(One is silver and the other is gold.)
I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship lately.
In short: I’ve been alive for 40 years now, and I’m still not sure I know how to be a friend.
I remember how badly I wanted someone new to move into the ward when I was a kid, always sure that my best friend was the one I hadn’t met yet. Once I was at college and looked back, I saw that I was pretty blessed with a group of friends around me for most of my growing-up years. Why, then, didn’t I feel it at the time?
It wasn’t until my freshman year in college that I really started to learn how to have a more intense relationship with a friend, and it was because I was blessed with an amazing roommate who patiently stuck with me as I stumbled along (all over her feet) learning how to be a friend. I’ll be eternally grateful to and for her. I still feel her in my heart like a sister, even though we aren’t really active in each other’s lives on a daily (or even monthly) basis.
When we were away at grad school, I had similar experiences with some of the women who were in the same situation. The intensity of being poor students and young mothers living in the same complex threw us together much like a room-mate situation, and my friends from Berkeley are still some of the dearest.
But now that I am living all-independent-like in my house, I find it harder to have (keep?) friendships that influence my daily life. I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. Maybe it’s that I feel so shy on the phone, always, even with my own relatives. Maybe it’s because I don’t know how to call people up “for no reason.” Maybe I’ve been too judgmental of others in my life, and have pushed people away. Maybe we’re all just too busy.
Usually I don’t mind this lack too much, because I have some people in my life that I really enjoy conversing with—electronically. (And you, dear blog reader, are probably one of them.) And I am very busy with my family, who get more and more interesting and friend-like to me every day. But sometimes I just miss that real-life, Café Rio- and canning-peaches-together female bonding that women need.
Do you have a best friend, someone you talk to, on purpose, at least once a week? How did you get close to her? What can I be doing to try to turn my new (ward, blog) friends into golden old ones?