3.07.2013

It's getting late and I'm getting mushy and deep and oh stop me now


I've never been good at friendships. I've struggled with them my entire life. I don't know all the reasons, but I know a big part of it is my shyness/massive introvertedness. I have a hard time making friends. I'm shy and I choke on my words if you put me on the spot with people I don't know. I actually have real, legitimate social anxiety issues. So I don't introduce myself to people very often. I wish I was the outgoing girl who made friends easily, but I'm not. And that is ok. I have decided that it is not a bad thing, despite what most people say.

So yes, I don't make friends well. I don't have many of them, and I never have. Well, strike that. I've had plenty of guy friends. Guys and I are kindred spirits. But girls? I may be a girl, but I feel like I'm from another plant than most other girls. We just don't click, and most girls don't like me. Honestly, they don't. I feel like wherever I go, I'm always the new girl. All other girls have their established friendship circles and don't want to welcome anyone else in, and I'm left in the lurch. I'll be honest and say it's something I've come to expect, and it's probably become a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy. My guard is up with girls. We just don't seem to like each other. It isn't necessarily their fault any more than it is mine.

What I'm trying to say is: friendships are a very sore subject for me. Whenever I hear someone say something about making sure you have good girlfriends in your life or every girl needs a good group of girlfriends or omg! I have the best friends ever! or blah blah blah it feels like a punch in the gut. My stomach drops. It's like being able to make the claim that I have some wonderful group of friends has become my Mt. Everest. It's the treat on the string that pulls away whenever I swipe at it.

When I moved back home to Ohio in July 2011, I was banged up and bruised from my friendships gone sour in North Carolina. I really don't talk about it, but I had a very, very difficult few years there friendship wise. It was bad, and it's something I'm still healing from. I've met some friends here and there since moving back to Ohio, and I've reconnected with some old ones, but it's the same situation as usual, plus it's just hard to make friends in post grad life. They have their group of solid friends while I'm still searching for mine. I spent years praying for a group of friends. Friends that would love despite my wacky sense of humor and my stronger than normal need to hibernate with a cup of coffee and stack of books. Friends that wouldn't only call when their other friends are busy. Friends that invited me on their girls' vacations and to dinner on Friday nights. Friends that made me a priority.

And then I started a blog. And after several long months, I started meeting people. And interacting. And emailing. And texting. And skyping. And suddenly? Suddenly I have friends. Good friends, albeit invisible internet friends. But they're friends that get me.

And even just little things like Alissa and Kelsey hosting a Google hangout next week to celebrate my birthday pull at my heartstrings. I got home from work yesterday, and as I told James about my plans next Thursday while taking off my boots, it hit me like a ton of bricks: this is what I've been waiting for. This is what I've been hoping and praying for. Not a Google Hangout per se, but these kinds of friendships. And I'm not just talking about Kelsey and Alissa (but ohhhh how I love them). Every one of you that I regularly interact with. I love all of you guys. You guys are my friends. My friends. And not just blog friends, no, you're my real life friends. Blogging is real life...for me at least. This is my real life you read about. These are real life texts and emails and skype sessions and comments and real love I have for you guys. You are real people, and you are my real friends.

It's ok that you all aren't physically here. I know we can't go out to eat or stay home and watch movies, but that's ok. Having friends that love you in spite of your different beliefs or lifestyles or whatever is more important than a date on the calendar. Having different friends who understand your taste in music, freakish love of grammar, love of writing and coffee, obsession with kittehs, love of Jesus, or sarcastic sense of humor is what's important. Lindsay once said that blogging is like E-Harmony for friendships, and she could not be more right. I hesitate to say a lot of this for the fear it will come across like I'm a gangly creepy freak whose entire life is online. That is completely not true. I have friends here in the flesh too, but sometimes it's just good to know there are likeminded people in other parts of the world. It's good to know your friend in Alaska or London or California or wherever understands when most other people don't. Sometimes you just need to meet people outside your city.

And now when I see those instagram pictures or tweets or texts or status updates about vacations I wasn't invited on, dinners and parties and concerts I wasn't invited to, and major life decisions I wasn't told about, it doesn't hurt so bad anymore. Because I have my friends now. And I know this is dangerous to talk about in the age of Catfish, but I don't care. In fact, if you aren't sure I am who I say am, let's meet and I'll buy you a cup of coffee. Kapeesh? You'll see I'm just as weird and awkward as I claim to be.

