Finding good friends can be hard. Some may say that once you become an adult there is less drama and cliques and that making and keeping friends is easier. That hasn’t been the case so far for me.
I remember as a child and through my teenage years, I was always awkward and uncomfortable. It seemed I could never fit in no matter how hard I tried. And believe me, I tried. But for some reason, despite my efforts, I was always the one to be left out if I wasn’t actively working to put myself there.
I was the friend to whom everyone came when they needed help and support, but no one was ever around for me when I needed them.
They wanted me in times of trouble but rarely in times of being happy or just hanging out. That was my role. The solver. The shoulder to cry on. The one who always came to the rescue.
I always thought it would be easier as I got older. That maybe I imagined it. Maybe everyone was right, and I was too sensitive, and I was making a big deal out of nothing. I went through life believing that it was always my fault and that there was something wrong with me.
You can imagine the toll that takes on a young girl.
But then I grew up. I became an adult. Finally. What I had been waiting for my whole life. It had to get better now. I would find friends who would be there for me. I would find that sisterhood and bond I had longed for my entire life. I was ready. It had to come. How couldn’t it?
So I tried to navigate making friends as an adult, as a mom.
Maybe my kids’ friends’ moms? Maybe that coworker I had? Maybe the neighbor down the street? I reached out in my awkward introverted anxiety-ridden way. Never knowing exactly what to say and feeling terrified they would hate me right off the bat.
Everyone has been kind. It certainly isn’t like middle or high school where people were mean to your face. But that friendship I so longed for never came. Some of the women I thought could be a friend just stopped talking to me. No explanation. No reason. No big fallout. The communication just stopped.
Some of them talk to me occasionally, and we do the hi, how are you? routine. I have a couple of friends I’ve known most of my life, and we touch base every few months to catch up but that’s as far as it goes.
My soul longs for real friendship.
For those ride-or-die friends who so many other women seem to have. When I’m scrolling through social media, and I see all of the people I grew up with still being close friends and others out living their lives and building new friendships, I feel this deep hurt inside of me.
Why can’t I have that?
Those friends who call just to say hi. The ones who show up at your door to visit and your kids know them like they are family. The ones who go on girl’s nights and weekend trips. That’s what I want to have. I think we all long for that kind of friendship.
Maybe it’s me. Maybe my awkward self is just a put-off for others. Maybe I’m just not their cup of tea. Maybe it’s because I get anxious and struggle to hold a conversation or reply to messages because I’m so scared to say the wrong thing.
Maybe it’s that life as an adult and as a mother is super busy and crazy and hard and honestly who has the time for friends anyway?
It could be a million things. Who knows. What I do know is that I won’t give up hope. I will learn to be content with the life I have now. My husband, my children, my sister, my pets. Maybe that’s all I’m meant to have right now at this stage in my life. But I won’t let go of the hope of finding those friends in the future.
And to those of you who are lucky enough to have those special friendships that so many women out there like me crave . . . cherish it. Cherish them. Don’t take it for granted. You are so lucky to have friends who you can count on and to have that kind of bond. It really is something to be thankful for, and I hope you never lose that.