All my life, I feel I have struggled with making friends. I’ve always been shy and insecure and never thought I had anything to offer other people. Plus, for me, coming out of that shell was really difficult. I never had issues around my family, but new friends… my throat closes just thinking about it.
We moved from a small town to a larger town when I was in grade ten. I wasn’t actually that upset, there wasn’t anything I could do about it – so my perception is that I went along with it. My mom might have a different perception about how things went down. This time, we’ll go with my perceptions.
I started grade 10, then moved 2 months later. To a new school – in the middle of a semester. I was the kid that walked in during the lesson, followed by the principal or vice-principal – OR I had to walk in on my own (GAG). I remember not really meeting anyone at all. There were kids on my school bus that I could talk to, lots of boys and such. In fact, I’m better friends with one of those girls NOW than I ever was during high school.
Not only was I shy, but I didn’t play sports and the thought of any organized group made my palms sweat. I also lived in a different town than my high school was in – so after school stuff was out of the question because I took the bus home. I always seemed to have friends, but I remember those friends changing every year. Also, the other person had to make the move – there was no way I was confident enough or lonely enough to offer myself up as a valuable friend. One year my best friend was Samantha, then Shannon, then Laura, then Lori. I’m still friends with Laura and Lori. I count myself lucky to have the friends that I do. I cherish my memories, I cherish the people.
I live a million miles away from these girlfriends and don’t get to see them as often as I used to. Lori and I were inseparable for many many years. She is an amazing person and I don’t have to try very hard to be her friend. We are so used to each other that we can go months without talking – then pick up the phone and fall right back into the ease of our friendship. She was the other daughter at my house. In fact, I’m sure there were times when mom would have switched her for me if she could have.
My brother has a great friend, Brad, and he’s my other brother. Literally. I swear, he spent more time at our house than he did at his own house. I couldn’t tell you what his sister’s name is, or what she looks like. I can’t remember his mom’s name – but I can tell you that Brad is a part of our family.
People like Lori and Brad really don’t come along that often. Since I’ve been in California, I’ve had a really hard time keeping girlfriends. They are either too flakey or too fake and that doesn’t JIVE with me. Or we get along for a little while – then we split apart. I did manage to make some really good friends at work and through Michael – which has been really helpful. I tease that Cindy (my last work partner) is my second longest relationship. We worked together for 3 years – that’s a long time for me.
I spent this past week fighting with my best friend. And I mean fighting. The f-word was dropped, guilt ensued, lives changed. Hopefully, it changed our relationship for the better. AJ could be my sister. Her parents are almost exactly like my parents (age, situation, relationship etc.). I look more like her sister than her sister’s do! We both have red hair, fair skin and freckles. Our tans come out of a bottle, freckles are cheap and plentiful. Our kids are similar ages, in fact, our youngest kids are a month apart. It was really hard fighting with her… but if she knew my history with friends and how a lot of people have let me down or couldn’t live up to my expectations – she’d understand why i reacted the way I did. Why I took things as far as they went.
When feelings are hurt and hearts are broken… it’s really hard to get passed that. It’s hard to be completely honest with someone that you feel has let you down. It’s hard to let it go and get back to being friends again. I cried almost everyday over this fight. I’m sure I made michael’s life miserable. Not only did I cry, but I was spitting mad – that is a horrible combination by the way. I emailed a few good friends and said “am I being unreasonable? am I being stupid?” I love these women for telling me the truth. For having the guts to be honest when I needed them to be.
Then, I cooled down a bit. I thought of what my life would be without AJ. What my kids’ life would be without her family in our lives. I knew it would totally suck and that I couldn’t live without her in my life (so dramatic!). This post is for AJ. Thank you for being my girlfriend, my sister.