Friday, January 9, 2009

What kind of friends?

I have always had a difficult time making good friends.

As a child, we lived in a very exclusive community where our family was the newcomers. Even after 12 years, I never felt accepted. I am sure my mom never felt very accepted as well.

I left and went to college, and made a lot of friends. I had roommates and hallmates and classmates, and dormmates. I had choir friends and lunch and dinner friends. I still felt like an outsider.

We were married soon after college, and I had a whole new circle of friends, work friends, neighbors. I still felt like an outsider.

When we had been married for 7 years, my husband went active duty in the Navy and we started a whole new way of life. Our first move was to a Navy community in south Texas, where I first experienced the concept of the military family. I met amazing people from all over with a huge variety of experiences and backgrounds. I learned how to make friends quickly, because we don't have the luxury of settling in somewhere "forever" and we never know when our new friends will be transferred.

When we moved 33 hours away to Montana, I learned how hard it was to try to be a military wife in a non-military community...where people don't make fast friends quickly, and where you have to prove your staying ability before you will be accepted. After 4 1/2 years, I still didn't have any close friends. Oh, I had friends, neighbors, co-workers, customers....they were (and still are!) friendly enough, but I never found anyone I really connected with.

Now that we have been in Virginia for just over a year, I am actually finding good friends...people I can connect with...accepting and loving me where I am. I am feeling like I finally belong somewhere.

All of this has made me think a lot about how much effort we put into our friendships. I know we can't all be the "BEST FRIENDS" with everyone in our realm of influence. I just wonder how many of us go through our lives never really connecting with a good friend, one that will be with us through whatever direction our lives take.


tiff said...

I find it incredibly hard to make friends too.
We have been in our community for five years and I have made one close friend.
i am so shy, in real life, I find it hard to step out and open myself up to others.
I'm glad you are starting to make good friends. They are important. They give us a sense of self.

..::Mrs. Staff Sergeant::.. said...

I think it's really rare to find a friend like that who you keep for a lifetime.

I had a couple super close friends from my highschool days that I've grown apart from over the last few years...So far I've not met anyone who could come close to filling the gap. :(

It's tough isn't it?