So now you know my secret. I'm not a popular girl. I don't spend my weekends brunching with gal pals. I wear my pajamas until 7pm and watch marathons of The Office. I laugh hysterically at my own jokes. I'm easily embarrassed. My foot is in my mouth 98% of the time. But I happen to think I'm kind of awesome. And if you're my friend, if you're the person who leaves me comments and emails me tells me how you think we should be best friends, please know I love you very much. You are exactly what I've been praying for.

What can I say? I guess I just like to chat online with babes all day.



For real though. I love you guys. Thank you for being you and for loving me and my crazy.

30 comments:

  1. I've felt exactly the same way about having girlfriends my entire life. I wouldn't say it's that's in introverted, because I consider myself outgoing...it's more like I feel like most girls don't "get" me....and I don't "get" them either. At beauty school I'm like, "Where can I go to escape the disgusting conversations???"
    Guys are far easier to be friends with.
    And so are random people on the internet. You know I love you, and your blog. Uncommon people have to stick together!

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  2. I feel the exact. same. way. Always the outsider in established "cliques" who is the new girl that nobody really gets because I'm not afraid to show my weird side (ok, I admit it's a lot of weirdness to handle sometimes). And I feel the same way about meeting all these bloggers. Honestly, I am so happy I've found a group of people who are so caring, wonderful, and awesome. It's crazy that we live so close but haven't met up yet! It's so hard for me to find time while school is going on, but we WILL make this happen someday!

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  3. I get it, girl. I'm only in touch with a few people from high school and college....I was even in a sorority, but I was never really close like all the other girls were. I had a horrible living situation with girls one year, so the next I lived with 5 of my guy friends. Much easier. Never thought I would say that!

    I've been told that my shyness can come off as being stuck up and that it's up to me to put myself out there. I gave up on that awhile ago and agree that it's not really anyone's fault. Sometimes I do still wish for that "do everything together" group, but it is what it is and I try to focus on the friendships I have instead of the ones I don't.

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  4. I want to be your friend *cue elevator music*

    No really. I've enjoyed reading your blog for the past few weeks. Pineapples.

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    1. I need to know why she wrote Pineapples, I would go to her blog but that's stalking.

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    2. its my favorite word! <_< no really. also I own way to many of them....

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  5. I can really relate to this post, friendships for me have not been easy either, I am amazed at the people who have had the same friends since they were 5 or 11 (my brother is one of these people), I'm just like "how?" A number of years ago I met some wonderful friends online and they mean so much to me, they accepted me for me and they know more about me than the majority of friends I see in the flesh and now I have started blogging I am loving making friends here as well. Although it's taken a long while to get this point I finally feel happy and secure within my friendships, I have made some great friends since I moved to London who don't care if I'm awkward, who share my love of musical theatre rather than think I'm weird because of it and who understand that sometimes I get stressed and need to go spend an hour in the bookshop to calm down.
    Those girls holidays you spoke about, apart from going to visit friends in the US, the first holiday I went on with friends was last year at the grand old age of 31, and staying in pj's until 7pm on a weekend sounds perfect to me!!!

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  6. I may or may not have shed a tear while reading this.

    YOU are the best. I am lucky to have you in my life. Where we met is irrelevant- what matters is we're there for one another now. Plus, someone to send ridiculous selfies to never hurts, right?

    If I can borrow a phrase from one of our favorite shows: I love you AND I like you, Shell D Bell. xoxoxoxo :)

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  7. This is such an encouraging post to read. I feel like I am right there with you in that "shy introvert" boat. My husband has been pushing me for months to start making friends online. I would pull the blanket over my head and say "NO! Internet people are scary!!" After having a blogger account and reading other people's blogs for almost a year, I decided I would start one on my own. So what if I only have 7 followers, have been at it for 2 months. If I lived closer to Ohio I would say "let's get coffee! I bet I am just as awkward as you are!" Sadly, that would be about a 5 hour drive to Starbucks. :(

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  8. Mmmm preach. I love this. I am so, so happy that you've found a community that you feel happy in. I'm exactly the same way with the self-fulfilling prophecy. I've never quite gotten along well with other girls and now it's just so bad, I'm immediately suspicious that any girl-talk between them is about how awkward I can be. It's definitely not helping the situation. I'm totally thankful for this blog community where I just go and people are like "OMG YOUR CRAZY IS THE SAME AS MY CRAZY!" And then I feel at home. :)

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  9. MICHELLE. Way to make me all teary eyed at 9:30 in the morning! I never expected to make friends through blogging, and I consider myself extremely lucky that I have found girls like you. You're right, it's hard making friends the older we get, and blogging is a great way to meet new people.

