if there are any local activity/support groups of women with lives similar to yours, who would be understanding of what you deal with and are also fairly well-settled in the area?

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  5. What would you do if you were me !
    It sounds so cute that i feel like posting a comment.
    I am a very pessimistic one, and i hardly believe in friendship.
    Our world is such, so I only see the relation “predator / prey”
    And though, i want to confirm that YOU are right : having a close friend for a lifetime is an obvious possibility. And, Dear, i wish you find someone you experiment “empathy” with (i am using those horrible inverted commas to significate that in French you have to use this word empathy in every phrase you say aloud, or else you’re OUT !)
    P.S : Maybe you start with a horse (if you have room enough, if you are in the countryside). Animals are friends because they just give back the love you spend taking care of them. But it means too : no more holidays unless you ride on to ! ♥ ♥ ♥ Marta

  6. Flea says:

    Hi I am visiting via Val’s!
    Oh count me in too, I still stuggle too to find a forever friend, I immigrated to Oz 11 years ago and although I have many friends and know many people, I also still feel I need a forever friend.
    I hope we both find them in 2011.

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  8. There are only 3 colors, 10 digits, and 7 notes; its what we do with them that’s important. Jim Rohn

  9. Pingback: No song unsung, no wine untasted | Personal Essays

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