Last year at BlogHer, I had the pleasure of meeting Ginger of Ramble Ramble. We had a great conversation at one of the BlogHer parties and now, I live within a short drive of her. I can’t wait to get a chance to talk to her in person again! Ginger blogs about everything from her family life to marketing and blogging (a woman after my own heart) and I always find myself reading what she writes and shaking my head in agreement.
Today, she’s guest posting for me around the bonfire, and like everything of hers that I read, I shake my head in agreement. When she sent me this post, I immediately dashed off a “you just described exactly how I feel” email back to her. It’s all about the dream of friendship – what we hope for versus what we might have. It resonated with me, and I’m anxious to hear what you think of it, too.
When I found out about Gigi’s series this summer, I jumped at the chance to participate. Besides the fun of taking over someone else’s blog, I loved the idea of this virtual bonfire where we could share and “talk” like we were a bunch of friends sitting around the flames on a dark, starry night. What better way to get to know each other, and build friendships, right? And that’s when I knew what I would have to talk about.
See, when I was a kid, I had these images of what my life would look like in the future. I would have a job I was good at and loved, a family to dote on, a beautiful home filled with books and sunlight…and lots of friends to brighten my life. In my imaginings, I had those kinds of girlfriends who stopped by unannounced. Who you went to Vegas with for a girl’s weekend. Who you called (this was before texting and email remember) when you fought with your husband or had a bad day at work or just needed a female perspective. Friends for cookouts and camping trips, friends for weddings and baby showers. Friends for bonfire talks. In my head, it was glorious.
But the reality is that after multiple cross country moves, several lifestyle changes, and a toddler (and with an introverted nature thrown in just for kicks), my fantasies of handfuls of glorious adult friendships remain just that…fantasies. That’s not to say I’m a complete loser who has no friends at all. I have a small handful of very, very close friends–who all live, at minimum, 10 hours away from me–& I have some lovely local acquaintances. But so far, not many people have made the leap from “someone I know and like” to “someone I need and love.” And perhaps equally as important, maybe I haven’t made the leap from someone THEY know to someone THEY need.
Is it just me, or do the details of life make it SO much tougher to meet girlfriends? I work full time about 45 minutes from my home, I have a toddler, a husband, and, oh by the way, I might need to do laundry on occasion. When is there time to meet people? To try and find a kindred spirit? To make that connection that goes deeper than just “hi, my name is Ginger?” While blowing through the grocery store trying to get all the shopping done before the two year old loses his mind? At the dog park when the dog is going one way and the kid is going another (and neither is where they’re supposed to be)? At Circle K while getting the daily dose of caffeine? At daycare, when all the other parents are in just as much of a hurry to get their kids and get home as I am?
Blogging has been amazing at giving me friends in any number of geographical locations (and for that I will always be grateful), but it doesn’t diminish my want and need for proximity, for people to actually see. I still daydream about friends gathered around on the patio, laughing, grilling, joking about my husband burning the hot dogs (again). I’m not looking for Sex & The City, I’d just love someone I can call up and say “hey, I really wanna go see any movie that doesn’t include things blowing up. You down?” But I worry that at this point all the friendship roles for introverted-busy-mom-with-scheduling-challenges have been filled, and I’m stuck with daydreams and fantasies that will never come to pass.
I never know if I’m utterly alone on this–if everyone else has no problems at all making friends and I’m the only one struggling. I don’t really WANT other people to have the same difficulties, (although it would be nice to not feel like I’m alone in finding this rough) but I can’t imagine that it’s not somewhat common to find it at least a smidge challenging to make friends in this whole “grown up life” thing. So how do we find each other? Because man, of all the dreams I had as a kid, this is the one I really don’t want to give up.
But I’m only 32…it can still happen, right?
Ginger is a book marketing pro by day and a blogger by night. She rambles about figuring out who she is as a woman, mom, wife, and career lady at
RambleRamble, a place she calls a little introspective, a little quirky, and a lot of rambling. Oh, and she spends ENTIRELY too much time on Twitter @rambleginger.