We move quite a bit.
I have ever since I was a kid.
Every move I have had to get out and meet people, make friends.
This is nothing new to me.
In the last 3 years I have had difficulty making friends. I have spent days, months analyzing what I did wrong, how I could have done it differently, other places to meet people and yet no connections were made. How does a driven, social person fail so badly at something that, usually, comes naturally? Then, a thought came to me: How we treat friends are different from when I was younger and even my ‘younger’ adult days.
Remember when you were middle school-high school age (even elementary, for some) you would be at home, finally given into the battle of chores you have to complete or maybe you just felt rotten and lashed out, getting yourself grounded. Unknowingly your friend from down the street was coming to see if you could play. Mom (or Dad) would tell your friend when they knocked on the door either 1) you would be out in a few minutes because you had a chore (or 5) to finish, 2) you are grounded and they could come back another time, or 3) Sure you could play (because you didn’t get in trouble and you had finished what you needed to do).
I remember that, it happened daily to me. The only ‘call ahead’, ‘planned’ things were sleepovers (which happened spontaneously sometimes) and parties.
In my 12 years of being married, there have been 2 places I have lived that ‘mirrored’ this natural, random, lets-see-what-they-are-doing-and-hang-out, ease of friendship. Where I am now, isn’t one of those places.
Just recently I have noticed that most of my get-togethers with friends have to be scheduled, planned, penciled in, put on the calendar. It hurts that within a friendship you feel that is NOT ok to just drop by, that you would be brushed aside or inconveniencing them by doing so. Also, scheduling time ‘alternating’ days/time spent with friends, cycling through each month, it looses that special ‘friend’ feel and makes it a competition: ‘Who can get to me first and claim this day?’; you get side-tracked or last-minute NEED social time, too bad. Someone has already scheduled that day. The places I am use to having to schedule time are doctor offices, the dentist, therapy, etc. Medical things. When did spending time with a friend get so close to what you go through to see a medical professional?!
I get it. We are busy. We have kids. We need family time. We need house cleaning time. We need spousal time. I remember being invited to hang out while the other person cleaned. Hell, I remember going to hang out, helping to clean so I can spend time with my friend. It didn’t bother me! I was able to be around someone dear to me while helping. I mean really, who like cleaning by themselves?! It makes time go by faster, your finished quicker, and Hey! Loo you now have that time to sit and talk or play a game! It’s a WIN/WIN for everyone!
I have gone over to just be in the presence of a friend. What do I mean by that? Well, I wanted to read my book, but I didn’t want to be alone…… so, I went over to a FRIEND’S and we sat in the same room, each reading our own book, just being together. It was awesome! I have yet to do that again even with that same person. Reading has become a solo activity in which if you want to read, stay home and don’t bother coming over just to sit. “I don’t have time for that” feel.
No wonder I feel alone.