Friendship

2_4Getting friendship as the prompt for this week’s Blog-Off post left my head swirling.  This was probably the most challenging entry for me thus far simply because I had so many ideas and no way of narrowing down which ones to use and which could go by the wayside.  Of course, I might have regaled you with grand tales of my favourite adventures with my favourite people, waxed poetic about the kindest gestures ever performed for my benefit or I could have launched lengthy descriptions about why I love the people I do.  I thought (although, honestly, only fleetingly) of all these possibilities this week as I tried to prepare for writing this entry, but none of them really inspired any feeling of satisfaction in me (breathe a sigh in relief) and that is how I ended up sitting here at 11 pm trying to come up with something with only one hour before deadline.  As I analyzed and assessed my thoughts on friendship, I started to think about how things have drastically changed in the friendship department here in QueenieCarlyLand.

I’ve never been a crowd girl.  I’ve done an ebb and flow dance in and out of the tight circles that some of my friends belong to, but I never hang around long enough to become a part of them.  It’s just not my thing.  As I mentioned recently, most of my friends have met, but very few of them keep in touch at all and none on a regular basis.  I’m really just a one on one girl, but at the same time, I’m so not the BFF type either.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and I definitely have some that
are closer than others, but I just can’t commit to being exclusive.
I’m kind of joking when I say that, but kind of not at the same time.
I think I would feel a little too much pressure to share
everything and I just don’t want that.  I don’t really like the idea of somebody, anybody, knowing all there is to know about me. 

These are things that have never changed.  I think it’s just my nature.

23_2

Throughout our lives, we regularly stop and look at the relationships we are in and make decisions about where they fit on our scale of priorities.  We often shed friendships when they become irrelevant to us.  Sometimes people just outgrow each other and they move on.  Maybe it’s a specific event that forces things to start to unravel, but it could just be a lack of time.  I know that in the last few years, I’ve had to take a look at which friendships I devote my precious time to.  I don’t have a lot of it, so I feel like I am constantly monitoring which friendships are good for me and which should take the back burner.  Some of my friendships wax and wane, others are always strong.  I think this kind of introspection is just part of growing up.

Back in the day, men accounted for the vast majority of my friendships.  I was someone who was just more compatible with the opposite sex.  Whether it had to do with sports, music, whatever, the guys I knew seemed to offer me more.  To say that’s no longer true would be a lie, but as I’ve aged, it’s become much more important to me to create and nurture friendships with women.

21All that said, the biggest change I’ve noticed in my friendships overall has nothing to do with maturity, but instead accessibility.  It isn’t how I relate to or communicate with my friends, but the means with which I do it.  Everyone talks about how technology and the internet has changed our lives, but it’s usually in reference to business or entertainment, dating or accessing information.  What I rarely hear anyone discussing is how it affects our personal relationships.

There is one person in the world with whom I can share anything without worry of being criticized, judged or taken to task.  Without the advent of email, that is something I might not have ever known.  We see each other every few weeks and we very rarely talk on the phone, but we email almost daily.  On those days we don’t, we send text messages.

Rebecca and I first connected online through a group we both belonged to.  Without the internet, I’d never have met Courtney.  The closeness I feel to Amy was developed almost entirely through blogging and I can keep tabs on what Kelly is up to with the click of my mouse.  These are some of my closest friends!  I keep in touch much more closely with almost all of my friends using a combination of email, IMs and text messaging and probably 90% of the contact I have with my family (outside immediate) is through my computer.

24Of course, I have yet to mention the friendships I have formed with people I’ve never even been anywhere close to.  Mainly through my blog, I have forged relationships with a number of people all over the world.  The fact that I don’t know them physically has no bearing on the quality of our relationships or the integrity of our interest in one another’s lives.  It’s easy for me to feel affection for these people I have never met.  In fact, I think that the nature of our acquaintance expedites a feeling of familiarity.  It’s easy to open up to someone when you are not face to face, even easier if it’s a face that is removed from your everyday life.  This summer, I’ll be getting a visit from Rachael only a few short days after I am planning (fingers crossed) on returning from a trip to Minnesota to meet some of the folks I keep in regular contact with there.  That’s also right around about the same time that Evey will be here from Boston.  (She and I met briefly at a wedding last September.  It’s through our contact online that our friendship blossomed.)

I read recently that the average American has something like two friends.  It was the lowest result to ever come from any scientific research.  It really stuck with me, haunting me for weeks afterward.  I just thought that such a sad statistic.  I hope that technology will help rectify that.  I’m convinced that people really need more support, camaraderie and love than that.

