Wednesday, July 29, 2015
A week of friendship
Friendship is a funny thing. When I moved to my current neighborhood, I met a group of women who all had children the same age as mine. We had a bunco group, a book club, and a playgroup. As the kids grew older, people started drifting apart. Some of the moms moved on to other groups based on who their kids were hanging out with. Others got jobs, got busy, and stopped coming to gatherings. The book club disbanded first. The bunco group, which in the beginning had people begging to join, started begging for people to play. There remained a core group of ladies who stuck together. Kind of exclusive, they reminded me of high school.
For most of the time, I was on the outside. Even though I was included in the get-togethers, I didn't feel like I fit in. I had a job--actually, a career, and I was a runner. Oh, and I liked my husband. All of those things set me apart from most of the women, who were, at the time, stay at home moms. While I had a few close friends from the group, most of the friendships I did make with the women felt superficial to me. I'm not good at superficial. At a lot of the parties, all the women would sit around the kitchen, eating appetizers and talking. Loudly. I'm not good in big groups. I didn't have a lot to say. Finally, I stopped going. I didn't like feeling badly about myself because I wasn't "one of them".
As I continued to focus more on running, I started meeting other women runners outside of the neighborhood. These friendships blossomed. I started to realize that there was life outside of the bunco and playgroup ladies. My runner friends "got" me and accepted me. We had running in common, but we forged friendships based on goal setting and encouraging each other to be our best. There was no competition between us. My confidence in my running and in myself grew. This is what I imagined friendship to be.
I gradually stepped away from that neighborhood group and began to nurture my other friendships as well, my friends from the past who were always there for me. I started to reflect on why was I putting so much effort on relationships that weren't being reciprocated? What was so important about "fitting in" with a group of women who lived in my neighborhood? What really did I have in common with these women, besides our children and their activities? Why not focus on my real, meaningful friendships?
I have been off work this past week, and I made it my mission to reconnect with friends that I've neglected. Life has been almost overwhelming the past 6 months, and now I am in a place of calm. For a while, I couldn't talk to anyone about all that had happened with my son this year. Initially, I shared my issues with my running friends. But I finally opened up to my old friends. Should I have been surprised that there was no judgment, just lots of support? My friends were still there for me.
So this past week, I saw some of my friends from high school. And some old friends from work. What is it about those old friends, that you can just pick up where you left off and not skip a beat?
Of course, I saw my sister, who is and always will be the one who knows me best. Even though I have 2 other sisters, there is not the same bond that I have with this one. Truly, she is my best friend.
I also spent some time with some of my running friends, a group that continues to grow as we get to know more and more of the women in this amazing community! The support that I feel from all of these women is like nothing I've ever experienced in my life.
I'm grateful for this week of friendship. It felt good to reconnect. I am so lucky to have such amazing women in my life.
What does friendship mean to you?
Interestingly, I had already planned my week of friendship post before DebRuns posted the Wednesday Word blog prompt! Coincidence? I think not...
Check out what the other bloggers say about friendship.