I took this post down early this morning for 2 reasons:
1. I was afraid I wasn't clear about my friendships and that I'd hurt 3 of my best girlfriend's feelings. Right after college I met 3 amazing woman; Jen, Kimberly and Lea. We are all still best of friends today. But because of distance and other factors, it's always hard for us to connect on a regular basis and always has been. It wasn't until I also met my current "mommy" friends that I have what I have always craved; a sense of community, a support system. A group of woman that I can spontaneously call up and say let's meet for a cup of coffee, or can I drop off my kids for a while. It took me 30 years to find a 'group' of friends if you will, where I feel whole.
2. After recently helping to host a blog conference, I didn't want to seem like I was anti-social media friendships because I'm not at all. In fact I've been able to turn a couple of online friendships into awesome real life friendships. What I was trying to convey though is that sometimes we/I can let myself get too wrapped up in how people see me or building connections with people that I may never actually meet in person. Instead I need to make sure I'm first and foremost growing my 'in real life' relationships.
I had 2 very sweet friends email me today and offer encouragement after reading the post before I pulled it. Their words touched me and of course, brought me to tears, so because of their kindness I'm posting it back up...so here you go...yes, I'm crazy :)
oxtail poutine for the first time. I guess it's a Canadian specialty? I have to be honest, while such a simple act, an invitation to lunch, it made me feel special.
It's taken me a long time to feel comfortable with woman, and secure in the friendships I have. 30 years to be exact. The stemming of my insecurities with female relationships is so painfully obvious it almost seems contrived. In a nutshell, odd girl out one week, good girl in next week BS throughout school left me feeling unstable and left me questioning most female relationships I made all throughout high school and college. I wish I could say the friends I made in college are still my BFF's, but not even close. Aside from 1 girl, and my 2 sisters, my entire bridal party would be different now than it was 12 years ago.
Now I feel like I've finally found a group of friends that believe in me, that love me and care for me, that I can depend on and call on for just about anything. If you've had a group of friends like this for a while, I'm truly happy for you, because the gift of female friendship is one of the sweetest gifts you can have. If you haven't found that group of friends yet, don't lose hope, it can still be out there for you in the least unlikely of places. Like I said, 30 years right here.
This week I've been a bit emotional if I'm to be honest. Exhaustion mixed with self doubt can prove to be a bad concoction. Someone wrote to tell me I was so much nicer in person than they expected me to be after meeting me at Blog Sugar combined with the other comment that has since been cleared up, left me feeling at times, well a little crappy. I even asked a few friends if I come across as bitchy on here or something.
While I don't dare dismiss the friendships I've made online because many of them are true, 100% real worthwhile relationships worth fostering and growing, all this angst made me realize that it's the friendships in real life that are what are truly important. It's the friendships of those that I see on a regular basis in the flesh that matter the most, and the ones that I need concern myself with above all else. So while we can make hundreds of friends on Facebook and gain thousands of Twitter and blog followers, it's really those chicas that you have to come face-to-face with that take precedence.
I've known this all along, honest I have, but that invitation to lunch today was the perfect little reminder considering my feelings this week. It all dawned on me tonight as I was lying in bed with Syd, helping him fall asleep. A dark quiet room with a sleepy little boy lying next to you usually helps to pull all sorts of things into perspective. As I write this I cry, because I cry at everything really. But I really am grateful for all my friends. Thank you friend for inviting me to lunch today. It was just what I needed and I love you for it.