Earlier this summer, I wrote this post talking about loneliness and motherhood. Since that post, I’ve been trying to more intentional (side note: “intentional” is a super buzz word around the blog-o-sphere nowadays…) in seeking out friendships and turning this pursuit into reality. I know that kind of makes me sound pathetic – that I’m publicly admitting my search for friends – but whatever, it’s the truth either way, so I might as well just come clean about it. 🙂
I wasn’t always friendless. Really. I once was even slightly cool. Never cool cool, and not popular per se, but friendly. Talkative. I got to know people and people got to know me. I typically didn’t have any enemies (that I knew of, maybe someone hated me behind my back and I was just oblivious?) and though I’ve never had many super close friends, I’ve always known a lot of people and people knew me. I was active in school and liked being involved in clubs and student government.
When I moved out to L.A. after college, I only knew KP, so I kind of just adopted his friends. At the very beginning, I did find some cool female friends (off craigslist of all places, ha ha!) and we all hung out for awhile, but after a year or two or three people left the city or moved on with their lives and most of those friendships faded. So for the past 12 years, I’ve largely just relied on KP in order to make his friends my friends. I now wonder if this may have been a mistake and I should have worked harder to foster my own independent friendships as well.
So friends. My current mission is both to find new ones and better foster the old friendships I still have.
I’ve started following a bunch of new mom blogs. I’m trying to get into Twitter more. Yeah, these might be “virtual” friendships, but at least for now, since my work-at-home job, two young kids, and having no car during the day limit my freedom, “virtual” friends are going to have to tide me over for the time being. Hey, I’ve even discovered that some of these virtual blog mom friends get together on occasion, so who knows, maybe I can turn these “virtual” friends into real ones someday.
Fostering old friendships can take a bit more work…but is so much more worth it. As I mentioned above, when I first moved out to L.A., I mostly just hung out with KP’s already established friendships, many whom knew each other through the same church or school they had gone to. Those first few friendships still feel like very special ones, even if we now don’t talk or I don’t know what happened to them. In fact, pretty much, the only people out here that I feel like I could really trust, and that really know me, the real Ronni, and without judgment and who I could be myself around – were those very first friends.
This weekend, KP and I hung out with some of these first friends. And their kids. In a family member’s nearby vacation home. And it was great. We went swimming. We had drinks. We talked about the old days. (I LOVE that I have a history of “old days” with a small group of people here). We put the kids to bed and had more drinks and hung out and watched a strange movie about a fictional place called Austenland. And it was a great weekend. Just to hang out with others in a similar phase of life together, who not only understood the craziness of life with kids, but who also had been married 7yrs+. Ha, yeah, I mentioned out loud a couple times over the weekend how nice it was to hang out with with other couples who’d been married a long time too and could get seriously annoyed with their spouses but I knew were committed to their marriage
either way. It made me feel more normal. And it’s nice to know that we’re not the only ones who fight and disagree. KP and I even fought on the car ride there. Eh, it’s married life. But it’s ok. 🙂
Speaking of fostering old friendships, if anyone is reading this or knows me and comes to the L.A. area for whatever reason – look me up! I’d LOVE to visit and hang out! I am a bit limited in my transportation during the week, unfortunately, but if I can make it work out, I really, really, really would love to hang out! A good friend from college actually was in town this past weekend and I really am sad that we didn’t get to hang out due to the above-mentioned out of town plans, but hopefully there’ll be a next time that we can make work.
Really, I want to see you. 🙂 Last month, I even dropped KP off at the metro station to find his own way to work, packed up the kids, and drove almost 2 hrs. out to Bakersfield to see an old college friend, Laura, who was visiting family and who let me barge in on their family time. And I was and am still very appreciative for the chance to hang out with them!