I’ve been thinking about friendship a lot lately. My friendships of the past, present and future. And I am attempting to get my thoughts down to create some sort of order to them. So here begins my rambling.
A few months ago I was thinking about the term “best friend”. Whenever I think of who mine are, I immediately think of my best friends of my youth. But I really can’t say that they are my best friends anymore. When did that happen? And who are my best friends now? My biggest insecurity is in my relationships with my friends, not feeling like they are as close to me as I want to be with them, or that we don’t have enough in common. Going through my history of friendships, I can see where that comes from.
My early friendships were with church friends, one in particular with whom our friendship ran in our blood, since our moms were friends in highschool. She became my best friend #1.
In early elementary school, I went to a school that was not in my neighbourhood, but in grade 6 I changed schools to one close by. I knew only one girl in the entire school, besides my sister, and she was friends with the cool girls, so naturally I hung out with them. But they didn’t like me. So I went through that year with no good friend. Then in grade 7, a new girl started coming and I befriended her. She became my best friend #2.
High school was pretty great, contrary to many people’s experiences. I was going to highschool with a bunch of my church friends (with the exception of the private school kids who were too cool for us; but we smartened up in grade 10 and became a big, happy bunch). In grade 11, another new girl came along. She became best friend #3.
After graduation, all my friends went to school. I did not. They all started making new university friends and having shared university experiences, and I was feeling left out, even though nobody was leaving me out on purpose. I was able to support best friend #3 through a cancer diagnosis and treatment which made me feel solid in our friendship, but I felt distanced from the other two.
With my move to Victoria when I was 21 came a refresh. This was my first ever move, and it felt daunting to make new friends. Looking back, this is when I started making new best friends, but never gave them that label. I guess in my mind that title was sacred, so my new good friends became Friends. The room mate of the girl I subletted from during my first summer in Victoria became Friend #4. But she is the kind of person who is friendly with a lot of people, so I questioned how much of a Friend she was, until she told me she wanted to live with me in my one-bedroom place.
The rest of my Victoria friends were all from the church I was attending. A bunch of them were childhood friends, and the remaining were university students, so again, I felt a little left out of some things, but it was okay since I never had a relationship with them before. At some point, I was invited to an exclusive Saturday morning breakfast club (that soon after turned into an open invitation thing) by one girl who eventually became Friend #5.
Friend #4 moved away and I became closer to Friend #5, only to be swept off to Alberta. In Alberta, once I found a church, I defaulted to being friends with the other moms, since I now had a child of my own. It’s hard to be the new person, when everybody else already has existing relationships. Adding to that, most other people have their own family in town and we don’t, so we have lots of free time where other people have family events and activities. But after we had been here for about a year, a new face showed up and joined our new small group. She became my Friend #6, and the rest of the small group were our better friends too.
That brings us to present day, when our small group has disbanded. One couple started getting more involved in a new church, another couple is moving out of province on Friday, and the last couple is moving out of town at the end of the year. I am losing my friends, and I am sad about that, which is why I have started thinking about all this so much.
I am thinking about my insecurities again. They manifest in a few ways: I hate being late for things (what if I miss something?), I don’t like it when people are late for my things (do they even care?), and I over share (I just want to be understood!), as demonstrated with this post. :)
Am I going to find another Friend here? Should I bother trying since we don’t want to be here for ever? I could try and convince myself that I don’t need a Friend, that the general community I have through our church is enough, but I don’t think that’s true. When we do eventually move back to BC, will I have my old friends back, or will I make new friends? How will I make new friends? There is something to be said for having a Friend that you share a history with. You just know everything, and that is a wonderful gift.
That’s another thing. It’s hard for me to make friends. I’m not outgoing. I’m better at communicating with my two thumbs than with my two lips. So thankful for emojis! feel like I am too different from most people to be good friends with them. But maybe that is what makes me a good friend.
So when did my best friends stop being my best friends? I think when I got new best friends. And who are my new best friends? I would classify them as the two people I text with on an almost daily basis. Yes, I define my levels of friendship on how much I text with them.
I don’t think I really accomplished anything with this post. I probably don’t really need to publish it, but I will anyway. I love all my friends of my past – the ones who can tell a crazy story about me for half a dozen years and not tell me it was made up until my wedding day, and present – the ones who will volunteer to watch my boys after a bad day, and am excited about the ones of my future.