Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Who is a friend?

I got to meet some awesome ladies IRL. And it was said that you tend to know your bloggy friends better then the IRL friends. We share intimacies. Go much more in depth, some of us anyway. Me.
I have gotten to a point in my life where I don't care to be fake. I' am talking about ME. I'm not saying any of you are fake. I my life I've met people. We'd become "friends" I would meet a need serve a purpose and just as quickly be tossed aside. I do know that friendship ebbs and flows with life. Some just fade out over time.
One particular relationship I'm thinking of is with my last BFF. Her name is Trista. (I'm using her real name because maybe she'll find this blog. Maybe she'll even read it. Maybe she'll see what she has missed out on. Maybe.)
Trista and I met while working at a horrific daycare. Us teachers weren't horrific it was the families and the director that made it so. We bonded instantly. She was married at the time and wanting to have a baby. I was dating Ramone. (You remember) Trista had a beautiful baby girl. All was happy and right with life. I would sleep over sometimes and help with the baby. She would come out with me and pretend she was single again. I was single again and having a good time not being serious. Then she began wanting to be single again. I found another job out of childcare. She began acting weird. I was there for her every step of the way in this. Her Husband had no idea she was falling out of love with him. Then she said she wanted another baby. It was very difficult to navigate these waters. (I hadn't even found the one yet!) Not too much time passed that she quit her job, I being the friend got her one with me. She took over. She began pursuing the boss. (Who wasn't much of a boss he was a 27 put in a position way too advanced for his managing skills.) I met Rob. Trista hated Rob. Rob didn't approve of what she was doing in her life or what was happening to me. I had a breakdown that forced me into the hospital. I got better. When I tried to talk to her about this she told me that I would marry anyone that asked me. She wasn't going to watch me settle. She "loved" me too much. She had seen the bad breakup I went through with Ramone...I didn't want to marry him. Saw me through dating a bunch of losers...didn't want to marry any of them. Her words shocked and hurt me. For 5 years we were sisters. Never held back, honest, supportive. Suddenly she COULD not support me. Our friendship faded. I became the bad guy that let a guy get between us. I begged her to be in the wedding. She was, and she brought her husband and baby. She was still trying to have another one. The final straw came when I got pregnant. I dreaded having to tell her. I worked up the nerve and said "I wanted you to be the first to know that we are going to have a baby." There was silence at the other end. About 5 minutes worth and then she said in a harsh tone "I need to put Molly to bed." That was the last thing she ever said to me. All of my friendships have had warnings or slowly over time faded. But this one was just gone in a blink.
It is now very hard for me to open up to people. Shocker considering in this month alone I've laid my heart out there three times!
I do not take the word friendship lightly. I can't throw it around. It is not seeing someone at church and catching up with them in 10 minutes. It's not "oh we have to do something sometime..." And never making plans because life is busy. Friendships are sacred to me. They are the people God put in my life for a reason. I feel like I'm going way off the deep end with this.
But I know what I expect and what I give. I am curious what is your definition to friendship? How many people are your friends? How many people would you lay your guts out for? How many would do it for you?
I have three ladies that live on opposite coasts of me. Every day they visit me, everyday I visit them. If they haven't posted I wait...Someday I hope I will be able to meet these women. They are my friends. You know who you are. (You better know who you are.) And to the ladies here in MN that I just met. I am so thankful for the opportunity to become friends. But in keeping it real, I know that, sometimes what we would like to be and what is just isn't the same thing. But I hoping. Oh and to my one friend who reads my blog but doesn't blog herself. I am so thankful you are my friend. I can't wait for our getaway trip!


  1. Great post! I think sometimes we're friends with people for selfish reasons for sure. Being a real friend is work. I have one friend from high school that I stay in contact with (well, there's Kim who I've reconnected with through blogging - so two I suppose) But my one friend that I can see IRL, we don't get together often, we don't call each other every day. But. When we are together, it's like nothing has changed. She knows my deepest darkest secrets, and I, hers. If I needed her, she'd be there, and if she needed me I'd be there too.
    That's a friend.
    The people that breeze in and out of my life as quickly as a sixteen year old changes her clothes, aren't friends really.
    They're close acquaintances with whom I may have, or they may have needed something at that particular moment in time.
    Is that fair?
    Maybe not, but that's what I think.

    I also think it's easier to develop friendships without ever meeting people because, sometimes, writing things out is a lot easier than saying them out loud.
    Because it's written, we find people that are in similar situations or can relate to us and our lives.

    We don't have to go through the weeding out process we do IRL.

    So yeah. That was a lot of thinking for me this morning, and I haven't even had breakfast yet, I just might go back to bed now...

