Not even sure why I want to type this out, but I guess it's just something I need to say, and wallow in it for a moment, then move on. So here goes.....
A former co-worker (from the pre-kids days) sent me an email yesterday. We've stayed somewhat in touch, I see her periodically even though now we have next to nothing in common. She still teaches with "big mega Band program", isn't married, no kids, Band is her life in a lot of ways. Oh, and 2008 was a horrendous and tragic year for her, in which she was diagnosed with breast cancer, had a mastectomy, and lost both of her elderly parents within a month of each other. I respect her very much, both as a teacher and as a person, but I only see or talk to her on occasion now.
So, back to that email. It was a forwarded thing, with the title line "12 women". It was really like an old fashioned chain letter, instructing you to send it on within a certain amount of time, etc. Send it to 12 women who have "made a difference in your life" and are very special to you and close to you. I normally don't even give a second thought to these things, just click "delete", but because of the respect I have for this woman, I decided to follow the directions and forward it on. I was touched to have been included in her "12 women", so I decided to create my own.
Know how far I got? 5. No, wait, I think it was 6. So instead of copying and pasting the contents of the email, I just clicked "cancel" and closed the message I'd started. The fact is that, for various reasons, I feel like I really don't have local friends. Acquaintances, yes, plenty. Colleagues, sure. People I can sit next to in choir rehearsal and chat with afterwards, definitely. But local friends? You know, people who might actually call or email on occasion, want to get together or just chat with you. People who remember that you exist, and who choose to take time to make (or keep) a connection with you that's worth maintaining.
Internet friends are wonderful, but I feel like I've been so wrapped up in my own soul-searching crap over the last few months that I've neglected them as well. Which means that now I'm feeling even more isolated. 300 "friends" learn random tidbits of stuff about me every day on Facebook, but I'd say that essentially none of them really know much about me that is substantive or what goes below the surface.
So who do I share that with? It might seem silly, but I'm so incredibly tired of feeling this way and wondering why I have no strong, long-lasting and meaningful friendships. I read the blog posts of others, the stories they post on forums about "girls' weekend" trips, shopping dates, meeting for coffee or just doing whatever......and I have absolutely none of that. None. Great way to make a girl feel pathetic, I'll tell you that for sure.
Oh, and to top it all off, I'm about to abandon my work relationships, superficial though they may be, and enter a world populated by 19 and 20 year olds. Joy, joy. Wonder how many of them have ever changed a diaper, or dealt with infertility, preeclampsia or the autism spectrum?
I told you I'd be wallowing, didn't I? My wallowing sessions are typically worse when I write late at night, and it's 11:12 pm now, so draw your own conclusion. But I had to get this out, even though it hurts to do so and is embarrassing too. I just don't want to keep feeling alone like this, even feeling like my husband has more real friends than I do and resenting that fact. Am I really that horrible to be around? Is there something I could do differently? (reminder: suggestions must be appropriate and usable by someone who has no free time, has 2 children in therapy, and who is about to re-enter college). Ok, talk amongst yourselves.........