Monday, February 9, 2009

Belief in Friends and Family

I am having a hell of a time coming up with my Crash Davis speech.

Turns out, I don't know what I believe. Or even what I like. Just trying to answer a meme with the question What is your favorite vegetable? prompted me to turn to Hubbie and ask him what my favorite vegetable was. When did I let myself become so undefined?

When I was newly pregnant, I swore and stomped and shook my fist at the heavens and declared that I would never become one of those women who could only talk about her children.

Methinks I protested too much. Karma is a bitch with a wicked sense of humor.

In trying to figure all of this out, the first (and only) statement I have come up with in the past 48 hour period is, unequivocally, that in my mind friends are family of my choosing.

I have always had very transparent boundaries when it comes to my friendships. Any time you need me to talk, any place you need me to be. There, am I found.

My husband understood that was part and parcel when we got married. He is very generous of his time, and I have never had to explain to him why I needed to help out a friend.

Over time, especially now that I have two children, I have learned that I am lacking in judgment of my place in the lives of others. Hubbie and I are both of the mindset that a few close friendships are much more satisfying than having many superficial acquaintances. Somehow, for some reason, I have been walking the path of acquaintance. I meet people, would like to get to know them better, but time, circumstance or any other number of reasons prevent the friendship from developing to a deeper level.

It leaves me feeling very unsatisfied.

Couple this with my family's seemingly inbred desire to constantly please others creates an imbalance that I feel I have been fighting my entire life. It seems to deepen in moments like these. Moments when I take stock of my personal life and try to be proactive. How to I go about creating a friendship based on equality when no one ever taught me how?


SSG said...

I like this post. I think so too that friends are like family in the sense of people that are there for you in thick and thin.

Close friendships are better than acquantances, but sometimes you need friends in your neck of the wood, you need acquaintances to develop. Otherwise it can be pretty lonesome. But friendships takes time, a hell of a lot of shared time in my opinion.

Hope there are some good people for you to make friends with, unlike the dufus in the school who used the scissors to cut her nails. Gross!

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Welcome, dear friend, to the Society of People Pleasers. I just recently had this epiphany myself - I have spent a lifetime being who others want me to be. At the expense of knowing, really, who I am. How the hell do we dig ourselves out of this?
If you figure it out, let me know.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

I completely understand about needing to please everyone. Maybe we should start a club? Pay dues? Design some t-shirts? Seriously.

And my problem right now is that I do have close friends that have known me forever and I have absolutely no time to even give them a call and shout, "YO! I'm alive! Gotta go!"


Employee No. 3699 said...

I found once I had children that there was more and more time spent with acquaintances. Other room moms and people I met at little league took up some of the time I had left in my day leaving less for my real friends. The good thing is that your ‘real’ friends will wait for you to have time.

As a parent and spouse it’s hard to keep your own identity and sense of worth when you’re so busy taking care of the needs of others, but it is important to do so. When I became an empty nester I asked myself “Now what?” I guess it’s one of the reasons I started blogging.

A Free Man said...

"How do I go about creating a friendship based on equality when no one ever taught me how?"

Learn it on your own. There are a lot of values that my family never taught me that I've learned - albeit slowly - through adulthood.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

@SSG: I know there are good ones out there, and I am making it my goal to find them!

@BvB: When you've been brought up to be a people pleaser, even when you think you've outgrown the habit it often rears its ugly head in ways we don't anticipate. If I find the answer, you'll be the first person I tell.

@CMGD: Yeah. My close friends are scattered after all the moving we've done. Hence my itch to put down roots.

@No. 3699: I completely agree with you. The good friends do wait.

@AFM: Well, it was more of a rhetorical question, but I do agree with what you say. I can't stand the attitude that if a person's parents didn't teach them something they are off the hook. No way, José. As an adult you have to take responsibility and be proactive for the needs in your life. Learning is a life-long process, you know?

Gypsy said...

Can I join the club, too? Sigh.