I've joined a little bootcamp group with a bloggy pal of mine (M of Thin Pink Line) who happens to work very close to where I live. I have to admit, meeting her for the first time, it was a little like meeting a rock star. I knew so much about her life, her feelings, her guts really, I felt like a fan. She was sweet and goofy and open-hearted. Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to have a real conversation as we were both too busy sucking wind as we ran up and down stairs, did squats and basically prayed to make it through the hour. As I was walking the dog the other day, I heard a car frantically honking, I looked around expecting to see my girlfriend in her Mini Cooper or X-terra. Didn't see her so I walked on, but it was M who had been trying to get my attention. But given the noise and traffic in that area, and my poor eyesight, if I don't see a vehicle I recognize, it's not surprising I didn't see her. Sorry M, I'll wave to you next time!
It's kind of sad that as adults it's so hard to make new friends. It's not that we don't want to, it's that we don't actually have the time anymore. We've got long commutes home, husbands/partners to spend time with, our usual friends (whom we barely see that much anymore anyway unless we live next door to them), work all day or all evening, elders to take care of, and just the plain old sit down with the TV and not want to talk to anyone time. You have to choose between gym time and shopping time and dog time and tax time and (if you're black, hair time) and gotta get waxed time. In my case, there's also chanting time and meeting time and planning for the meeting time (Oh, yuck, just now I had to go out and clean up dog barf from my living room rug. Why don't you go out on the patio, dog?!!!!) And when I am acting or directing, there goes all free time.
There's people you meet at work and you can make friends. On rare occasion, you socialize with them, but once you stop working with them, that friendship wilts and dies due to lack of nurturing. When you couple up, you can lose friends and gain ones you don't care for that much. You have to start mixing friends and that doesn't always work. The squeaky clean friends vs. the stoner slacker friends. The work friends vs. the long time friends. East coast vs. west coast. You get the picture. In many cases, when you go through infertility treatments, you lose friends. Pregnant ones vs. yet-to-be vs. not-ever-will-be ones. Sometimes you make new friends. The ones forged out of shared ill circumstances. Which is tricky cause you may not have anything in common other than that one thing. Do you go to church? Nope. Do you like scrapbooking? Nope. Are you infertile? Yep. Hey, that's great, me too! Let's be friends.
I love meeting new people and I hope to continue to make new friends for my whole life. It's okay that I don't spend every spare second with new friends. I don't define friends as someone I know for a long time. Sometimes the connection is just pure and simple, good enough as it is. I can make time for a coffee even just for an hour. I want to try to give them all of my attention when I am with with them. I don't think I feel a need to make everyone a BFF (best friends forever). People come and go in your life, sometimes they are there the whole way, sometimes not.
My hubby and I met a man from Holland in Bali 9 years ago. We were in Ubud at a government tourist board looking for tickets to a cultural event and we struck a conversation and he was with us on this old rickety bus that took us freaked out tourists down a long, bumpy and dark middle of nowhere road to what turned out to be a terrific Monkey dance performance. We ended up going to a spa he recommended and then met up for lunch. We emailed periodically for years and finally we met up with him in Vancouver. He came just to see us. He died 2 years ago. We found out because his brother emailed everyone on his hotmail account. I never forgot him. He was such a pure spirit, he had friends all over the world, he was kind and open, but we barely knew him. We sent flowers to the funeral home. If I had been there, I would have liked to have said that I loved a man we barely knew. He lived his life with no regrets, experiencing people and places as if he'd never see them again. Which in hindsight, was true. I'll never forget him and every time I pass the B&B he stayed at or meet someone who is Dutch, I think of him. Michael.
That's the power of connection.