    I'm so excited for our hangout next week! Did I mention that I'm going to have everyone sing Happy Birthday to you? I hope someone out of the group has a good voice. I know it's not me!

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    1. pick me! I have a good voice!
      psych.
      but it does't mean I won't belt it for you. :)

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  10. I can understand. While I'm social, sometimes I'm socially awkward, and I have problems keeping up with friends when we move. In the last 5 years I've lived in 3 different states, with another move coming up this summer. It's hard to keep up with relationships! I love my online community because of that. I'm glad I've found some great bloggers that I click with.

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  11. I could have written this exact same post, and almost word for word. I just love you. A lot. We will probably have the most awkward first meeting in real life ever. I mean, remember our first google hangout? Sooooooooo awkward, and yet we are still friends, and we still talk. Thank goodness that blogging provides us with people we can be mutually awkward with.

    Now stop trying to make all of us cry so early! Have a good day at work, hope all of that is going well =)

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  12. THIS. ThisThisThis. Exactly what I've been feeling and haven't known how to say. Post-grad friend making is TOUGH, and three weeks into blogging, some days it's like typing into a vacuum. Thanks for the reminder that people are there. That it gets easier. That the goal of feeling connected will be reached.

    And I'm glad my house isn't the only place that still brings up Napoleon Dynamite regularly. My husband wanted to learn his dance for our wedding but settled for the more recognizable Pulp Fiction dance in the end... "Tina, you fat tub of lard..."

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  13. Would you be shocked if I said I'm the exact same way? Probably not. The people I've met through blogging have saved me. Before I started blogging, I was alone in my new house most of the time with Andy working his ass off so we could afford to live there. Over the years I had either pushed away friends or they had pushed me away. I was utterly alone. And then came blogging. And meeting my best friend. And then visiting a new place and meeting even more blog friends. And then there are days like last Saturday where I had a blog reader come up to me in a bar and give me a hug. Some people think that may be wowed, but it was awesome.

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  14. testify!!
    but seriously, word to like, ALL of this.
    In a way I differ, I'm actually pretty good at making friends, but they never stick. In high school I made my way through probably every clique, but how many of them stuck? probably about four people.
    And when I got married, and my roommates got married and my best friend got married and moved an hour and a half away, I found myself alone again. And Landon just didn't get it. I needed a friend. and I never in a million years thought I would get so many from my little blog that's sole purpose was for my mom to know what I was up to.
    You gals have been such a blessing in my life. And I don't think anyone else understands. My co workers laugh when I talk about my blog friends because they don't know how real and tangible our friendships are. you guys know more about me than most do, and I thank God every single morning for that.

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  15. This was a great post!

    I was the same way when I was younger. I was SO shy. With girls I always felt intimidated, because we are mean and more judgmental than the men. Plus, I was a total tomboy and liked hanging out with the boys better. And since I always did, I have an inappropriate sense of humor, I am somewhat public about my bathroom use (e.g. 'I have to poop'), and I like to swear a lot. So, I still feel more comfortable around guys. And it doesn't help that Anthony has 3 brothers that I spend a lot of time with... the inappropriate jokes flow like water around these parts.

    Buttttttttt as I got older I also became super girly girl, and only stopped painting my nails because according to the handbook, Starbucks doesn't think it's cute. Argh. I also found that waitressing really brought me out of my shell. My last job had it's incredible frustrations, but I have to say, I am forever thankful for what it did for me.

    But anyway, I do get what you're saying. I am the newer person at Starbucks, everyone else is VERY tight. They are very inclusive, don't get me wrong... but it doesn't mean I feel comfortable being included with a group that has known each other for a long time. I 100% hear what you're saying about blog friends being real friends. My friends on the internet are 10x better than my real life friends. :)

    That was long and babbly. I hope it made sense, lol.

