Thursday, August 21, 2008

Friends

I'm at a really weird place in my life when it comes to friends. Growing up, I had a best friend who I did everything with. She knew everything that was going on in my life, and I knew everything that was going on in hers. We were close even after we both got married, and then we slowly drifted apart. I have tried to reconnect that friendship, but we are two very different people now. When Jeff and I got married, we were really adventurous, and wanted to see the country. When we were married for one year, we bought a silver Avion camper and moved to the Black Hills of South Dakota. We moved away from all of our friends that we had had growing up. We had no jobs, and just lived off of savings while we tried to find jobs. We explored the amazing country out there, and tried our best to find jobs so we could stay. There were just no jobs out there. We moved to Kentucky after Jeff got a job there, and we stayed for a year. Then we started missing being near our families, so we moved again, about 2 hours from our families. We built a house in the country, and thought we were going to settle down. The area where we lived was very small town. Everyone we met was related to someone else we met. People had all grown up together, so Jeff and I had a hard time ever really fitting in and making friends. We moved again 2 years ago, and now live where we grew up. We love being here, and we love being close to our families. The hard part is that it seems so much more challenging to make friends now. I'm not sure why that is. I know that I am not a cookie cutter person, and neither is Jeff or Evie. We have different thoughts about things, and we have not had a typical life. I'm okay with that, and know that God made us the way we are. Plus I don't want to be like everyone else. That would be boring! Jeff and I figured we would make our friends at church when we moved back near family, because that is how we usually made friends in years past. We found a church where the preaching is amazing. We always walk out of there getting something out of it. The fellowship there is really lacking though, and there are very few people our age with kids our age. We had been going to a church where the preaching was okay (not great, just okay), but the fellowship was amazing. We know that we could have formed some great friendships. We visited a lot of churches, and basically it boiled down to those 2 choices. I'm seriously wanting to connect with people. Do you choose a church based more on fellowship than preaching? Ugh, it is frustrating. I find that my closest friends right now are online friends. I am really thankful for them, and they are a great group of ladies. It is crazy that I can be friends with people I have never met in person before. Maybe that is the way friendships are in the 21st century. I would really love to have some "live" friends too. When you get older, is that just not possible?

5 comments:

SchnauzerMom said...

If it were me I think I would choose the church where I could make friends. We need each other. As long as the preacher is preaching the Word.

Jules said...

"I am not a cookie cutter person ... I'm seriously wanting to connect with people. ... I find that my closest friends right now are online friends. ... It is crazy that I can be friends with people I have never met in person before."

I could have written this. Seriously.

I still keep in contact with the two girls who were my closest friends during my teen years but with one it is so difficult. We're different people now but we still care for each other and don't want to let the friendship die. With the other friend, we may not talk for months and then when we do we talk for ages. Both live overseas now and I've only seen one of them (and only for a few days) in the 12 years since we moved.

Like you, I want to connect with people. Desperately. We love our church: the preaching is very Bible based (and that is important); our kids have friends there and pretty much enjoy the activities for their age group (although there are some issues); but my husband and I have no friends there. Not really. People are friendly and will say 'hello' but that is as far as it goes. There is no one that I can ring and talk to just for the sake of it or because I've had a bad day or whatever.

I don't know what it is but like you my close friends are friends that I've met online and have never seen face to face. I don't know if it's because of it being online that you don't start out with any pre-conceived ideas and just accept people for who they are or whether it's because people put their 'best face' forward online and only tell you what they want you to know. I do believe it is possible to make friends online and that over time you get to know them well. But I also feel that it shouldn't be a substitute for face-to-face friends. And for me at the moment, it is. If I didn't have my online friends I would be even lonelier than I am now (and that's a desperate confession to make yet it's true).

Daisy said...

I have one friend from school that we have been best friends since kindergarten. Life changes things ... getting married and having our own families and other responsibilities also I've definately changed from high school and she has to .. to a certain extent, but we still get together to chat away for hours but only 3-4 times a year.

When I first went to church, I knew nobody, I went all by myself. The people were very loving and friendly ( I'm thinking of one young lady now, she and her family would have made me one of their own, they still would) ... but I was so shy. It takes me a long time to make friends, maybe I have a trust issue with people I don't know.

But now I have 4 ladies (in real life) that I consider very good friends.


I love on-line friends too. I think my on-line friends know more about me than people in real life! Isn't that something? I'm sooo quiet, but on-line I'm not. I'm not sure why, I can't explain it. Maybe it's easier for me to talk this way, I can think first and type when I want ... there's no pressure to speak right away.

I very much look forward every day to see what my on-line friends are gabbing about, it really makes my day! I just wish I could meet them! Can you imagine if we all got together?

I was going to write my opinion about the church situation, but I won't because Jen ... I'm not in your situation and also because I think where you attend church is strictly between you and the Lord.

Kelly said...

Jen, I totally understand what you're saying and could have written the post myself, as someone else already said.
We're looking for a church now but have yet to find a balanced place. Our previous church was very cliquish, and I want to stear clear of that again.
I've lost many friends just growing apart.
I know for me I'm the only SAHM in my neighborhood. My "friends" are women more than twice my age simply because our values are closer. I'm hoping as my daughter gets involved in activities I'll meet other moms but something tells me that I'll have little in common with other working moms. I've met a few other moms with kids my daughter's age and having a conversation is like banging your head against a wall, there are just so many differences.
I have a really good friend but she's working in Korea right now and normally lives in Chicago.
I too have closer "friendships" with women online who I feel I have so much more in common. I have a mom's support group where we all keep saying that someday we'll all get together in one location.

I don't know the answer. I don't know that in depth friendships with other women are a necessary thing. As my hubby keeps saying, "you're my best friend", and obviously my hubby is mine. I think it would be wonderful to have a few other women to share life with, but in today's world where most two parent families work I don't know how much time anyone has for friendships.
Kind of sad in a way.

Jen said...

Thank you all so much for sharing your struggles about friendship, and for your encouraging words. It helps to know that I am not alone! Thank you!