I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship.
As a kid, I always prided myself on toeing that line between popular and unpopular– generally tolerated by all. Then again, I graduated with a class of 28, so what was the true definition of “popular”? I spent most of high school with a handful of good friends, but never as many as I would’ve liked.
In college, I found my people early. High-school days definitely weren’t the Best Days Of My Life (!), but I was getting closer as I entered college. I didn’t really find “my people” until I spread my wings a bit. And I discovered that most of my college friends had similar stories.
By the time we moved to Gainesville, Florida, six years ago, my friendship-making game kicked into gear once we had George. For me, having a kid was the golden ticket to making fast friends. We were all young, first-time parents slogging through the uncertainties of newborn life. Thankfully, a few of those fellow mamas were nurses, so they were the voices of reason at the other end of my “WHAT IS HAPPENING?!” phone calls.
Now, we’re facing a new chapter. I’m again leaving the comfort of solid friendships and heading into the unknown social world. What are these South Carolina women like? What do they wear? Do they feed their children fruit snacks and Goldfish? Where are the best playgrounds? Bible studies? MOPS groups? Where are my people?! It can be so awkward to find new friends. Thankfully, I’m pretty secure in myself (as opposed to 17-year-old me), so I plan to be my aggressive, friend-making self. Time to dust off the ol’ business cards.
Moving makes me thankful. I’m so thankful for the women who welcomed me into their lives for the past six years. And those women weren’t only my age and stage. A number of older women embraced me as well. That’s huge for a young family.
It also makes me thankful for my longtime friends. I have a few friends from each previous chapter who continue to invest and care about my life, even as I move onto the next chapters. Those friendships continue on as normal, as my geographic location doesn’t matter. As long as my phone number doesn’t change, the texts and calls will continue on as normal. Some of these fabulous Florida friends will soon fit into this category. And when we see each other in person, we’ll be able to catch up, just as if I’d never left.
Moving also makes me grateful that I get to take my most favorite (I realize this is redundant) parts with me. That brilliant husband and beautiful children of mine help cushion the blow of turning to a new chapter. They make it a little less sad to leave such a wonderful life.
Moving is hard. Making friends is hard. Finding community takes time. It also takes some effort. I’m ready to get up there and get friend-making. Bring it on, South Carolina mamas!
Rich People Problems by Keven Kwan – I’m in the homestretch of Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. I loved the first two novels, but the third is a bit darker. I’ve enjoyed the decadent romp, but I’m about ready to move along.