"..... I moved a lot as a child and wherever I went people always seemed to already have their set of friends. I wasn’t needed. I was liked and accepted but never as fully as I wanted to be. I wanted the “best” friend. I wanted the person you called all the time and in whose time you had first dibs. But it happened differently....."
I borrowed this quote from my friend Elizabeth's blog, but I could have easily said it. We moved around when I was a kid (not as much as some, but more than others) and I remember handling it pretty well with the one exception that I never really felt like I had close friends. Sometimes I felt like I didn't even have semi-close friends.
There was this one incident where I invited someone over and when she got there, she told me she'd invited her friend (who lived in my neighborhood and didn't like me) over to MY house to hang with us. It didn't go well. It was clear she only accepted my invitation to invite someone she liked better over.
And another time, when the person I was on the phone with didn't cup her hand over the receiver well enough- I plainly heard her telling her mom that she didn't want to come over, she didn't like me. Needless to say, I never called that gal again.
When Jr. High and High School rolled around I was in a small private school where the kids had pretty much known each other since Kindergarten. They most definitely already had their set of friends. I was liked well enough, but I didn't have, as Anne Shirley would say, a "bosom friend."
"A bosom friend--an intimate friend, you know--a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul. I've dreamed of meeting her all my life. I never really supposed I would, but so many of my loveliest dreams have come true all at once that perhaps this one will too. Do you think it's possible?"
I figured that I wasn't pretty or cool enough. Maybe I didn't wear the right clothes. Or perhaps I talked too much. I wasn't Christian enough, or sometimes I was too holy. I tried to fit myself into whatever mold I thought would shape me into the person I needed to be, to be accepted.
For a time, well honestly, the last 10 years while I've been having kids, I haven't really felt like I had to fit. I just was. (If you don't know who you are by the time you have kids, they'll show you.) And the friends that I made accepted me for myself.
When you move though, your friends don't come with you. And then you find out who really cares... long distance... about you. And sometimes the people you felt closest to are the ones who don't respond to your calls or emails. The ones who you've shared big pieces of your heart with, now have no time for you. And you find yourself questioning once again what you could have done to fit into their lives better.
(Not that all of my pals are like this! I have some that have kept in touch, sometimes quite often and sometimes sporadically (hey, we all get busy) over the years.)
But now I find myself in a new place, with new people to "impress" and I've caught myself lately trying to squeeze into the mold again. I'm finding though, that this time, I really don't fit. And after 28 years, I'm slowly coming to the realization that it's ok to be, me.
So instead I worry about the kids. I see them being 2nd choice. I see them being liked and accepted, but not as fully as they want to be. I remind them that God is all about friends! We read about Ruth and Naomi, David and Jonathan and even Job had his 3 friends... 'Cause it's about quality folks, not quantity... I tell them to give it some time. And when time doesn't move fast enough, I try to tell them that they are who they are and while that might not be enough for some, it's enough for God. And that God is the greatest and best friend we can ever have.
"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." ~Dr. Seuss