Monday, May 10, 2010

Friendship is SCARY!

Courage: the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

Courage is an odd thing. We all have it, but it is so different for each of us. 

Why is it that some things are so easy for some and difficult for others? Do we have different "amounts" of courage? Are some of us just scared of everything in life? Courage is so personal. One thing that may seem completely silly to a person could be another person's worst fear. 

I have common fears that all mothers/spouses have. I fear my children will be harmed in some way emotionally or physically and I can't do anything to prevent it. I fear my husband will die before me. I try to tell myself these fears are silly. If something does happen I can't change it and death is inevitable. I try to have courage to not dwell on these things. When my daughter comes home from school saying someone was mean to her, I try to have courage to comfort her and not put ideas in her head for retaliation (that is hard :) ). 

I also have fears that are uncommon. I am afraid of getting old (maybe not so uncommon) even though I cannot change it. 

I am afraid of losing my friends. I was an Army brat and had to move every two to five years growing up. I learned how to make friends fast. Unfortunately, I also learned how to lose them fast. I have lived in the same town now for seven years. I have good friends, but if I moved away or stopped calling I don't think their world would stop. I don't have someone that I call whenever something amazing or heartbreaking happens. I wish that I did, but I don't have the courage to face rejection. My husband is there and "listens" as best he can, but there are some things that men just don't understand. My friends from school live all over the country and are in completely different phases of life than I am. We have lost touch and when we do talk it is about the weather and other awkward conversation staples. 

I guess the one thing I never learned was how to maintain a friendship. I wish I had the courage to learn. I am afraid to put myself out there and have no one reciprocate the feeling. 

I have all the courage in the world to meet new people, take care of my family and try new things. But asking someone to be my "bestie" crosses some barrier that I have put around myself. 

I am searching for a way to break that barrier and the courage to face what's on the other side. 


  1. you just had courage to put yourself out there today. And to open yourself up. And to the possibility of making friends. Since I have started blogging I feel such wonderful connections to people I have never met.

    I'm glad I came by and read your post.

  2. i have similar thoughts...while not an army brat i did move around a few times throughout my childhood. nothing major, but enough to always feel like i missed out on friendships and groups that had formed years before i joined the scene. in college i thought i had a great group of friends, but when i made a choice that put me outside their comfort zone i lost them all. and then when i became the first of my friends to have kids i felt out of the loop again. my needs were always changing and i never quite found someone whom i was in sync with. it is tough stuff...wanting a friend and not knowing exactly how to get there.
    i just try and keep my mind open and am grateful for the people i do have in my life. :)
    thanks for sharing--this is a great courage post!

  3. I know exactly--EXACTLY!!--how you feel. I, too, was a military brat, and my facebook page is stuffed full of the "friends" I made throughout my many moves around the country. Even though I love all those friends dearly, and I love the memories we made together, they aren't "friends" in the same way they used to be. It's been a long time since I had a truly "best friend" who knew everything about me that no one else cared to know.

    But, just so you know, you are AWESOME and you are the best friend I have. I'm just really terrible at maintaining friendships. I'd be super sad if you never called or texted me again! <3

  4. Thank you for sharing this with us! I have written numerous times on my blog about how I wish I could expand my "village" of friends. How I find it so hard to put myself out there and find the "right" kind of friends at this time in my life when I'm so overwhelmed with family and motherhood. We do have to find the right way for US to make friends and open ourselves up to them to give the friendships a chance. It's not easy. Rejection isn't easy. But I have recently told myself that if I'm "rejected" by someone, I wouldn't want to be friends with them anyway. The right opportunities and the right women will come our way and I'm certain we'll be full of friends, quality friends, as our kids grow.

    Nice to find you through Momalom!

  5. It is hard to find a friend who compares to some of those friends from other stages of life...for me I never had a BEST friend. I realize that many of my friends these days branch off of my boys friendships...some of these mommy friendships are just related to our children...but some I can tell will be lifelong. Take your friendships slow. Make small efforts and soon enough you will find that person, whether it is real world or online. I am loving some of the new online connections I have formed since blogging. So fun! Great courage post!

  6. Maintaining a friendship IS hard! We moved around a lot when I was little, and I never held onto many friends... it was scary and so much work to put faith in distance.
    But now I don't mind so much... and it's so important to have those relationships!

  7. Thanks for all of your comments. I really appreciate it. :)

  8. I think it is amazing how most of us women deal with the same issues but are scared of sharing these feelings. I had the same group of friends from elementary school all the way through highschool. You would think we would stay connected after all that time but the truth is I only talk to 1 of the girls occasioally.
    I have had good friends since then but those frienships seem to come and go now in my adult life. I have come to the conclusion that there are very few people that are friends for life, and that most friends are in my life for a season. I also find it hard to truely open up to most people, but on occasion I find the right person who makes it easy...those are the true friends...and those are rare!
    Thank you for sharing!

  9. Friendships are so complicated, realtionshipd are so complicated. Fear of rejection is huge. It takes courage to overcome that fear and move forward. Knowing that is what you want is the first step. Best of luck growing your community.

  10. I think just writing this took a great deal of courage. I've always been really good at losing friends...not for bad reasons, or anything. But because of time and distance and lack of common interests. Especially after having kids. But like you, it's not something I like about myself. Fear of rejection can be crippling. But so can being alone.

    Change is always worth the risks...right? :)

  11. You were courageous in putting yourself out there just now. Good post. In friendships, I give and try to nurture it...sometimes it reciprocated and sometimes it's not...and that is how the friendhip develops. You just put yourslef out there and see if it's appreciated. It can hurt, but when you find people that you have fun with and build a bond and relationship, it is so worth it. I am not a person with lots of friends, but just a few really good ones.

  12. Courage takes so many forms. And coupled with friendships, the complexities are deep. What I find difficult is to let go of friendships that have run their course and not look back and be full of What Ifs. I think your courage to question yourself is a brave step indeed.

  13. I have a hard time maintaining friendships, too. It takes so much time and effort and trust.

    You are brave just to share this piece of yourself with us.

  14. I didn't have a friend like this until very recently. It wasn't that I didn't have a chance (because I had plenty), it was my overwhelming fear and distrust of people around me. After I released that fear, I began to grow close to a particular lady. I have known her for a little over a year now and feel very comfortable with calling her about anything. At the same time, I have found friends on-line who I would do the same with.

    It has taken a long time for me to begin trusting those beside my husband. But, I realized that I needed to rely on other women because my husband is not around very much (he is a pre-med student).

    I am rambling and sorry about that!

    Like others have said, this is very brave for you to put out there.

  15. I have found friendships more and more difficult to maintain as I've gotten older and become a parent. It is difficult to give someone your best and worst selves and hope that they can accept you and love you complete with flaws. Spouses have legally signed up for that job. :) Friends do it with no formal documentation. I understand your frustration, and appreciate your honesty in this post.

  16. I recently moved to a new state after living in the same state for over thirty years. It has been hard to find a go-to friend here and all of my other friends are scattered about. I share in your fears. I think we all do to a certain point. It took courage to share this post with us.