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  16. I read your post, then I read all of these comments. Preach to the introverts! :) I've been blogging for over 3 years now and I have 11 followers. 11. But I don't care (well, only a little)- because people are reading my blog, even if they are not officially following. And for me, as a fairly shy and introverted person, it's strange to share so much of myself online. I feel like it has taught be to be a little less introverted... though it still takes me a while to feel comfortable enough to comment. (Why? I can do it in my pjs. I can even rewrite it until I hit publish! I'm strange, it's cool.) But then you email a response and we talk about our husbands freaking out when we talk about our periods. :) And life is good. Bring on the friends, wherever we may find them.

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    1. now you have 12 :) I liked what I saw

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  17. I'm actually not turning 30..I'm turning 50. I CATFISHED YOU.

    Jk - but for reals. You are my favorite young person ever and I am glad you found all of us crazy weirdos to bond with. Honestly, I love talking to blog friends so much more that my life friends are starting to get on my nerves.

    I'm sorry I am missing the epic birthday google hangout. BUT. I will be in the Solvang area, hopefully hanging out with your great aunt ;-)

    Love you, Grams!

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  18. I can't even tell you how much I relate to this post. I almost teared up while reading it. That is part of the reason I started blogging too, and I haven't been able to make any new friends yet but it has only been a couple of months. I'm sure a lot of people have said this but honestly after reading a lot of your posts (and knowing that you lived in NC for a while like I did!) I do think we could be good friends! Thank you so much for the honest, heartfelt post :)

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  19. I have this girl in my phone named "Chelle" and we used to text. Remember this? Remember when we were closer? I do.

    I happen to make friends easily, but I happen to walk away even more easily. If that makes sense, like Whit said about things sticking, the older I get the harder it is for them to stick. I've had the same friends for a very long time, and when I was with them a few weeks ago we sat around a table and it was with sadness that I realized how far apart we've drifted, and I know it is not without reason, lifestyle choices etc.. But.. as I watch them slip away, I have these insane friends.. hell my best for that matter that I met on my blog. (the best friend I switched out my lifelong friend with..) how is that? how? I was talking to Lisamarie who I met through my blog the other night on the telephone-o and she said it's because we unknowingly most likely all started all blog wishing to be heard, and connect with someone..

    But facts are facts one of the reasons I wanted to walk away from my blog is because I can't bare to "fall" for another friend who lives a million miles away. you know???

    I don't necessarly thank God for my blog in my nightly prayer, but I do thank him for my friends that I've met through it.

    holy crap, this is a massive comment, chalk it up to being at work for 12 hours. I can't wait to meet you on google chat. I can't wait.

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  20. I love, love, love this! And guess what? Even we outgoing gals have the same problem. There are so many more factors that play into who people click with each other. I am a guarded person, and I know that. In the grand scheme of things, that may be why I'm kind of left out.

    Even with other bloggers here in Houston, they cling to each other more. Or they'll say that "we should get together," but when I respond with when I'm available, communication drops. Maybe I'm reading too far into it, but it seems like they have no problem making plans with each other -- just with me, and that is okay. I can't contribute to any of the "being from the South" conversation. It's probably age too. I'm five years older (read: not fun enough?) and not a mother (read: not seen as "old" enough?). All I know is I'm here if people want to be friends, in real life or via blogging. I'm just trying to be the best friend I can be to those who are open to it. :) If there is no reciprocation, I take that as closure.

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  21. Michelle, I've always thought you were awesome. I do admit that I was mad at you for a bit in high school when you graduated and left me with a bunch of idiots who just didn't understand me haha. Even though we haven't seen each other in very a long time, I'm glad we found a way to keep in touch!

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  22. I too get jealous when I see pictures of girls hanging out in a large group. I always thought my life would be like Friends when I grew up. I think a lot of people struggle with making friends as adults, at least I hope they do, then I wouldn't feel like the only one.

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  23. Allow me to be one of those people who thinks we should be best friends. I really enjoy reading your blog because I feel I can relate to you! And because I think you're hilarious. :p

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  24. awww, SO glad I decided to catch up on reading your blog today... really needed to read this post. I'm super awkward & basically lost all of my friends once I got married & it's been a terrible struggle to try to find new ones. so thanks for writing this. :)

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