Friendship

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.

Best Friend #1

Best Friend #1

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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.

Best Friend #2

Best Friend #2

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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.

Best Friend #3

Best Friend #3

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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.

Why curly-heads should not have bangs.

Why curly-heads should not have bangs.

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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.

Friend #4

Friend #4

#1 through #4 plus my sister (Rosie, sister-friends trump peer-friends, and I am glad to have you in my life :) )

#1 through #4 plus my sister (Rosie, sister-friends trump peer-friends, and I am glad to have you in my life :) )

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 #5

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.

Our small group, including Friend #6

Our small group, including Friend #6

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.

7 thoughts on “Friendship

  1. Anna

    I feel the same way about this! I kind of feel like best friends are labels when we’re kids but as we grow up they become less defined. Someone referred to me as her best friend the other day half jokingly (I think?) and it caught me off guard. I forgot that those relationships don’t need to be laid out anymore. There are no BFF DTRs.

    P.S. Love the flashback pictures. You really are living proof that bangs aren’t for everyone. #freetheforehead

    -Friend #5

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  2. Karissa

    Making friends as an adult is so hard! It’s been the hardest part of our past two moves since we left Victoria, for sure. When I meet someone I want to be friends with I always worry that I’m coming on too strong or that they won’t like me. Sometimes it feels like dating all over again! (Which I also hated!) So far I’ve found that having a baby can provide more opportunity for meeting people but I often worry about becoming one more demand on some busy mom’s time. My solution has been to try and extend an invitation a couple of times in (hopefully) an open-ended way and them leave it in the other person’s hands.

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  3. cjsevenhuysen

    Larissa I was so surprised to see the “over sharing” comment, but I understand what you mean. I too feel very insecure about friendships and my coping mechanism has always been family. Having four older siblings always made me feel like “I’m not a loner, they care about me!”. It isn’t a perfect coping mechanism, but it certainly helps me!

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  4. Monika Thiessen

    Over the years I have prayed for you to have special friends to share your life with. I know how hard it is for you to make that effort and yet I know that you are a great friend! You are loyal, trustworthy, supportive, and real. I know the importance of having that friend that you can turn to at any time. That friend that you can truly be yourself with. God will continue to bring those kinds of friends into your life. And it’s great that it’s so easy to keep up with friendships across the miles these days! Love you!

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  5. Heartha

    Larissa I enjoyed your post and can relate to your friendship dilemma. I myself have been in your position more than once over the years. I have had the same longings for a bestie. Looking back I can say I have had quite a few for a season. Some have moved away, some have passed away, some have drifted away with church moves etc. after Barb died I was gutted. Eventually I made another close friend but when we left Oaklands and she did not we drifted away but it really could not be helped. I have learned to enjoy the season and not worry about the length of time the friendship will or won’t be. I have also learned to make sure Neil is my number one friend. This has kept our relationship healthy and strong and me feeling good when I don’t have a girl bestie to share with. I also am much more patient regarding friendships. Helps me not over share and potentially scare people away. God truly knows who we need in our lives and for how long. Right now I am in the process of building some new friendships and having a lot of fun doing it.

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