Relocation is essentially life starting over. You are turning the page to your next life chapter, and it can be really scary at times. A new city, new home, new job, and when those are stressful, you hope you have friends to catch you and help you through it all. But for most, finding the friends CAN be the most stressful part. Let’s chat.
In Grade and High School I had a best friend, we did everything together. Every summer I would bike to her house, dance to Madonna music in her basement, and just be goofy kids. I could lean on her because I knew I had that ONE friend who was there for me. Then we graduated, when our separate ways, and I started over.
Because we had our family younger, my husband was my best friend after her. The energy I once put into sustaining that friendship went into my new marriage, and then my new baby girl. I was happy for my new family, but all of us women KNOW we still need that connection with another gal for what we need to get out of our heads! I would meet several nice women at my Church and through the occasional job, but nothing ever stuck that made me feel like anyone had my back.
Then we moved to Appleton, WI. I was encouraged to try a local Church out, and here is where I would find probably the truest and kindest friend I had ever met. A pretty blonde sat in front of me in Choir, and eventually I got the nerve to say hello. We sang all three services at the time, and in between we would try to find something to do. She was heading out of the building and I said “Where you going?” She laughed and said “Um, to McDonalds” and I said BOLDLY “Can I come?” Thus began the friendship, and that was 11 years ago. You all know her as Kelly, I know her as my best friend.
Moving away from Appleton was going to tear my heart out in several pieces- one went to my Mom, one to my Church as a whole, and one to Kelly. We are blessed by God’s great love to ever find that ONE friend on this planet who WON’T talk behind your back, who WON’T use you, and who is always there for you when you need them. Yes, Kel and I have had our differences, but if we didn’t, I would think something is wrong with us. But our friendship had matured enough that we could talk to each other about it, and instead of getting hurt and gossiping to others, we dealt with it with each other. THAT is friendship. THAT is a God working inside a friendship.
I have been here over a year, and did you know that I am just FINALLY finding real friends? To me that’s just sad, but I was looking for those who would have my back, and I of them. I needed mature friends with marriages and families, who had God as their center and that they were genuinely good people. You just know that when you make that kind of friendship, it is something really special that you want more of the minute they leave your side.
I had that, not only at my Birthday party last week, but this past weekend for our girl’s night. I have been so caught up in trying to make ALOT of friends, it’s just by nature I do, that I had to remember it’s the quality and not the quantity that makes the difference. Sitting around my living room and talking for hours on end, enjoying great food and drinks, and they even brought me gifts! I didn’t expect that, I really just hoped someone would show up and hang out with me. It was so opposite from what I had felt last year at this time that I was almost in tears over how awesome these ladies were to me. They cared, they loved me, and I knew they would want to hang out again.
This past weekend, as the closing song of Illuminations started, myself and my gal pals started to cry. Like some girlie movie you would see on the big screen, we had our arms around each other, sang along, and just had our moment. Wow, somebody out there GETS “IT” and GETS me!
The reason why I tell you all of this is that there is hope for all of you relocating. It takes time to feel out who you are comfortable with, and who you feel a connection with. It is easy to fall into circles where you may be accepted, but the connection isn’t there. I truly believe that God hand picks all of our friends for us, and if something doesn’t feel right about it, move on and find someone that does. Life is way too short to waste on those who don’t want to give you the time and energy that you feel you are giving them. Friendship IS hard work, and you have to work at it like any relationship you have. I believe if the person really wants to be in your life, they will find a way. If not, move on, empower yourself to walk away. Trust me, there are so many more people out there who are looking for a friend like you, than the ones who don’t even want to try.
I will always have Kelly, she will be my best friend for as long as I have breath … but in between the visits, I am sure glad that I have a certain group of ladies who love me and I of them here in town. This one is for you girls!
***Side note… I have made A LOT of friends with this blog, and have met some wonderful people. This is about making friends who are in my life locally, all the time, nearby, etc.. So please do not take offense, and each of you KNOWS if we are friends or not, so there ya go- love to you all.