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© Jenny Frech 2010

My husband and I both had a great evening with our friends last night.

We each invited a small circle of our guy and girl friends over for dinner.  He and his friends played board games, and my friends went to see a movie.

It sounds pretty ordinary.  It was.

The biggest difference between our two circles is that my husband’s friends have been buddies since high school and junior high.  They’ve been friends for 25 years.

My high school chums are from my workplace, so we’ve only known one another for about three years.

Jeremy knows his friend’s families, their moms and dads, brothers and sisters.  He’s been around for most of their major life changes: graduation parties, weddings, and births.  They share inside jokes.  There is a level of comfort, that even when time passes, they still really know one another.

For many of my friends, I barely know their significant others, and probably have never met their parents.  I still edit myself before sending emails or facebook statuses, thinking, “Will this offend my friend?”  In the three years that I’ve known my school friends, we’ve only just scratched the surface of life events.

We’re still in the peeling back the onion stage.

My friends are always surprising me.  Last night upon finding out  that one of my friends has been gardening, I immediately set to work digging flower starts for her–in the dark.  I assumed she wouldn’t want any because she’s not so outdoorsy.   But she was giddy over free flowers, and I was in my element trying to remember where the fun flowers were planted.  Another layer of this friend was was exposed.

You can’t have fantastically interesting layers, unless you’re deep.

Making friends for me is a difficult process.

I have three strikes against me in the making friends department.  One, I’m an introvert, and am perfectly happy to stay at home.  Two, I am shy and awkward in new social settings.  Three, I’ve moved around a lot in my childhood and adulthood.  The longest I’ve lived in any one town since I was a little kid, is six years.  Deep friendships are next to impossible to cultivate when you move around a lot.

Calling acquaintances up for coffee feels weird to me, so I don’t do it.  When I talk to people, I want to have meaningful conversations.  It’s difficult to do that with an acquaintance.  But on the flip side, I can’t have meaningful conversations, until I’ve gotten past the stranger stage.  And that takes a lot of energy for introvert.

To find people that are simpatico takes time.

I’m picky.  I want friends that are genuine, deep, and passionate.

So, I’ve griped and complained about making friends a bit, but for the most part, I have been very fortunate.  I have met some truly amazing people on my life journey so far.  I have friends that have a bit of my heart in Michigan, California, Illinois, Indiana, the East Coast, and Tennessee.  People that have truly brought their whole selves to a friendship, and are still out there living passionate lives.  I know they still care about me, and I still care about them too.  They’re just not in my area code anymore.

Fingers crossed, this is my last city change in my adult life.

Maybe now I can put down some roots.  Maybe the friends that I’m forming now will still be my friends 25 years from now when I’m 60.  We will be older, yes, but our lives will be better because of our friends, and we’ll have our own set of inside jokes, because we are simpatico. 😉

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
– Anais Nin

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