Friends

Peaks and valleys

12:17:00 AM



I am in a peak, searching for a valley.

Ever feel that way? As a mom of 4, we have sports and extracurriculars almost every day of the week. Toss in school (and most of our friends are at different schools), church, family life and the fact I work from home...life can start to seem pretty isolating. By the end of the day, I am straight up pooped. The only thing that sounds good to me is sweatpants and hanging my bra up like it's flappin' on a flagpole.

Sitting with one of my nearest and dearest as we watched our babes splash in the water, we were talking about how wonderful it was to spend time together. That we both desperately needed it and how odd it is so many around us are in "seasons" of change. Homes, works, friendships. You name it, I do not know 1 person not going through SOMETHING right now. We were talking about childhood friendships. I told her how envious I am of my childhood friends. I moved away as soon as I graduated. Followed by my parents moving, shortly after I did. So if I visit it's not like going "home". Someone else lives in my house. The flowers are gone and my walls are no longer covered in pictures from magazines. I am the outsider now. Those that stayed are best friends for life...I live a few hundred miles away and although I can visit. The connection has changed and I am that one girl who used to go to school with them but moved far far away. It makes my heart heavy. I am thrilled to bits for them, but sad for me. Sad panda.

You go off to college, you have your best friends who you are INSEPARABLE with. Graduation comes and you go your separate ways. You are still in touch, are in each-others weddings and will always be there for the big moments. But it's changed. You are in serious relationships, some are struggling to find work and others are landing the most incredible jobs and traveling the world. It's incredible. One of you has to be the first to get married and another will be the first to have babies. The wind picks up and the seasons start to change again. Once again these friendships are always going to be there, but everything that was the same will never be again.


Baby comes and your world is filled with extreme joy. Your single friends don't have a clue what to do with you or even can comprehend this odd language you have taken on. I mean, come on. What in the heck is a nonny? You get enough gumption up to attend "baby circles". You form friendships and you feel like you are set. This is it. I have everything I could ever want and more. Toddlers form in the place of chubby bodies and you can feel a slight breeze. Change is once again on the horizon. You attend each other's birthday parties. Still do dress up and pop in when you can but your world is in preparation for more. Then those you are closest with, move away. Your heart aches. You mourn and you feel like a lost sheep.

You get comfortable in your surroundings, meet new people and then something catastrophic to you happens. In my case I had major surgery. I spent many nights in mourning. Isolated from being able to tell others how I truly felt. The pain, the loss, the heartache. You notice those that step forward and are there for you. Those that send text messages, make phone calls or even send private messages. Friends that drop by with flowers and cookies or even bring your favorite coffee and sit by your side as you cry. As you laugh, as you share your heart with them. THESE moments are eye opening. Those you expected to be there, are not. Those you least expected, are. You are eternally grateful and cannot ever repay them enough for what they did for you.


Your perspective has changed. Your view on life is different. You start to notice that those you are always there for and would do anything for...may not be there when you need them the most. You notice that instead of being invited...you yourself are the one that always does the planning. The doing, the inviting. And you start to question yourself. Like Mindy Kaling wrote, "Is everyone hanging out without me?" Your love language is gifts, you give...but it's rarely reciprocated. So you take an even further step back. Does anyone notice? Some you typically message daily...don't message you. It makes your heart heavy again and you feel alone. You have the foodie friends, but you hate to cook. The crafty-Pinterest inspired friends, yet you don't even know how to hold a gluestick. The sporty friends that run, bike, swim, trike and there you are with a bowl of cereal in your lap loosening the strings on your yoga pants. That you TOTALLY wore, because you meant to go running. Of course! Each person has something in them that has made you a better person by having them in your life. They are inspiring.

Wanna hear something crazy? You are NOT alone. Apparently this is normal. WE are normal. Some are facing this, some HAVE faced it and some WILL face it in the future. Friendships are like lollipops...you have got to keep lickin' till you get to the center. I think God brings people into our lives for a reason. There was a season you needed that person and it was amazing. Instead of mourning or feeling lost we need to be thankful. My favorite quote right now is "There comes a time when you have to stop crossing oceans for people who wouldn't jump puddles for you." This hit me like a brick to my head. Those friends you think are ALWAYS so busy and are probably hanging out with other people...message them! See if they can hang out. It could be a person like me. I have tons of friends but very few know me to my core. Majority don't know I am most likely sitting on my couch, with my MacBook on my lap wondering if someone out there is wishing on the same great big bright star as I flip through the On Demand, eating a donut while my house is filled with silence. Don't forget your friends with LOTS of kids. OK that didn't mean to sound super pathetic...but I have 4 kids. I am not numb to the fact it's like bringing a herd of elephants over if we are invited for a playdate! Meet at a park, set up a couples dinner date! Mama's of many need friends too! I am the oldest of my sisters. I love my sisters something fierce, but they are WAY cooler than I am! We are in different seasons and I have to be OK with that.  They do things together and are able to get together more often...and I live in another State! PLUS, my youngest brother used to remind us each time we saw him, "you are like, old." Um, thanks! I love you too! Now every time I look in the mirror I see dirt! Thankfully he grew out of that! If you are always invited by someone else or they are always initiating...try that roll on for a bit. Their cup may runneth over. A text message or a simple and short "hello! I miss you" does the heart wonders!

To my friends who are going through this, I love you!! YOU are worthy and you are enough. Don't ever let anyone steal your sparkle. Instead, let the reflection of the sun beat off of you and shine. Shine baby, shine.



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