This ring is round it has no end, and that’s how long you’ll be my friend.

PIN IT

A friend of mine wrote this title in my end-of-year friendship book (did you have one of those? I still have mine) when I was twelve and we were finishing primary school. I was going off to a different high school and leaving all my friends behind. I often wonder what life would have been like if I hadn’t started the endless journey of change and relocation. I’m lucky that that friend is still a friend. Not as close as we were back then, but we still chat online every now and then and when we are in the same city (once every few years) we catch up for a drink and a long chat. We still try to keep up with each others lives even though distance and years and so many worlds have taken us in such different directions. Still when I think of her (and I do often), in my mind, she’s twelve. She’s wearing dungarees and has an epic bob and freckles splashed across her nose. She is actually a very successful, very cool, very stylish 20-something now. But to me, she’ll always be that best-friend who threw me a surprise party and took me out for pizza and shared a few choice years of her childhood with me. She was/is a truly beautiful person.

Do friendships exist like that any more? That love that you have for your school friends. That amazing bond where you would do anything and everything for that person, where you talk on the phone until the dark quiet hours of the night and you write each other endless letters and fill shoe boxes with glittery paper and ribbon and stories and secrets. It’s such a beautiful thing… those friendships. Those all-or-nothing (and if it’s nothing the whole world would fall apart) friendships. I have had one of those in my adult life. One of those all-or-nothing-best-friend-beautiful-sister friendships. But it was short lived. She was short lived. And every day I miss her.

Obviously as adults we don’t have the time we had as teenagers. Between kids and work and relationships and responsibility, our friendships often suffer a bit. But is there an “adult-version”? – I’m sure there is. I know people who have it. But me? Not so much.

It’s hard making new friends. It’s something that we talk about a lot… us women. Mothers. Something that from your comments and from your emails and from blogs I read across this vast yet totally connected internet-land, I can tell, I’m not alone. It’s so important to all of us… and there are so many of us without it. Lots of acquaintances and very few friends. Real true friends.

Displacement happens for lots of reasons. Travel. Time. Distance. Relationships. Responsibility. Friends grow up and grow apart. We move. We grow. We explore and we come back… different. I came back to this place, two hours from the town where I grew up where I still have lots of “friends”. Lots of friends who like my photos on Facebook, they even comment and wish me a happy birthday when the day rolls around. But friendships change and people change and I was gone from this place for a very long time. I came back a new person, with a new person… and my friends are now busy with their own lives, their own distractions and responsibilities. Their own worlds that even though our worlds are now in the same place, they are still a universe apart. As for day-to-day, real life friend contact? I have one. One new beautiful friend who lives a few blocks away. One new friend who saves me from my day-to-day insanity. One new friend who is my sounding board. I was lucky to find this friend. Very lucky. And I found her in the most unusual of ways. The internet. Maybe this isn’t so unusual anymore? Making friends through internet groups, forums, Facebook secret groups where it’s so easy to be vulnerable, so easy to bare your soul, so easy to be whoever you want to be… because you’re safe, in your pajamas, in your own house and maybe you never will see these people face-to-face.There is a freedom in the anonymity. But there is also something that a friend online can’t give you, as good as it is, it is not the same.

I love my online friendships. In fact, I’m going on holiday with a group of mamas and their babies in March. I’ve never met a single one of them in the flesh. Sounds bizarre? It does to me too. But it’s time. It’s time to throw caution to the wind (a bit). Time to branch out. Make new friends. Try new things. Embrace this life and all it’s quirks and remember that no one (not even me) needs to do this alone (some days my mantra truly should be I have nothing to prove but that’s a bigger issue for another time).

Because I tell you what, this motherhood gig. No, perhaps it’s just this life gig… it’s gets really lonely. I’m still figuring out the best way to make friends in this new skin I’m in. Where the days of partying hard are behind me. My days of meeting new friends at all night raves and going home with them like a little lost puppy, welcomed into a new world… are definitely behind me now. So new strategies are a must. Avoiding the intense social anxiety is essential… and finding something, anything, to talk about that isn’t nappies and vomit and poo and sleep might seem impossible (it does), but it probably isn’t, cos I swear I bore myself stupid sometimes with the sound of my own voice. I just want to find some (more) like minded people to hang out with and be friends and go for coffees and eat pie and have dinners and drink wine and chat and laugh and cry and… and… and… you know?

How do you transverse the world of adult friendships? Is it easy for you? Do you find it difficult? Do you just wish someone would still write you a note (filled with secrets and giggles and love) in sparkly glitter pens and fold it into some cool origami shape and pass it to you under the table?

