I miss my friends.
There I said it. Big breath. Exhale.
I miss my friends. My people. My bitches.
Some days I miss them more than anything and a text or a phone call just doesn’t help.
I miss my friends. It sounds crappy to say it, so I haven’t until now. I mean, it is nice to hear if you are the friends I am missing, but it sounds like a slight to the friends I have made here-yes? And I have made friends here. I have made many friends, wonderful and diverse friends. We share laughs, and cocktails; we do dinners and volunteer together. I am fortunate that in such a short time in my new home I have found so many women that I share so much with.
But I still miss my friends.
I had an unexpected day off the other day and had no plans and no direction. I couldn’t think of anything to do (yes, I suppose I could have cleaned, dusted or done laundry). Then I came up with a ton of things to do, but didn’t want to do them alone. So did I call any of the many friends I have made? No. I spent the day solo and melancholy. Wanting to be alone, but feeling very lonely. It sounds ridiculous and I feel silly and petty for even saying all of this. I kept trying to figure out what my problem was, why couldn’t I just call someone?
I finally realized that what I am missing is the relationships themselves, not necessarily a specific person or people (though I do miss them too). I am longing for the depth and layers that come only after years spent together. I miss the intimacy of those friends that have seen me at my worst with snot and tears on my face. I am aching for the people who know my moods and will come sit and watch Netflix all day and drink wine and not talk at all. I am missing genuine hugs, coffee on my porch; drop in friends that show up when you expect it least but when you need it the most. I miss sitting at my kitchen table watching ridiculous YouTube videos and laughing until I pee, dressed in my finest pajamas while our collective children run screaming through the house. I miss walking the neighborhood baring my raw and fractured heart and getting a much-needed pep talk , no holds barred, no bullshit with the one friend that would tell me EXACTLY like it is. I miss the stories and tall tales we all shared over a fire pit in the first days of fall. I miss being lulled to sleep by the sound of the river, warmed by the sun, and surrounded by the chatter of women I have known over a decade. I miss the messy and dirty, the sad and moody, the calls for nothing, the silly texts, the beer in the garage, the cigarettes behind the house, the crying, the laughing, the highs and the lows, of those friendships I left behind.
There are things that only life and time can give you, and that kind friendship is one sadly of them. The women I have in my life now are amazing in their own way, but it is early in our relationship and we are all still shiny and new. We still look our best to see one another, and say the kindest things, and are sure to agree on mostly everything. Our kids are still perfect, our husbands amazing and our lives are full and vivacious. It will take time to drop the mask, the pretense, and the fear of being judged or not liked for who we really are. It will take time to be authentic, to be human and fragile, to trust and have faith in the foundations we are laying. But how ironic is it that I was so ready to move away from SC and away from people who had seen me stumble and fall too many times to count, I now wish I had someone here that knew me when…
Of course I could be doing more to foster such relationships. I could reach out more to the friends I have, I could initiate and try a bit harder. I could relax, drop my guard and open up. I have come to know and enjoy the people I surround myself with so why not? What is stopping me? I suppose it could be pure laziness on my part-extending myself with new and different people, being ‘on’ for long periods of time is exhausting to me-a side effect of my hearing loss. I have to concentrate and focus so much more on what is being said and what is going on around me which some days, just wipes me out. It could be fear. I have sat in the embers of a few female friendships that went up in a spectacular ball of flames, and I am in no hurry to do that again. (Women as it turns out, can hurt each other far more than any lover or spouse ever could.) Letting someone get that close again is not coming easy for me-arms length seems a comfortable distance for now, but I know it has its price and feeling like this is it. It could also be that now I have to stand on my own as a woman, and as a friend, and that is a new and unfamiliar feeling for me. My children are grown (enough) that my circle is not being made up of the mothers of my children’s friends. I am not being thrown together at a or Boy Scouts or some random school function where we can bond over too sweet lemonade and that one class our kids are all struggling with. I am choosing my own friends now, and I have to be chosen as well, solely based on ME. That makes things different-not necessarily harder or worse, just different. Finding a common thread is not a given anymore without my children as my little wingmen.
I love my life in my new home, and my new community. I love the many ways I have grown and changed since I have moved here-and I do dearly love the women that I have found and that I now call my friends. Of course I hope to never stop missing my friends back home-they have been my inside my heart for so long I cannot imagine life without them. And I do look forward to making memories and building on the foundations I have with the new people in my life. But every once in a while I just need to say it out loud and not hurt anyone’s feelings.
I just miss my friends.