Thursday, June 16, 2005

Friendship is Hard

At least, I have found friendship to be hard - especially in the years after college. The college setting is ideal for friendship: constant proximity to people of your own age, with a lot of the same interests, hobbies, even dilemmas.

And then you graduate. In the case of Aaron and I, we moved to South Haven, Michigan after graduation and became each other's best friend. We have great memories of that time, but we were also a little lonely for other friendships. Suddenly, we were in a town where maybe 10% of the population was our age. It wasn't until we moved to Kalamazoo that we really found quality friendships, especially through our church there, Kalamazoo Wesleyan.

As a woman, I have come to realize that female friends are a must-have. When we moved to Houston last year, I knew that making new friends would be hard and that it would take time, but I never understood how lonely and isolated I would feel in the waiting.

Many friendships are seasonal, as well. God seems to provide some relationships just for a particular time, and when it's over, that friendship fades due to distance, time, or because a new season takes over. I can see this in my life through high school, college, working, and then becoming a stay-at-home Mom. In each of these stages, God placed certain people there for that moment and I will always treasure them, even if we are not in contact on a continual basis.

The other side of this is the fact that I need -- women need -- to fight for their friendships. I am so guilty of thinking things like, "Oh, she has plenty of friends; she doesn't need me bugging her," or "I'm sure she's too busy." There are moments when I just need to make that phone call, write that email, and BE THERE. That's really all friendship is: availability. No matter how busy we are, no matter how many friends we have, we need each other. We need other women to say, "I care about you. You are one cool chick. I am here to listen."

Anyway, this is all a result of the book club I've been a part of the past three weeks through my church. The women have been reading Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. We discussed friendships today and it was amazing to hear how many of us are afraid to be vulnerable - to risk being rejected or deceived by another woman. It's something I think we never stop learning - this friendship thing. I'll be 70 years old, thinking, "I wonder why Myrtle hasn't called...." Ridiculous.

My friends, I hope you know I love you and care about you. Let's fight for each other!


mordy said...

so how does this work, i just type something here? but wait. i have no blogger account, do i. it's gonna turn me into a blogger, isn't it, it's going to force me to join the blogging community even if i don't want to. it's like the mark of the beast, be a blogger or you can't buy groceries, be a blogger or NO SOUP FOR YOU!!, be a blogger or you can't leave a comment for your friend.
well, jeannie, i hope you know how much this means. that this means i'm your friend.
btw, it's me, connie.
connie farmer.
your friend from michigan who said she'd never be a blogger.

Anonymous said...

can you be anonymous poster?

mordy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mordy said...

well, apparently you CAN be an anonymous poster. you could also be a propaganda poster, or a classroom poster, or a poster of a teen idol. (shaun cassidy, baby.) is someone who reads the washington post called a poster? or maybe a poster bed, or poster putty, or posterboard. post hoc, post mortem, post-its.
it's way post my bedtime.
night, jeannie.

Angele said...

Friendship is so hard! My sister-in-law disliked me intensely from the moment she met me and it took years to befriend her. Once we were friends, I really thought we'd never go backward--wrong. While she was on Clomid trying to conceive, I became pregnant (not really trying) and she stopped talking to me for over a year. We're now recently back on track
and while I'm grateful, I can't help but wonder if this is going to be some sort of awful pattern. So, while I'm mindful of the chance of getting hurt again, I chose to dive in 100% because the good times are worth it. I love her, even when I'm close to hating her. Women. Can't live with us, can't live without us, eh?