Throughout my childhood, we moved twelve times over the span of four states and eight different schools . My friendships never lasted beyond that. My mother was in the Navy and a single mom. I was desperately shy. Still am, although I’ve learned to fake it pretty well and I think people often mistake it as me being stuck up…until they get to know me! There are many levels of friendships: coworkers, acquaintances, lunch friends, friends that are life long, friends that are circumstantial.
My little”best friend forever” friendships are long gone, a thing of the past! I spent the majority of the seventh and eighth grade being a part of a bff duo or being kicked out of a trio! Writing boxes full of notes about boys and our plans for the weekend. Doodling aliens and bubble letters with our “nicknames”. And it was fun. But it was like a relationship! We dumped each other as “bffs”, we kicked people out of bff circles. I think once that happened to me in the eighth grade, I was over it. I got a serious boyfriend and an extensive part-time job and never looked back. I think people still have friendships like this, it’s just not for me.
I am not sure if I really believe in “best friends” as a title. When you put a title on a friendship, pressure comes with that title almost as a role to fulfill. And when you can’t live up to the expectation, cracks begin to form. As we grow, our lives become more complex and in turn, so do our friendships. I have a handful of people in my life, my sisters being on the top of that list, who are my life-long friends. These are people I can call on, no matter what, and no matter who they are or where life has brought us, no explanation is ever necessary. The time spent is so sacred and far between (as many are in a different state!) that I don’t expect confrontations or misunderstandings. We see each other when we can, talk when we can, and our appreciation for one another remains, regardless of any turn of events.
Unfortunately, there are people I once considered my absolute best friends on the planet that I never speak to anymore. Not that I don’t want to, but the friendship wasn’t reciprocated and or the time I can no longer put in is misunderstood or for some reason unbeknownst to me, they just kind of stopped talking to me. And hey, you can only do your best, and sometimes that’s not enough.
When life changes you, naturally, your friends change too. The biggest life change as of recent has been becoming a mother. I went from being an active, adventurous young woman who liked to jump off of cliffs, drink as much beer as I pleased, and do everything on a whim… to being a MOM. The dynamics of all of my friendships have changed drastically. When your life has major changes, so does your friend circle.
My days start with several cups of coffee, booking it to work, booking it home, and running around after my one-year-old. This is very time consuming! I spend most of every day playing, cleaning up many toys, attempting to try and get him to eat and trying to manage a house and a yard and a very tight budget. Some days, I forget to eat dinner and lunch, little loan call or text a friend. Some friends completely understand, and others have long forgotten about me. At this juncture in my life, my family is my number one focus. No longer do my statements consist of just “I”, now it’s “we”.
I’ve never had a stable family before. I have never witnessed a man treat a woman the way mine treats me, as an equal, always supporting, always loving, and always helping out. I have never had a man love me for me, completely, faults and all. I’ve never had a man willing to put me, and now our child, first. It’s nice having someone to come home to, someone to lean on, and someone to be completely vulnerable with. I love it. I also love being a mom. Although, the challenges and feelings associated with being a new mom, in a new city are worth a different blog all together. The friends with families usually understand, as do I now. Friendships now take more effort than ever as free time is so minimal. So any time spent is precious and deliberate. And free time with my guy and my baby even more rare, so it takes the front seat.
The old friends who don’t have kids and still have a fun, cutting edge, risk taking life like I did pre-pregnancy aren’t exactly itching to come and hang out with a semi-stay at home mom. And I get that.
When I was single and without kids, I didn’t get it. My concerns were social and adventure related. I couldn’t comprehend the lifestyle associated with parenting. There are some things, like being a parent, that you can only understand once you become a parent. I had the “aha! I get it!” moment, THIS is all the stuff you’ve been doing!
Besides, we all seek friendships for different reasons. For me, the reason is to feel connected. To have good conversation. To laugh. To be and feel understood. Simple as that.
I don’t really believe in “best friends” and if there is such a thing, those best friends are Brittnay Royster and Braie Torgerson, my sisters. They will always be a part of my life. We have seen each other through things, times, phases, life changes, divorces, moves, etc, etc., etc. There is something there that no one can take or replicate.
I think we change and life changes us. We outgrow friendships. Grow in different directions. The true friendships are the ones that stick around through the changes, good and bad. Never judging, but understanding .The ones from the past should be honored as well. They are like a dot on a map of your life. Representing a very special place in time. You have to appreciate friendships for what they were and what they are, and what they could be 🙂