Wednesday, November 06, 2013

A Month of Gratitude: Day 6

Day 6: Friends

It's so hard to make new friends as an adult. 

When we moved from Michigan (where I was born and raised and the place I had only known) back in June of 2007, it was hard, but I was a teacher. I knew that I'd be surrounded by other teachers and could make new friends through work. 

I didn't find it too difficult to adapt at work and immediately made two really good friends. All was good and I was adjusting to our new "home" but still homesick. The first few years of being away from everyone that I knew was REALLY hard. There were plenty of tears shed and I longed for familiar faces and people who KNEW me.

When Gus came into our lives, I decided to leave teaching and stay home with him. I knew that if I didn't like staying at home, I could always find another teaching job, or at the very least, sub for the year until a job opened up.

However, I really enjoyed staying home with him. My old neighbor, Wendy and I became really close (she was a SAHM too). I joined a local MOMS Club there after my SIL Heather told me about it. I went to a few things, but never felt like it was my group. I never made really good friends and they all seemed to know each other already. Gus was only five months, so I didn't do a lot of things with him, because he was so little. I found myself having nothing in common with most of the moms in the group. Don't get me wrong, there were some really awesome people, but I wasn't close with them.

Wendy told me about Triangle Mommies and so I joined. I went to a MNO and ended up meeting Kristen and found out that her daughter was only four days younger than Gus. We decided to get together for a playdate and we were instant friends. Another friend from TM had triplets that were eight days younger than Gus, so we'd all get together for great fun. Gus was the only boy, but he loved his friends.

I LOVED my friends. I felt so happy and fulfilled and loved that I was able to find such great people to spend my time with.

Then we moved to Georgia. I had just started to feel happy about being in NC and we had the opportunity of a lifetime and we took it.

Did we hesitate? Not at all.

However... the fact that I'd be forced to make friends all over again was scary.

When I left teaching to stay home, I still remained in touch with my teacher friends and saw them. Several had kiddos and stayed home too, and we did playdates. I never had to make new friends as a mom, because I still had friends from my childless days.

But moving to GA was different. We were faced (again) with not knowing anyone and not having any friends here. I know two people that live here, one was in Phi Sigma Pi with me and while I love her dearly, she's about an hour away and works full time. The other, Michelle,  I adore and is a sorority sister and did her student teaching with me, but she's about an hour away and teaches-- I see her in the summer).

So... yeah.

I decided that I'd look at Atlanta Area Mommies (affiliated with Triangle Mommies) and I went to a playdate that was HORRIBLE. I did meet a friend through that, her name is Dina and she's awesome, but we're on different schedules with preschool and whatnot. But talking to new moms on a search to find your place, is SO HARD. SO FRUSTRATING, and SCARY.

I mean, I freeze up, cannot think of what to say, and I'm totally awkward. It's horrible. I knew I had found the right group when I felt like I could be myself and not have to worry about coming across like an idiot.

I joined MOMS Club not sure what to expect. I am so glad that I did. It's been the greatest thing that I've done since moving to Johns Creek. 

When I first joined, the chapter only had 18 members. I immediately liked the people that I met and fell in love with Kathryn. She's such a great friend. I could write a book about how much I love her and why she's so great.

I have met and added more and more friends since living here. While I like all the moms in my chapter, I do have some favorites and I enjoy doing things with them outside of MOMS Club. They add a richness to my life and make me feel incredibly blessed.

As I'm getting older I'm realizing that I've never been one to have a single best friend. I have a desire to have a best friend, and someone to do things with and be around, but it never works out. For whatever reason, I feel like I'm always getting the short end of the stick in some way (either we spend too much time together and need a break, or they make other friends and pull away). 

When I meet someone, I always wonder if they're best friend material. Most people I meet are not. They're great people... but best friends aren't supposed to be easily found. I guess Steve will always be my one and only best friend. I do long for a female friend to consider my best friend.

As an adult it seems silly and trivial to even contemplate these things. However, it's sometimes lonely being in a state with no family and not having people who've known you forever. 

I do want to say that I do have some friends here that I am VERY close with. I've been somewhat guarded with finding a best friend while here in GA. So instead of making best friends, I've made GREAT friends. Maybe they're even better than best friends because they're not a single person as "my person" instead, they're each there for me in different ways.

I'm so thankful to have Kathryn, Lesley, and Kirsten in my life. I feel like I could (and do) call any of them at any time and they'd be there for me. That's something to be able to say.

The three of them care about me, do things to make me smile, and let me know that they value me in their lives. I haven't seen Kirsten in a while because she's been busy with her kiddos and babysitting another child, but I miss her dearly. 

I talk to Kathryn and Lesley via text, FB, or the phone on a daily basis (usually). I am incredibly grateful for having them in my life.

I'm meeting more and more new moms to my chapter and I have become quite fond of a few of them. Several are in my baby playgroup and then another I see at events. All of them make me laugh and smile, and I can see the friendship with them blossoming into something awesome.

I am blessed. I am loved. and I am so grateful for the amazing friends I've made here in Georgia. I feel like they're the best friends that I've ever had.

Kirsten had these sent to me tonight via Meaghan (another mom in MOMS Club). She knows how much I love these... so she sent me some. I adore her.


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