Monday, April 7, 2014

Thinking About Friendship

Today (and always) I am grateful for my friends because, in recent weeks, I have discovered how difficult it is to make new ones. I have felt like a child, walking into the new mom groups or the classes and even the email feeds, feeling, as I have always felt: that I never quite belong. And I remember that my awkward, stammering conversation, my melancholy, my rambles, my long silences, my way of feeling so frantic or uncertain I forget to think, my words a runaway tumbleweed, are things that old friends, good friends, still tolerate.

I write this, not to be coddled, only to be honest, and to remind myself how lucky I am.

A lot of my friendships are founded on the basis of the yes, yes, oh! me too! exclamations. But some, and these are not any lesser, I treasure because we think in a pattern of opposites. I admire all my friends. There are pieces of them I wish I could steal for myself. Someday, I think, I'll make a new patchwork me, out of them, all stitched and sewn.

I have felt, in these past few weeks, that friendships of proximity no longer satisfy me. It is not enough to live nearby, to be close in age, to come from the same place or stand beside one another in the same stage of life. There is something greater at work. An understanding.

I hate small talk. And introductions. I hate what do you do where do you live where do you come from and, yet, I don't know any other way to begin.

I hope I am stumbling towards the people who become friends because one of us has followed a wild, meandering line to the other.

I hope you and I and all of us smack into each other when we are not looking.


  1. I can really relate to this. Finding romance was always far less difficult and awkward and unbearable than finding friendship, and I still struggle with a sense of "unworthiness" with new people. Why would they want to befriend me? What do I have that's interesting or special? Why would anyone bother wanting to get to know me? . . . Isn't that silly? It is. But I can't help it. I flounder endlessly in new circles, always feeling like the outsider, too. But we have each other. :) Hugs.

  2. Love how universal that photo is - it could be from 1975 or today.

  3. I love the photo, and your thoughts about friendship are lovely and true.

  4. I think I can only say, "Yes, yes, oh! me too!" Because I have felt so much of this. I DESPISE small talk, and I always feel that I must be annoying someone if I go up to them and talk.
    Maybe we will smack into each other in real life sometime. (Hopefully not literally, but I can be rather clumsy, so I wouldn't rule it out!) I'm just across the Sound, after all...

  5. Me too, Melissa!I am older, now and still have not mastered the art of small talk. Most of my friends now live at a distance, but I have retained these friendships as they are deep and meaningful. The delight, however, is that all of a sudden a new friend appears and is added. I love people, but am not socially at ease in company. also, I am better at writing than talking ... not that that is saying much, but the words flow more easily.
    I hope that this is helpful to you, now, so that you do not feel odd, and in the future, knowing that it is fine to be this way.

  6. Yes, and yes!! I am so grateful we smacked into each other. You have added so much to my life--hope, inspiration, kindness, connection, intertwined passions...all of them deeply felt. I am grateful for you, for your words, for your way of being in this wild and wonderful crazy world. Thank you!

  7. I think this becomes especially apparent when you become a mother and are at home; it's like any job that takes some getting used to - and that includes new friendships. It's so interesting how most of my closest friends are mothers who have children the same age as my children; we wouldn't have necessarily connected otherwise. I would love to run into you one of these days...I dream of going to New York for a writing conference...Have a wonderful weekend! From, your friend with the chickens and an eternally mess house :)