I used to have lots of friends. Childhood through college there was always a plethora of people close around me. Buddies to hang out with, true friends with soft shoulders to cry on. There were classmates I saw every day, and dance friends I might see only a couple times a year.
Marriage didn’t change this. Hubby and I had lots of mutual friends, and those friendships remained until we moved east.
Did moving change this?
OK, moving a couple thousand miles away definitely puts a damper on friendships. We kept in touch with only a few people back in Wyoming. Before the internet, the long-distance thing usually meant people lost track of each other.
We did find new friends in Vermont. Some came and went as they had kids and we didn’t. We moved within the state, and the few new friendships we’d made suffered. We spent several years on campus when we went back to school and had many friends there, but the nature of college is that friendships are made and then then people move on and have lives. Actually, we both work at the college now, but at a different campus. We do still have a lot of friends at the school, but we’re not as close as were were when we lived in the dorms.
Having children definitely changed things. It distanced us from some friends, and brought new people into our lives. Having a child with special needs brought us into all kinds of new circles, but made us anathema to people who don’t understand why our daughter acts out.
We do have friends. Through social media, we keep in touch with dozens if not hundreds of people we’ve met over the years. Some of our closest friends are people we only see once a year, or less.
I would like to have the kind of friends I just hang out with again. I miss that. But “hanging out” when there are kids who need dinner and bedtime stories and we have jobs and responsibilities… is just not all it’s made out to be. It’s like an underwater kiss. It looks so wonderful and romantic, but if you’ve ever tried it, it’s actually quite uncomfortable.
I miss Colorado.
This post was written in response to a Write on Edge prompt on Friendship.