  2. Good stuff Sara. I am the type of person who is friendly with many, but can count her true friends possibly on one hand. It's hard for me to get really close to people. Too many judgements, too many hurts.
    I'm sorry you had to go through such a painful end to a close friendship. :( That is hard.
    Isn't it great how we find friends throguh blogging? It's very true that we go so much deeper here than in real life.

  3. ahh women. we can be so incredibly evil sometimes. i'm sure i've been guilty of it. and that whole "oh we gotta get together" statement on the fly...just chaps my hide. it seriously drives me nuts. because like you, i'm about realness and depth and not these frivilous sayings that have no real meaning or intention. i'd really rather they say nothing at all.

    okay, off the soapbox. great post sara. life really is too short to be fake. and i for one am so glad you are the real thing!

  4. You know, I had a situation somewhat similar happen this year. I thought the "friend" and I were any rate, it was a "situation" I'll never forget. However, I like to think that I've become a better, more dependable friend to others. I hope that I learned through that situation and am a better person because of it. And, really, when you have friends who go haywire like that, all you can hope for is that you learn what NOT to become.

  5. You know, I'm still figuring it out. In high school I had very few close friends but a lot of friends, and I was okay with that. I was the same in early college, but about two years in I found my "inner circle" getting very small, and I was okay with that, too. A good friend (at the time...interesting...) once said that NO ONE is able to retain more than 5 or 6 actual close friends. I disagreed, but now I think I agree. People I once considered close aren't necessarily.

    I have few people that I would call friends and even fewer that I consider "lifetime friends," and I think I'm okay with it. God brings people to our lives for a season to encourage/challenge/bless each other, and then He takes away. My life is richer for those who have touched it, and I hope they can say the same regarding my friendship, whether for a season or a lifetime.

  6. Thanks for being so transparent.

    I feel the same way. I've actually just gotten to the point of realizing that friendship is important in life and God never intended for us to be alone. So, I've opened myself up a lot recently to two friends, one I've been friends with for years, the other is a fairly new friend. I think I may have really developed some good friendships here that will last a lifetime.

    Just remember not to close yourself off too much, but when you come across the right person or people, you will know it.

  7. I think most people are careful about investing in friendships. If we've had any life experience (okay, I'm saying we're old), we know that not everyone is a real friend. We've been hurt and it's scary.
    Especially because most women come with insecurities that paint the relationship despite everyone's good intentions.
    I'm someone who believes that each person deserves my time and has lovely things about them for me to learn from. And I think open and honest communication can keep those relationships strong and encouraging.
    You are definitely not the only one that thinks through these things.
    Most importantly, in this life, we SO need each other. Holding back will have more of a cost than having loved friends and lost at times. I don't know if that sentence made sense, so I'll stop now :)

  8. Friendship ... it's a wonderful, layered, complicated at times, blissful, comfy lift of a relationship, right? I've had very few BFFs ... actually I would say that my husband is my BFF. He's known and loved me since early high school days ... The good Lord only knows why! :) And, I've always kept close relationships with my mom and sister. Within the last few years, as read in my post today, I've gained a lovely and dear friend through CE, but most other women in my life are more casual acquaintances. It seems to me that in these days, women do not want to get close. They're too busy running here and there, all wrapped up in schedules and the like. And, sometimes, it does feel that some women reach out to you in "friendship" but only to ask for a favor/task of some kind. At least, this has been my experience as of late. It can be lonely at times.

    But, I am very fortunate to have met some lovely gals, such as yourself, Dear Sara; however, I do call you "friend." :)

    BTW, what does "IRL" mean??

  9. Boy, see what I miss when I take a day off from blogging!

    This post really spoke out to me. I was in a very similar situation a few years ago. I was first of my group of buddies to get married right after college. Since I graduated 2 quarters earlier than my friends, it was hard meshing their single college lives with my new married life (plus I moved an hour away). I made an honest effort to keep the friendship(s) going but the effort was never reciprocated. Every blue moon I'd get an email or voice mail on my phone with, "I miss you - I'm such a horrible friend - call me when YOU have the time." I finally just had to cut ties, because all I did was call when I had time and my calls/emails never got returned. Friendship is a two-way street. Yes, there will be times when life is busy, hectic, and trying, and those times are when one friend might have to step in a little more to help the other. But true friendship is reciprocated (IMHO).

    It makes me sad because out of about 15 girls I hung around with in college, I only talk to about 4 of them on a regular basis. But that's life, I guess. I'd rather invest my time in people who appreciate the friendship than those who don't.

    And I'm glad we're friends now too! :)

  10. Word for word what Wendi said. :) I have a hard time becoming very close to too many people, but I am so thankful that I have one true friend IRL that is absolutely heaven-sent, the kind that I am certain I will be friends with for a lifetime.


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