I do…

Similar Posts:

  • January 31, 2013 - 9:36 am

    Sarah - I completely agree. I miss having a best friend every day. My husband is great, but there is something magical about girly secrets and glittery notebooks. Thanks for reminding me.ReplyCancel

  • January 31, 2013 - 9:47 am

    Amy - Couldn’t have summed up how I feel and have felt for the last 2 years Sash…just because you used to share and click with people tie and distance changes us all without us even realising it makes my heart ache though…it is hard but if you find that one or two new friends in an endless sea its worth the fight and struggle of awkard first moments. xReplyCancel

    • January 31, 2013 - 10:03 am

      Cherie - I love this post Sash. I’m truely blessed to be able to say that I’m still besties with the person I wrote those notes to and shared those secrets with when I was 14. My best friend and I have known each other since our first day of high school and have shared so much. Travel, births, deaths, weddings and every day highs and lows. She was my bridesmaid and is soon to be the Godmother to my beautiful son. Every day I thank the Gods for her. She is the sister I was lucky enough to have the chance to choose. I’m so glad to hear you’ve made a new proper friend. I don’t think I’ve made a new true friend since I was 19. They are hard to come by xxxReplyCancel

    • February 3, 2013 - 8:52 pm

      Sash - It makes my heart ache too. It’s hard work… life. Isn’t it? πŸ™‚ Thank goodness for wine!ReplyCancel

  • January 31, 2013 - 10:13 am

    Julie - I used to be like this. When I had my first baby and I needed to find a new group to hang out with until my group caught up. That was 5 yrs ago and I got on the Internet. We went to every mothers group/play group/ library baby session till I found someone to talk to. I also joined a Internet mothers group, we are from all over Oz and England and the last time I saw them was in June last yr and in a few weeks a group will be coming to adelaide to see me.
    For local friends , my advice is, never say no to an invite. I meet so many woman in that time and only really gelled with 3. But that’s all I needed.ReplyCancel

  • January 31, 2013 - 10:32 am

    Emily - This post hits a nerve Sash! While I’m lucky enough to have 2 amazing sisters, I am essentially quite alone. I have friends, and I have accquaintences, but if I did not make the effort, I wouldn’t leave the house. My best friend, the one who I have kept her hundreds of folded notes from
    School days, doesn’t have children. She doesn’t understand my world. She thinks I’m fibbing if I can’t make coffee
    Dates because of the kids, or even if I can’t meet in a cafe because my kids will destroy the place. Maybe one day I’ll find it.ReplyCancel

  • January 31, 2013 - 2:47 pm

    Abeer - Found my bet friend in my husband! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • January 31, 2013 - 3:59 pm

    Rosie - Dam this is me all over. I have moved a few times and where I thought I found a true friend I connected with, she was always too busy, i however on the other hand, would just sit at home with my gorgeous son waiting for what? I don’t even know. No family help, a husband who has always worked long hours (however very supportive and who I love), friends who lived too far away for a insanity catchup, who had careers instead of kids or that i just didn’t want to do things by ‘myself’. I wanted to share experiences. Now after this last move I still don’t quite fit in. How come I seem to be the only person (what it feels like) that is just sitting at home all day most days with two gorgeous boys, lonely, no help, no family and stressed. I don’t even want any help, I literally want someone to talk to, and a bonus would be they have kids who could play with mine. I almost feel I need a proper ‘job’ as everyone seems to return to work these days (I know many have to financially and I am very lucky enough that I don’t have too). But as a result I feel I belong no where :(. I also feel my boys suffer due to my inability to vent and get out.

    My lifelong girlfriend just lives too far away and has gone back to work after her first child. I miss having that type of friendship, unfortunately I think it is so important when you have kids, or you go how i feel (insane).

    I recently visited my parents and went through my old ‘chest’ of treasures. I found many of those old letters etc from her. I photographed them for safe keeping.

    We are now trying for a third child, I fear it is going to be tough for many more years before it becomes ????? But I can’t wait for a loving family with kids who have sibling to play and connect with forever (something don’t have).

