Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I am learning that friendships are essential to my transition from my old familiar life to my present unfamiliar and current life.  I am more aware of the importance friendships play in working through the  funk I may get in from time to time or need to feel like I matter to someone. I take pride in the fact that I have a unique combination of different friendships.  I have friends that are virtual only, friends from the past, friends from the present, friends I met online and are now friends in person, and etc... These friendships, along with building my faith, my family, and my children, have been the thread to which I have often held on for dear life.  These friends have contributed to me being able to have fun and help me deal with the loudness of loneliness.

Some of these friends have helped me to realize that I need to know and determine what's best for me as a single woman. I have been encouraged to be more assertive and to take control of my life.  Some have helped me to turn down the noise in my life. One particular friend even enforced that I make a list of the things I can/should eliminate to get that noise in my life down to a minimum.  This same friend makes me accountable for my sleeping habits, as well as texting/tweeting while driving.

Friends have been there to talk to me, especially when my mom isn't available to encourage me and motivate me. I never thought that I would have someone to listen to me and to not be judgmental. My past relationship resulted in me giving myself in dosages. When something happened, I would retreat and then start over again with the dosages, a little less than before.  My mom has been the only person I could tell something to, who wouldn't bring it up or belittle me for it. I never thought I would be able to have anyone to help me like my mom. Surprisingly, I have a friend, with whom I can share stuff and not be judge. This friend calms me down and helps me to be more logical. My mom would always say that God would provide someone, who would help me just like she has helped me.  Maybe I will be okay. hmmmmmmmm

However, all the joy has turned up some pain. There have been friendships that have dwindled down to nothing now that I am no longer a "married woman." To them,  I guess I appear like the women with a scarlet letter "M" on my clothing.  I never imagined that I would lose friends. The reality was I did. When I shared certain things, I was rejected and/or ignored.  I remember these same people, exclaiming that I should leave and they wouldn't take this if they were me.  Needless to say, many of these friends are married or in committed long-term relationships... Who would have thought? How could I have known that by exposing who I am and what I needed, I would risk friendships? Like really....

I now have a platform of friends:

  • work and playmates
  • help providers
  • confidants
  • kindred spirits
  • associates
Each of these types of friends play a major part in my current transition.  Do you have a platform of friends like this? What categories do you have for the friends in your life?

Ironically, my friendships are now premeditated. I desire to be friends with people, who closely align with who I am now and the person I want to become. I am proactive with making friends. Cultivating friendships is important and necessary as a single woman. I realize that now more than ever. Yet, I am not completely free-spirited when it comes to friends.  I focus now on these qualities to determine if  the title of "friend" is appropriate.

These categories are:
  • Spontaneity - I look for people, who can be available with me and help me at the spur of the moment. I look for people, who are not confined to a certain way of thinking, but they are spontaneous.
  • Trust - Once trust is broken, I don't believe it can be regained. I have trust issues. So once you prove trustworthy, it is only fair that you should be my "friend."
  • Mutuality - I look for people, who share the same views and have common issues with me. I have learned from my ex that opposites may attract each other, but you have to share more to be sustainable.
  • Authenticity - Being genuine makes a world of a difference. I am different. I have embrace my uniqueness. I like to be friends with people, who understand that they are authentic and accept that as a strength, rather than a weakness.
  • Reciprocity - Friends, who know how to give and take equally, are important.  I have issues. My friends have issues. If we can reciprocate for each other, then we can make it through our situations.
Thanks to my friends I know now more than ever the importance of not being alone. Even though I may be sitting in my apartment as the only human being, I have a strong band of friends, who are there for me.

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