Tuesday, November 10, 2009
If friends were flowers, I'd pick you.
A funny thing is happening in my life right now..... I'm making some really awesome friends. And there are few reasons why I find this interesting (probably more interesting than you will find it, but I'll do my best to weave this into an interesting story for you...)

Firstly, I have lost a couple of good friends this past few months. That is to say, I know more or less where they are, but for one reason or another they have exited from my life. I find this tends to happen when I hit life changing rough patches in my life; the last time this happened was in 2005. I ended up moving to Israel for 3 months while I sorted myself out. I had this epiphany that there were people in my life that didn't deserve my time and there were those that did and I wasn't giving nearly enough of it to. I examined my friendships, took note of the ones that gave back and the ones that didn't and weeded them out accordingly. For the most part it wasn't hard; the ones I let go were the ones in which *I* had to always make the effort to see them, so all I had to do was stop calling and trying to make plans to see them and it more or less took care of itself. I found this culling of the herd freed my time up to give it to those I really cared about and who really mattered in my life. I also found that ridding myself of energy vampires relieved me of a lot of stress and took a great weight off my shoulders.

Anyway, I accept that this is natural process in life and that it will happen many times over the course of my life. I have friends I have known for 25+ years and I have friends that I have only known a few weeks or months, and then they exited. People come and go in your life, and often leave when you have learned whatever it was that you were supposed to learn from them. I also find that you really do truly find out who your friends are in times of crisis, as I had been over the summer and fall. I just had one of my best friends of 15 or more years, walk away over a misunderstanding on Facebook. FACEBOOK, people! More than anything I think I was just shocked and hurt that a friendship that could last that long was taken down by something so silly as Facebook. I guess it wasn't the friendship I thought it was. And frankly, the timing couldn't have been worse as my stress level was just maxing out as I was closing up the sale of my house, fighting with my ex over finances (which will now go to court) and trying to get ready to move to a new home. I needed that friend's support at that point more than ever but somehow the friendship failed. *sigh*

Ok, I'm digressing. My second point on why this is so fascinating (that I'm making some awesome friends right now), is because it just isn't easy to make friends as an adult. When you're kids in a sandbox or in school, it's easy making friends. But outside of maybe work.... how do adults make friends? And it can be a very awkward thing...

Take my job for example. I am a sales rep, going in and out of Home Depot and Lowe's stores all day. I see the same people every 2 weeks or so and I get to know them very well. I know the names of their husbands, wives, kids... I know what medical tests they are having done.... what pets they have.... the whole thing. And they get to know me too. It's part of my job, but it's also part of my personality. I like my job because I have friends in pretty much every store (and I have 30 stores).

Then one day I was having lunch with one of these store associates and we were really hitting it off. During the course of the conversation she said she would really love for me to meet her husband and kids one day... and I said sure, that would be nice... in that "one day we will" kind of way. She then suggested that we do it that day after work, and I thought.... why not? Here is an opportunity to make a new friend and she is a really cool cat.... so why the heck not? But I gotta tell ya, it's sometimes weird taking it to the next level of friendship... outside of work. Now, I have successfully done this with one or two others before, but it's still weird seeing people outside a work environment. But how else do you make friends as an adult? As a point, I was also kinda employing the "Yes Man" philosophy at that point in my life and was forcing myself to say yes to opportunities I would normally say no to in order to open myself up to more socialization and experiences. As it turns out I had a great time with her family and I can happily add another fabulous friend to my roster. I can tell her anything and I know I have a good friend that I can fully trust. I love it!

And now I have two new friends that I am really enjoying. Both I met online, though one lives in Texas and is too far away to meet in person.... but I have a feeling we'll finally meet one day. And the other is another kindred spirit going through a similar rough patch recently as myself and so we understand each other quite well. We are both slow to warm up to people as we have recently had our trust put in a blender and shredded to bits. Trust comes slow to us both now, but since we're in the same boat, we understand and are patient with each other. It's awesome. I like watching the friendship slowly bloom as we take our time getting to know each other and to build the trust.

So there. I am makin' some new friends and it's making me very happy right now. How do YOU make new friends?

Will someone who is smarter than me please tell me how to fix my layout so that the damn bullets on the sidebar don't come poking into the main column of my blog? It drives me nuts and I have tried desperately to fix it, but html just isn't my strong suit. Where's My Big Gay Daddy?? You're smart like that!!

Labels: , , ,