Monday, January 16, 2012

the one about friendship

During my holidays I read "MWF seeking BFF" by Rachel Bertche, and naturally friendship was on my mind a lot, just in general, as well as my own circle of friends too. I do not have a lot of friends around where I live. I used to have more, but as I got older, and we entered different life stages at different time, these started to dwindle. Reading the book made me realise too that perhaps I do not put enough time into making new friends, and staying in touch with old friends. So I decided that this year I really want to change that.

This weekend my boy was invited to a kiddie’s birthday party and I thought that this may be the perfect opportunity to meet more people with kids. I was not going to know many people there - in actual fact I had only met the dad before, and would know one other parent (who thankfully came). But at this party I was once again reminded about how our city is viewed when it comes to friendships. During the holidays friends from Joburg were down and we met for a day of beach and food. They started to talk about that mentioning that they found people to be less friendly, and more "clique-y", something I have heard people say before. A few years back I may not have agreed with that - that is when I had a larger group of friends. I have to admit, for the first while I was at the party I felt like the odd one out. A group of moms were all sitting together under the trees chatting. Not many dads around. I was actually quite happy when I kept on being pulled to the sandpit or trampoline by my son. One dad struck up conversation, and that was it. The rest of the party I hung with the other mom I had met before (She did not know anyone else either). The other moms pretty much sat in their little circle chatting and did not seem to include anyone else they did not know - I did go sit around them, and probably felt too intimidated to just join the conversation, and nobody else made any effort.

I guess this can be seen from both sides. I did not try making more of an effort - although I guess in a way I felt that perhaps they would / should, as it was obvious that I had arrived alone, and they all knew one another already. I don't think, or at least I don't want to believe, that it is in actual fact that bad that one would not be able to make new friends, or "break into" already established circles of friends. In the past 2 years I have made one great friend, who lives up the road, has one kid that is my boy's age. This all makes for great company - besides our kids' ages we have a lot more in common too. So we can meet over weekends with kids for play dates or outings, dinner, and sometimes a lunch without kids.

Two more moms I met in the past two years I would like to try keeping more contact with. And the mom at the party this weekend - she seems great and today we have arranged a tentative date to meet in about two weeks.

I have a couple more friends I have met online, but whose friendship has gone beyond the online space. I hope that things can grow with the ones who live close by.

This is by no means New Year’s resolutions, and I am not planning on embarking on anything the scale of what Rachel Bertche did. But her book has given me some perspective, and made me realise that perhaps I am not the only one who feels the way I do.

I will admit though that my greatest fear with issues such as these is getting hurt, or not being accepted.


Marcia (123 blog) said... Best Blogger Tips

okay, this is way too cool. I'm just blogging about the book too!!!!!!!!!!

will come back later and read properly :)

Marcia (123 blog) said... Best Blogger Tips

Oooh, great post!

That's a topic I want to write about, by the way, about being vulnerable and putting yourself out there.

It's terrible, isn't it? Esp when you're not sure how you'll be received..... Eeek!!!

I do think you should set a few tiny goals for the year. I've also done the same - I want to have one friend date a month. Just one. Whether with an old or new friend :)