Right now we are studying Proverbs at church and in small groups. Last week, our pastor talked about having relational wisdom with friends. Since we shouldn't be 100% emotionally dependent on our spouses for all of our friendship/relational needs, we should all have wisely chosen close same-sex friends, apparently. (As in "inner circle" close friends, a Best Friend Forever type friend, one who knows you best, will tell you the "truth in love," etc.)
I realized I haven't had a "BFF" since junior high. Then she moved and left me stranded. No not really, I mean she did move, but it was my own fault not finding a new best friend. Or maybe not, I just really couldn't connect with anyone on that level through high school. I actually still keep in contact with my junior high BFF. She's great and I miss her.
The only person I connected with after that was Mr. Hubs (who back then was Mr. Boyfriend.) He has been my very best friend for the past 11 years. He knows me best. He accepts me. He loves me anyway, despite my flaws. And I him. During the sermon I thought, I have the best kind of best friend. Why do I need any more? However, doing the Bible study portion last night, I really got to thinking. Am I relying too much on my husband for my friendship/relational needs? Am I missing out on something that could be great by not having a best friend? Why don't I have a best friend?
At first I thought about the surface reasons. First, it's hard for me to find someone that I have a lot (or even enough) in common with. I admit it, I feel weird and out of place compared to today's "normal." Second, I feel I don't have much time to invest in friendships to begin with. With two small children at home it's hard at times to even find time to do the things I need to get done at home.
But I kept considering it. My heart began hurting. I began missing my friends in Sicily. Then it hurt even more to realize that most of them are not even in Sicily anymore, and what hurt even worse than that, was thinking about some of the things I've missed out on in their lives. One really good friend recently gave birth to her third baby boy. So wonderful, and I'm so incredibly happy for her, and yet, I'm sad because I couldn't be a part of that after I was part of her second pregnancy, and she was a huge part of my second as well. Oh, I miss her.
Nothing seems constant in this military life. I reflected back on how long it took me to start building true friendships in Sicily, and in Florida before that. It took me two years to really let those walls down, to really start allowing people into my inner circle. The last year I was in each place, I developed wonderful friendships with some wonderful people, and then so quickly, I had to move. And it was gone. And it hurt. And it still hurts.
So, here I find myself, a year and a half into our duty station here, and I wonder if I'm keeping my current friends at a comfortable distance, to prevent that hurt from happening again.