I am thrilled with the doors the internet has opened up for me and thankful for the people I have been put in touch with.  Of course, I would choose spending time with my friends over any other methods of communication most (okay, some) of the time, but that’s just not always an option.  The fact is that friendship, like everything else, has changed with the times.  How have you dealt with that?

(All the photos on this post were taken just a block from my house.  While walking in my ‘hood, Piera and I discovered this Friendship Garden while the cherry blossoms were in full bloom.  It seemed kind of magical to have stumbled across the park with a good friend.)

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15 Responses to “Friendship”

  1. Piera Says:

    I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, you are a wonderful writer. That was a magical scene we wonder upon that day.

  2. dawnmarie Says:

    I’ve read this post three times througout today, trying to figure out what I wanted to say.

    The “not the BFF type” comment jumped out at me. I’m still not sure what I want to say about it. But good post.

  3. 1millionlovemessages Says:

    Hi there,

    I would like to invite you, and your readers, to be part of my challenge.

    I’m trying to post 1 Million Love Messages From All Around The World in my blog.

    I hope that you can help to promote this challenge… and, of course, i’ll be waiting for your message 🙂

    Best Regards From Portugal,
    ( http://www.1millionlovemessages.com )

  4. Erin Says:

    I think that was such a real, raw, and wonderful post. I think you did a fabulous job with it!!!

  5. Courtney Says:

    Yeah, I don’t understand how you can dislike your blog-off posts so much, I think they’re really great!

    The internet is my primary communication tool. I suck ass at phone conversations and I’m permanently awkward in person. I’ve met some truly great people via the big bad internet and I have no intentions of letting some distance get in the way of a strong friendship.

    Really great post, Carly.

  6. Bex Says:

    Like Courtney, I hate talking on the phone too. But I have a couple of friends where when we get going on the phone we don’t shut up. Even when we’re about to get together later that same day!

    I think this is my favourite blog-off post of yours so far. It felt very sincere. Love the photos, is that the park you just recently discovered?

  7. Diane Says:

    Gorgeous photos – and isn’t the internet great for bringing people together!

  8. Lemuel Jopio Says:

    My wife and I met through my net friends. 🙂

  9. rocketstar Says:

    WHAT IS UP WITH YOUR BOY MV????

    http://celtics.aolsportsblog.com/2007/05/11/michael-vick-selling-property-linked-to-dog-fighting/

  10. QueenieCarly Says:

    Piera: Thanks so much. You are such a great supporter!

    Dawn: I am intrigued. Let’s get to the bottom of this… And thank you as well.

    Erin: I really appreciate your very kind words.

    Courtney: Your comment reminded me of that time we were talking about I have no idea what and you looked at me and said “You have a phone??” Aside from a few calls over the last few days, you’d never have known either of us did!

    Bex: I know you can do that. How could I not? It always makes me laugh to think about how much we both hate talking on the phone and yet, it’s hours later when we we’re hanging up. Remember that summer, was it two years ago???

    Diane & Lemuel: Thanks for the visit. And for stopping long enough to say a few words.

    Rocket: Here?? Really??

  11. C~ Says:

    True…very true. Great post.

  12. Erin Banks Says:

    Great post! I haven’t yet experienced a great blog friendship. I did met up with someone I met through my blog and it ended horribly. Maybe I should give it another try. Great job!

  13. durante vita Says:

    I have met people online for sex. That is how the Internet has changed my relationships.

    I don’t want to meet blog folk though–I have this thing where I like people less the more I get to know them.

    Good stuff here!

  14. flap Says:

    This was a great post. You and I are so similar.
    The pictures from that park are beautiful.
    One more reson why QP is my dream neighborhood………

  15. Evey Says:

    Ok so now that I actually have time and a working internet service I thought I would take the time to sit here and leave you a kick ass thought provoking comment.

    First things first, this post WAS GREAT! You constantly get annoyed at me and the way I doubt myself and yet you doubt yourself just as much, if not more than I do and you need to stop.

    It was pretty cool how we met at Jen and Ryans wedding last September. However, I am shocked that you didn’t write me off as a looney after that night. Give me a few Jack and Coke’s and there is no shutting me up, as I am sure you learned;) I too,smile when I think of how we met so breifly and yet a pretty cool friendship came of it. I mean really, I have always dreamed of meeting someone who will let me give them a pedicure while we rock out to U2. It doesn’t get any better than that, does it?

    Friendships that just happen like that are among my favorite kinds of friendship. I think it speaks volumes about the connection between people. Its pretty awesome!

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