Currently, I am struggling with connecting, specifically relating to friendship. I’m not sure why it’s become such a big deal in my head, but it has and it stinks. Over the last year, I have felt a deep seated need to reconnect with my dad, which has not worked out yet, as well as several friends who were once closer than they are today. Following a personal assessment I reaffirmed something that I’ve always known and that is I have trouble keeping close friends for long. My current dilemma, if you can call it that, is simply not having any close friends in the area I live, whether old friends or new.
This might sound like a pity party but it’s not, trust me. I exist well on my own and in fact am quite adept at self motivation. However, friendship is something that I crave when I want more meaningful conversation. As an aside, my wife and I are very close and share many great chats on a regular basis, but they are not the same as if I had a close friend to parse subjects with. So where I find myself at the moment is simply needing deeper and more intense talks with someone; that is the crux of the matter.
The older we get, the harder it gets to meet new people. No longer being in school puts a damper on the regular inflow of new people in our lives. A job will only fill that need so far, as the pool with which to pull from is limited. A church or a club or sports teams are also options with similar limitations. Meeting new people becomes very intentional if we are to make new connections at all. One good option is your neighborhood. We may lead busy lives but getting to know your neighbors has a multitude of benefits, among them the opportunity to make new friends. I have reached out to several of my neighbors over the past seven years and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know a few of them. There are, however, several more that I hope to get to know in time, so the opportunities are there.
I am inclined to believe that what I need is a brother of sorts. Camaraderie is something we hear about in movies and books but rarely do we discuss it, much less experience it in real life. The word means good fellowship and brotherhood. I experienced a little bit just recently in a relay race with some friends. The conversation was good and the laughs were great and overall we all had an amazing time. But missing from that was any long lasting relationship building moment. At best, I will maintain relative conversations for a week or two with 1 one of those guys. There have been others, but as I mentioned earlier, I have trouble keeping those close friends for long. Most notably is a friend who lives about two and a half hours away. He and I had something special but it was built around working together for the same company, doing the same job. For four years we were inseparable and for a time he was jokingly considered my other wife. Even after I moved away from where he still lives, we maintained a tight bond. But like everyone else, distance became a barrier and today he and I talk about every two to three weeks.
The thing for me about this type of relationship is that now that I have experienced it, I want it even more. This brotherhood ideal is powerful and meaningful and carries strength. I used to feed off of it and now I am starving for it. This type of relationship takes time to build and even more time to maintain, but knowing that does not deter me from wanting to develop that type of bond again. Time will tell if I am fortunate enough to find another friend like that.