I just finished a podcast on friendship, and adults.
How, as adults, making friends is so awkward, almost unnatural.
Because as an adult, where do you go?
How do you navigate a new friendship?
Where do we meet?
Will we have anything in common?
And here and there I would meet people and my heart would immediately jump!
Is this her?!
Is this them?!
Can we connect?!
Will she think I am too crazy?!
Is she crazy enough for me?!
And what about her person...will he like my person?!
Will I like her person, will they like me?!
Will that matter to how close we can be?!
And the more adults I talk to about this, the more I realize they too feel unconnected, they too are searching, for the family we pick for ourselves.
Unfortunately, at many different stages of our lives, we have to start over and find a group.
Because the alternative is so much loneliness that you don't feel whole, you don't feel right.
I was in that exact spot just one year ago.
I was hungry for conversation.
For the people who know my story and accept me.
Those that laugh at and with me,
with all of my quirks and crazy.
The ones that make me laugh, so hard that my insides hurt.
The ones that I can cry to about parenting, ask opinions of, tell my secrets to, my thoughts.
The ones that shared their stories too, their lives, their amazing and awful.
Family that you pick for yourself.
And I was starting over because my friends were moving away or I had moved away from them.
And whenever these friends and I spoke or saw each other, we picked right back up, of course.
They were there, just not here, and it was crushing.
They were so spread out all over the country and seeing a friend here or there for a weekend here and there, it wasn't enough.
It hit me hardest last summer.
We had vacationed with friends that we have known forever.
Their kids and our kids are so very close.
We are so very close.
They know our story, they were the family we picked so many years ago.
That week, I laughed so hard I cried.
I talked, I opened up.
I felt free, younger, lighter.
I felt closer to him, closer to them, because I was just so happy.
And on our last night, the pain hit me hard.
I remember crying, saying it all ends tomorrow and I go back to lonely.
I go back to longing for this, for people.
The feeling was crushing.
I knew he couldn't be my everything.
We needed more, we needed people, we needed dinner and drinks and time.
We needed connection and laughter to fill our home.
They needed to see us define friendships and what friends do for each other, how they interact, how they act.
How you bring them into your fold.
They needed to see how friends are the family you pick for yourself.
I had had enough of lonely.
When we got home, I was blue.
Blue, every day seemed blue.
I would tell him, I was feeling so so alone and I don't know where to start, how to do this over.
I just kept searching for my circle.
Because I didn't need a ton of people, just one or two.
Just a small village that we can turn to.
Because we are in a really hard stage of our lives.
They are bigger kids now with bigger feelings.
They are busy, we are busy.
And things will continue to get harder before they ever get easier.
Because even more feelings are coming, even more emotions, even more navigating.
And I kept telling myself, don't give up on this, it's important.
Keep searching, they are out there some where, just keep searching.
Until finally one day, it happened.
We immediately found our circle.
And their kids clicked with my kids.
And her person clicked with my person.
It just kind of happened.
I put it out there, and it happened.
And the craziest thing happened,
in finding them, I found me.
I found my laughter, my silly, my humor.
My love for all of them, my worry sort of melted.
I found so much joy, but at the same time, so much comfort and safety.
And this fog we had been living in, cleared.
Because even as adults, we are that scared, quiet kid, looking for someone to ask us to play.
Even as parents, raising tiny humans, we are searching for someone to support and laugh with us.
Even as people who love their person, love being with them, we still need others, time with others.
Because friendships are an intense and strong force.
They are blankets draped over us.
They are comfort.
Friendships bring out the real you.
The one that may have been lost in the fog of work and parenting and home and bills and lawn care and crazy.
The person you were, the one you still are, she is in there, wanting to find a close friend to bring her back out.
Friendships are the family you pick for yourself.