Friday, July 23, 2010

circle of friends ...

I am an introverted extrovert. If that makes any sense at all. I really don't like social situations. I hate introducing myself to others and making small talk. I like to have some background about the people I meet, before I actually meet them. And in a room full of people, you will often find me sitting in the corner playing with my Blackberry.

That is unless someone else does the hard work for me. Because once I have an in, you can't shut me up. I am an open book. If you ask, I will tell. And I tell it like it is. This personality style has been both good and bad for friendships. I tend to have a cyclical pattern to my friendships. And it kind of works like this ...

I meet someone and we become friends. Then over time, sometimes days, sometimes months, we meet more people who seem to mesh well. The duo becomes a trio and before long, there is a whole group of us who are tied together by a common trait, interest, belief, whatever.

Then, sometimes rather suddenly and without warning, that group dissolves and I am back in a duo (and not necessarily with the original party). And that friend ends up remaining in my life for the long haul. It happened that way in preschool and elementary, middle school and high school, college and even now. Because of this, I have a handful of extremely good friends. No, they are more than good friends, they are family. And I love this. And I hope that my children will emulate my friendships in their own.

But, while I cherish those close to me, I often wonder why others didn't cut it. Why I let some relationships dissolve. Why I didn't fight harder. Why they didn't either or if they even realize that I gave up the fight. And why it doesn't bother me more.

And the more I think about it, the more I realize I don't care about the answers. It doesn't matter why people come into your life or why they leave it. What matters is how they affected you, how they shaped your experiences, even if you can't see the value of that.

For me, every person who doesn't make the cut, makes me appreciate those who do that much more. And that is enough for me.

22 comments:

Shannon said...

Thats a good description of me too. I don't like social situation where I don't know anyone and I don't like socializing in large groups (I feel like I tend to get lost). But if I know the person or am in a small group, I can easily start telling my life story!

jamie @ sweatyhugs said...

Love this post TMB! The last line about appreciation is exactly what I've discovered recently.

Silly Girl Running said...

Love the post! Can totally relate to it, and you're right; it makes you appeciate the ones who do stick around so much more! Hang on to those friends; these are the ones that stay with you even in the hardest of times!

Marlene said...

Well said!

Katye said...

amazing post T! so true!

Katye said...

ps i hope this isn't a hint that a certain trio should go back to a dup (just kidding) =)

ajh said...

I always wonder why some friendships last even when you can't see each other for months and others don't. I get what you mean about the introverted extrovert! I hate making small talk with people I don't know but get me in a room with friends.........

NJ said...

It's like you are talking about me - EXACTLY! You put words to it much better than I could have though.

Katie A. said...

Couldn't agree more! And I swear, we are twins seperated at birth!
When my 10 year HS reunion happened a few years back, I was kind-of dreading going since I didn't keep in touch with any of them - even my BFF from back then. AND, I went to an all-girl's Catholic HS with girls I had gone to elementary school with for the past 12 years. But I realized that people come and go and that the right ones stay. I often get jealous of the people who are stil friends with elementary or HS peeps, but then realize that I have a ton of friends from later in life who are the true test of friendship and love.
I think your girls will have a similiar experience to yours, and you can be sure they will be happy, healthy friends for life :)
Have a great weekend!!!!

suzy said...

Suzy @ Countdown to 26.2I love this post. I have thought about this alot lately - feeling bad that I've lost some connections. It makes sense that people come into your life at certain times for certain reasons, but that doesn't mean we end up being long time besties. That makes me feel better about my list that 'didn't make the cut' :) So thanks! Happy Friday!

Rene' said...

such a great post this am. i have gone through a kind of friend change this year and at first it was hard, but I am realizing that my running partners/buddies are who i have most in common with at the moment. you put into words what i have been feeling!

Tricia said...

well said!

have a great weekend

funderson said...

Couldn't have said it better myself...no really, I couldn't

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

Nice insight deeper into T.

For my entire life I have basically been friends with guys. Girls don't seem to like me. I have had a few good female friends over the years and with those few I share a wonderful relationship. Time can pass and it's as if we just talked yesterday.

Reaching out to new people is difficult. With the complicated lives we all have it is hard to find people with common intersts that will weather the peripheral life issues that unfortunately effect a growing friendship.

True friendship is hard to find. Having someone who isn't in the friendship for their own gain but simply to know you better and to share experinces is a rare find!

MCM Mama said...

I have a small group of very close friends. Outside of that, I have TONS of "hey neighbor" friends as I tend to talk to anyone and everyone I see. We always joke that Beer Geek and I are like a cult - I bring in the new recruits, he keeps the ones who belong. Once you make the cut, you are in for life. ;o)

Earth Momma Mer said...

You have had your fair share of reflection today, T! Great post!

Pam said...

Wow. Tonia, girl, you hit the nail square on the head with this one!!!

Sometimes I feel like crap when I think about my waning friendship with one of my lifelong best girlfriends. It's not the dwindling relationship that makes me feel like crap--it's the fact that I don't care that makes me feel like crap. I feel guilty because I feel like I SHOULD care. But I don't. :/

Jamie said...

I am the same way! Great post!

Char said...

There are some people who just GET you and you them and they're the one you stay with. I'm the same and I'd rather have a few really close friends than a whole heap of second-tier ones.

Paige (Two Runners And A Brown Dog) said...

I love this post! It made me think about myself and those close to me. I am very similar to you!!!

onebadrunner said...

I totally agree - however, I have kept very few friends, basically because I tell it like it is and folks don't want to hear that. Maybe I should find less sensative friends. hmmm

fleming Fab 5 said...

Wow, I needed this post. Thought I was just not getting the friendship thing. I am exactly the same way. I love the above comment,
"True friendship is hard to find. Having someone who isn't in the friendship for their own gain but simply to know you better and to share experinces is a rare find!"
Around here, this is how it is. Once they find out I can't give them anything but being a trusting friend, they sometimes bail on me.
Also, life is so busy. Sometimes I feel like I put my friends on hold.
Oh well, it is what it is.
Thanks for the post!!!
PS. Running for a year. Training for Disney 1/2. Will start blogging about my training soon.
Anita at No Finish Line : )