    Sorry for babbling. Hopefully you now understand why I have πŸ˜‰

    Many people talk down upon Facebook, but I tell you I would feel a hell of a lot more isolated with out it! Love your blog Sash! The only one i read. XReplyCancel

    • February 3, 2013 - 8:51 pm

      Sash - I totally get it. Babble away… πŸ™‚ xxReplyCancel

  • January 31, 2013 - 4:28 pm

    Joelle Breault-Hood - Love the quote. I have a friend I’ve had since I was five. She lives in Canada and we rarely see each and we rarely chat anymore. When we do though, it’s like we haven’t missed a beat. I do wish though I could see her everyday and be a part of her life. It makes me a little sad to think of that. This morning I REALLY needed a friend. I called one, close by. She didn’t answer the phone. I called my sister in Canada and she didn’t answer the phone. Then my close by friend called back. I think she knew I needed a hug. She helped me get through my morning. A fight with my husband, my daughter’s first day of school, my raging headache and earache. And she reminded me that she is always there for me. Thank goodness! So important to have that person. xxxReplyCancel

    • February 3, 2013 - 8:50 pm

      Sash - <3 To you Joelle, my friend. I hate not being an every day part of my close friends lives too. I feel like we are strangers... even though when we do talk, it's always the same. It's still not the same, at all. You know? I'm glad you have someone close by to talk to. (You have my number any time too, you know xx)ReplyCancel

  • January 31, 2013 - 4:35 pm

    Naomi Jimenez - I have recently (like 15 minutes ago) discovered your blog, actually, while reading your interview on Little Old Souls ;-). Gotta say I am already in love with your blog! I wish we were neighbours πŸ˜‰ I am in love with your genuine honesty.

    And, yes, I totally miss my friends. I am a mother to 2 girls, 4 years and a 5 month old. Life isn’t a piece of pie. I can’t just go out to lunch or to grab some coffee. I miss the days when my friends and I wrote letters to each other after school, and then we would trade the next morning. I always looked forward to letters. Anyways, I could go on forever. I feel the same exact way, I miss my friends.ReplyCancel

    • February 3, 2013 - 8:49 pm

      Sash - Welcome Naomi! Hopefully you come by a lot more often and chime in when you feel like it with your opinion… I wish we were neighbours too… We all need more honest, like minded, strong women in our lives.ReplyCancel

  • January 31, 2013 - 5:41 pm

    rachael edwards - Over the last couple of years, with moving between England and the Congo, I have lost/ not taken enough care of my friends. Moving back and forth means we have very little time to see friends when we are at our other home and that always got me a bit down. However I have three lovely friends (and one lovely internet friend I have never and probably will never meet) who love me wherever I am and however useless we are for keeping contact. My oldest friend Maggie I have known since I was 4 and I think the reason perhaps we are still such good friends is that we never went to school together, but our family are very tightly knit. Maggie and I also have always had time apart, she moved to London for several years and then went to India for a bit, we always just drop right back in every time we see each other pretty much. Being the first to get married and have a baby, sometimes makes me feel that I am a little disconnected to even those friends, but I know I will always have them. I hope to make some more mummy friends here, as currently I only have my two lovely sisters in law and one old friend (all in England), it’s hard not having mummy friends when all you talk about for the most part is Rosie this and Rosie that. I’m not sure my non-baby friends get it :SReplyCancel

    • February 3, 2013 - 8:48 pm

      Sash - It is so hard when you move around all the time. When you get somewhere everyone expects you to come to them and it’s so hard, to maintain it… and it’s exhausting. I understand. Oldest friends like that are WONDERFUL. I have a few… but I never ever get to see them… which is a terrible shame. xoReplyCancel

  • February 1, 2013 - 3:46 am

    MissM - ha, i thought about writing quite a similar post! i am so glad that i am not the only one who thinks about this.
    why is it so hard to make (mom) friends as an adult?! it seems near impossible to me! i am so lucky because i have many friends since childhood or my teens but we all lead very different lives and it would be so nice to have a friend close by who has kind of the same lifestyle, kids and all…ReplyCancel

  • February 1, 2013 - 9:54 am

    Triana - Everything you wrote is everything I have been trying to express for some time now. I have moved around, grown, and changed. I have a 6 month old baby girl and I find myself in need of some friends. I have a few good friends from my teens, but I live far away now and we don’t see each other much anymore. Those bonds are beautiful but I can feel them less. I’m the only one of my friends that has a baby and as much as I wish that didn’t change things, it has.

