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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

friends

Lately I've been thinking about a lot of things. About how people come and go in our lives...our seasonal friends. Personally I am not a fan of seasonal friendships. I hate the whole idea of them, but I understand that they are a reality of life. Not everyone will be a forever friend. I have had plenty of seasonal friends in my life. Growing up and moving around a lot contributed to that reality. I didn't have a choice really. As an adult I have more of a choice, but even so sometimes people just grow apart and life moves on.

We don't plan for people to be our seasonal friends. It just happens that way. We don't start friendships with the mindset that one of these days we probably won't know where that person is or what they've done with their life. We will look back with fond memories on those friendships and wonder how it happened that we lost touch. Maybe we will know exactly what happened that caused us to not be friends anymore, but we will still remember the good times.

I don't know. Lots of crazy thoughts.

Just over a year ago I wrote a post called Bubbles. I've been thinking about that a lot too. Something I've realized in the year since that post was written is that we can always find some shared commonality with just about everyone we meet. We might not look alike on the outside. There might not seem to be any shared interests, but if we dig deep and really listen we can find something familiar in them. Something that rings true in our heart. Something we share. Believe me, I know. And I have discovered that it is worth the digging to find a friend.

That's it.

11 comments:

Joe @ IrrationalDad said...

I need to learn how to make friends. We've lived in our town for about two and a half years, and I don't know or hang out with a single person. Lame.

Mamadallama said...

I think what you describe is basically just growing up. I know a lot of people never leave the safety of their bubbles which I find sad. I grew up in such a small town, nearly all white protestant, with one catholic and one jewish family. That I know of, that is. I didn't know that wasn't the norm until I went away to college. The good thing about it is that I grew up free of prejudice, except for the odd 'fact' I thought I knew about catholics...namely that they were all saints. Anyway, seasonal friendships have always bothered me, too. I see a change in that pattern with my son. He has friends he keeps in touch with from cruises and other vacations, elementary school, etc., because of his generation's passion for communication via the internet and cellphone.

Ms. Morton the teacher said...

There's always Vonage...

Sra said...

When getting together with your friends starts to feel forced, that's when the sun has set on your friendship. I think most of my friends in Utah are seasonal friends for whom the season has indeed changed. Sometimes it's a result of entering different life phases. Like I have quite a few friends who have started having children, while I do not, and this inevitably changes the relationship. We just aren't in the same phase of life. I still think fondly on the friends of my past, as they all were a wonderful part of my life during the time that they truly were a part of my life. But now a lot of that is over. It kind of sucks, but it's also kind of natural.

I look forward to forging new friendships when I move to Portland.

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

Well said and very true - Some friends are seasonal and some are for life. We also have or at least I do different friends that support me in different ways. We all need our girlfriends that is for sure!!

citizen of the world said...

I moved arounf a lot too, so I know that expereince of friend being temporary. I have a few who have weathered the test of time, bot other who inexplicably fade away.

Mike S said...

I find real friends may not always be around, but they're usually the 1st ones to appear in time of need. It seems not to matter how casual or deep the friendship or long they've been 'missing' from from your daily life. They're always just off stage in waiting, like the unseen supporting pillars beneath a building.

Momo Fali said...

I agree...that is usually the case. But, I was just thinking today about how I can NOT relate to a woman at work. At all. I have been trying for months to find something, anything, but there is nothing there. I wish that wasn't the case, because it makes my workday stink.

Natalie said...

joe - making friends when you are an adult is hard! kids get thrown together for all sorts of reasons, but as adults that just doesn't happen as much. you aren't lame at all. i think you're probably pretty normal!

mamadallama - i agree that it is easier to keep up with people now with all the technology we have.

ms. morton - i know! i forget to call until afternoon or evening when you would be in bed!

sra - i know what you mean about that forced feeling. i've felt that with some friends. i've also felt like i'm standing on the outside and watching the fact that things don't really work between us anymore. i hate that! i look forward to reading about your move to portland!

cathy - i know! there are friends for different seasons and different reasons. and really...if i'm honest with myself it works out better that way!

citizen - friends who've weathered the test of time...i like that!

mike - i agree! i have been surprised before by the friends that stepped up when i needed something. and honestly disappointed when the ones i thought would didn't.

momo fali - there are those rare instances where you can find nothing in common with someone. i hate that! for me that is usually someone who is really negative. there is probably something there, but i can't stand to stick around long enough to find it!

~m said...

I had never heard the term 'seasonal friend' before but its appropriate. I don't think that its something to feel badly about, having seasonal friends. People touch and enrich our lives in so many different ways all throughout the years. Having that enrichment live on in our memories gives that relationship a kind of importance that can't be taken away.
I have had lots of seasonal friends and this is how I feel: even though i don't keep in touch with them anymore right now, i still value the relationship i had with them and i feel like these are threads that could be picked back up in the future if the opportunity presented itself.
this was an interesting post :)

Natalie said...

~m - it's not that i feel bad about having seasonal friends really. i think growing apart is natural i guess. it's just the idea that someone could be a seasonal friend that bothers me. sometimes i don't want to start relationships when i know the friendship will only end up being seasonal. i don't know...it just frustrates me for some reason.

thanks!