A few days ago a friend of mine (who lives in a land far, far away called Oregon) posted on MySpace (yeah, I know, I hate it too) that she was having a BBQ and invited anyone over than wanted to attend. I jokingly wrote back to her that I wanted to come but that I might be a bit late since it was such a long drive. I kind of laughed it off at the time, but now I can’t seem to get it off of my mind. Every time I think of it I just feel sad.
The thing is, I would really like to be there. It isn’t so much because I miss my friend (which I most certainly do but I’m going to see her in a couple weeks anyway) but more the realization that I miss just having a group of friends to hang out with. I miss having someone I can call on Friday night and not have to ask if we’re doing something, but instead ask what we’re doing because the if isn’t even a question. I miss hanging out with people who know me so well that I can just be myself. The ones that know all my secrets and faults and love me anyway. Oh, and I really miss having conversations that don’t have anything to do with Race Cars or Blue’s Clues or snacks or when I’m going to go get that chocolate milk.
The last time I really had those kind of friends was when I was in college…almost 9 years ago. They were the kind of friends who could tell me what I was thinking before I could even get it out of my mouth. Unfortunately, those friends disappeared along with college. I lost two of them when I got divorced shortly after graduation and simply lost contact with the other one a few years later.
Since then I’ve never really found a group that I fit into. I have friends but not those kind of friends – the ones you can count on to always be there. My social calendar pretty much consists of hanging out with my family. It’s not that I don’t enjoy hanging with my family. I just miss having that close knit group of friends to confide in, to be silly with, laugh with, and cry with.
Sometimes I wonder if I gave that all up to have a family. Now that I have kids there is so little time for a social life. We’re so busy during the week and then spend all weekend just trying to catch up. It doesn’t leave much time for making new friends. When you work full-time there is no time for Mommy groups or play dates and I work in a small office where everyone is at least 15 years older than me. I can’t even meet new people, much less cultivate a friendship.
I guess that’s why I turn to the internet. I read a lot of blogs. I sure part of the reason why is because I’m searching for the friendship that I feel is so lacking in my life. I read a lot about stay-at-home moms who feel isolated and have trouble finding friends, but they aren’t the only ones. There are lots of working women who struggle with the same thing. I don’t think it really has anything to do with your job status. I think we’re all just too busy to take the time out and really form those lasting friendships. Sometimes being a grown-up just plain sucks.
My friend, the one having the BBQ, is just starting out in her chosen career and recently commented about how excited she was to finally move beyond living the “college lifestyle” as she put it. I wanted so badly to tell her not to be so anxious to give it up. Embrace it. Enjoy it. The grass is not necessarily greener on the other side. But I held my tongue. Maybe it will be for her. She might be one of the lucky ones.