Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Things You Think When Your Friends Are Far...

I wouldn't say I have trouble making friends in real life. It is usually pretty easy for me to round up a slew of people to hang out with and share secrets.

Those sentences were easy enough for me to type, but if I think about the truth in those statements, and my history it isn't as easy as I so casually recall.  The thing is, I'm not a "mover". I went to the same school my entire childhood.  I went to the same college for 4.5 years, I got married and lived in the same area for the following 8.5 years, and then I moved here.  I have lasting friendships from each of those locations - people that I will forever be connected with and will stay in touch with.  Because although I am not much of a "mover", I am a great "keep in touch-er".

When I think about those friendships, they almost all began with me lying on a couch somewhere and sobbing into my hands that I "didn't have any real friends".  I want instant friends - girls that will ask me to go out for coffee; people who allow me to laugh at myself, but are empathetic when I'm going through a spell of humiliation or self-pity.  I don't need shopping partners or pedicure buddies, but I do need dinner dates and family get-togethers where our children play in one room while our husbands talk husbandy-things in another, and we whisper and laugh over glasses of wine.

These are things I associate with my friends from every area of my life.  I have no doubt that I could walk into their houses tomorrow and everything would be exactly as I've described it.

This is all so fresh in my mind because of two things...
  1. I may soon have to move to a place where I have no friends just waiting to greet me with open arms and a glass of shiraz.
  2. One of my dearest friends from college, Heidi, just came to visit me.
I'm going to talk about #2, because #1 is depressing and can be for another post on another day, when I'm especially ready to feel sorry for myself.

Of course I was excited for Heidi to get here, but when I saw her face a flood of emotions bubbled over my soul. I hadn't thought about it until then, but she was my first friend to come all of the way over here - the first friend I had seen in real life since September of 2011.  My heart swelled, then got sad, and then swelled again.

While she was here we laughed at perfect things.  There was no language to decipher, or unknown pasts to tiptoe around. My heart felt like it was going to explode.  I wanted to show her everything, so that someday when I'm homesick for Northern Ireland I'll have someone that can commiserate how I left this amazingly beautiful place to return to my homeland. We read "People" magazine. We drank Guinness. We planned out my whole life.  Before she ever left, I made the proclamation to my husband that I couldn't be another day past June without being in a town with at least some of my friends close by. Dustin started by telling me that there weren't any jobs for him is these towns, but soon took my passion on board and got creative with his job-search. By the time she left I was sure I was going to raise my kids right next to her in Indianapolis.

The power of seeing someone's face. I miss her.  I miss all of my friends.
The excitement of soon seeing the friends from each chapter of my life is absolutely more than I can bare.  But the sadness in realizing there is a chance I may not be next door to them is weighing me down as well

Well look at that.  I talked about #1 after all. Oops.

Thank you Heidi for a wonderful visit. For lots of laughter. For saying nice things about my kids. For being my friend.