    I wish it weren’t so hard to make friends as an adult. I remember how easy it was as a child. Just walk up to that person on the playground, ask if they wanted to be friends and if they said yes, you were set.
    I wish you luck on your journey and may true and lasting relationships come your way!ReplyCancel

  • February 1, 2013 - 4:35 pm

    Jess - You are reading my mind. I’m actually trying to organise a Perth catch up if you are interested?ReplyCancel

    • February 3, 2013 - 8:46 pm

      Sash - Yes Jess. Absolutely interested!ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2013 - 10:06 pm

    Lisa - Oh Sash…sometimes it’s beyond eerie how much your experiences and thoughts match my own. Only that I’m almost exactly on the other side of the world.
    With my baby’s arrival EVERYTHING changed. It was a bumpy ride. I welcomed him with all my being but my life was nowhere near ready for a child. I also had to go back to my hometown, alone with my little boy, and move back in the house of my childhood. I have NO friends left because I myself hadn’t been here for 15 years, and the few people I knew are all over the place now themselves. Our village is small, in close vicinity there are no such things as mothers’ groups or the like. Like you, I also turned to the internet (even though I don’t blog, I like my anonymity too much) and found one person who responded to my call for friends. And who lives close, not in walking distance, but okay. But…it would have been nice. Perfect. But, the truth is, apart from being young mothers, we haven’t a lot to say to each other. It’s mostly awkward when we meet, and even though we both are lonely, we find more and more excuses to not meet. This is also a reality. I guess I will have to search on, but I recognized most people sense the desperation that comes with someone who has no friends and stay away.
    Well, I’m happy for you your experiences went better, and I wish you the best vacation ever!
    LisaReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2013 - 10:32 pm

    Alicia - Hi Sash,
    I wanted to read about friends so much, thanks for the post. You see, mommy-baby-children blogs talk a lot about children, but very little about mamas/papas, about the person, the individual, the human.
    I often forget to eat… because everything else goes first. That is what happens when you have a child. Suddenly everything else goes first. And I don’t mind at all,I actually think it is an amazing experience to suddenly become so selfless, except that I think there is a high risk in losing ourselves, in forgetting who we are, or in finding the time, the energy, the conscience to rediscover who we are. Because, we do change with motherhood, but we still are a person, with feelings, with needs of love and friendship.
    I was lucky to meet some wonderful people while I was pregnant, people that I would not have met, or most likely not have been friends with even, if it were not for our yoga classes and our bellies. We came to motherhood with a month difference, and yes, we talk about children, but we most of all talk about us, our changes, our feelings, of what we like, music, books or just have a good laugh. I have told them more than once, they have “saved” my transition and have made me feel a bit less lonely (I find motherhood to be one of the most lonely periods of my life, despite having a partner, family… I can’t really explain why it feels so lonely at times).
    My friends, those that I’ve known for years and years… they don’t have children and the transition hasn’t been easy, it still isn’t. Things just don’t flow between us. Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s them. But time, I guess and hope, will make it all easier for us to accept each other, to rediscover ourselves.

    Thanks for sharing, as always,

    AliciaReplyCancel

  • February 14, 2013 - 7:23 pm

    Tina - I know this is from a few weeks ago…..but when I saw this it made me sad as up until a few years ago I had ‘that friend’. I was devastated when our friendship ended. I always think of her. Anyway 2 days ago out of blue I got a email from her. Who knows what is going to happen between us but i know I am just going to enjoy our emails to each other while I can.ReplyCancel

  • August 3, 2014 - 3:38 am

    Natalie - I read these comments and I was saddened. I have a few close childhood friends and although life has taken us on many different paths. We are friends. Friendship should supersede life changes. I am childless (not by choice), but am happy for my friends and thoroughly enjoy being an auntie. Is friendship work? Yes, it definitely is. Both parties have to give and take. It also takes understanding and support. I understand that things have changed and I expect them to. Sometimes we do things with the kids, other times the kids stay home and we may not see/hear from each other as often. But I am so glad that I have friends that still include me and vice versa. I also believe that my friends “need” to have their mommy friends as well. There is room for everybody. There is a Nigerian proverb that’s says when you find a true friend “hold them tightly with both hands”. If a person is a true friend you won’t ever want to lose them. Trust me and as the above comments prove good friends are hard to find so why let them go so easily?ReplyCancel

    • August 3, 2014 - 6:31 pm

      Sash - Ah Natalie! It was so interesting to see your comment pop up on such an old post. I sat here and reread words that had been written over 18 months ago. If I was to write it now, it would be with different words πŸ™‚ Never let good friends go easily! Ever! But I think everyones experience of friendship in that transition from teen to adult (not just from single to parent) is very different, and some people may never have had “true” friends during that tumultuous time. Everyone’s experience is different, and there is ALWAYS room for everyone, just like you say πŸ™‚ I agree with your points by the way, absolutely… but it’s not always the belief of people on both sides of a friendship… and like anything, a good friendship, takes two.ReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

*

*