Friday, September 30, 2016

Overthinking friendship mid-30s

Thank you, people who read the words I put on the internet. It means something. Please know that. I know we are all bombarded, constantly, with so many messages. And you choose to click over here and spend some of your time with me.

I appreciate that.
It's nice having you.

We all want to be seen. And known.
Except for when we don't.

I hide when I don't want to be seen. I don't know about you. One time I saw a meme or like one of those fake internet T-shirts that said "I'm sorry I'm late. I didn't want to come."

That's been me. For the past, I don't know, three years or so.

I know it's not just me. What is it about the mid-thirties that makes us not want to get to know new people? I've been in this phase where I don't really want anything new at all.

I shop at the same stores all the time: Banana Republic, J. Crew, and The Limited.
I don't mind eating the same thing every day for breakfast: a smoothie and bacon.
I don't even like to watch new TV shows. I'm perfectly content re-watching the same series on Netflix (or Hulu or whatever they're on, Michael pulls them up for me. I make TV for a living but don't ask me to work one at home, or an iPad): Homeland, Parenthood, Gilmore Girls, I wouldn't mind watching all of 24 again.
I could be perfectly happy re-organizing my house every weekend and never talking to anyone.

I like my routines.
I like it when my old friends from other places come here to visit. I will stop what I am doing to meet them for coffee or dinner so we can laugh at things we already know are funny and skip the small talk that's necessary to get to know someone.

Making new friends takes effort. And I don't know about you, but I am tired.

When I took the job I have now, I underestimated how lonely it would be. There is a weird distance when you're the boss. And I get it. It should be there. The distance has a purpose.

Is it the internet's fault? It sure is easier to chat behind a screen than it is to make time to do it in person.

I want to be comfortable more than I want to be known. Because new friends are like work. I have made a couple of new friends here, though. And I am so thankful for them. That they kept asking me to do something, even if I said no 14 times. I have better friends than the friend I am, for sure.

When we get to the mid-thirties, we are all in these different places. Married or not, kids or not, multiple kids or an only child, career-focused or not, Pinterest-perfect or not, go to this or that church or not, have this political party affiliation or not, homeowner or not, etc. Hobbies and jobs are all over the place.

Growing up, we have more in common. Same for college. Even the twenties. But people in their thirties are all over the place. And we feel like we don't fit in with the people who are in their twenties or the people who are in their forties. Or, maybe we do.

It's a weird place to be. Maybe I'm overthinking it. And I have moved a lot over the years, so maybe I shouldn't blame my friend issues on my decade. Maybe I'm just tired from working every couple of years to make new friends.

Anyway. Just thinking about the random collection of friends who read this blog, and wanting you to know I'm so thankful for each of you, that our paths crossed at some point along the way and we weren't too tired or self-focused to miss out on the opportunity to get to know each other.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Dusting off the old blog

Have you ever been in an old house?

When my brother and I were kids, there was this house that was down the street by the church. If you rode your bike all the way to the end there were woods on the left. We would play back there. On the right there was a really old house. All I remember is it all looked like it was frozen in time. And there was cat food.

One time, we decided to go inside.

We opened the screen door on the porch. It slammed shut behind us. We look at each other. Did anyone hear that? Are we going to get in trouble? We tip toe to another door and open it. It's kind of creeky. It opens to a dusty, dim kitchen that looks kind of abandoned. But, we heard a TV on in the other room. We bolted out of there and stood our bikes up so fast and took off!

I don't know what we thought would happen. I haven't thought about this in years! I mean, really, what is the 100-year-old hoarding cat lady going to do, shoot us?

I was just thinking of a dusty, creeky old house and that memory came to mind. That, and the original "Flowers in the Attic" movie. So, I thought that memory was slightly happier.

It's been more than a year since I've creeked around this old space. This old space where my old feelings and dreams are piled up all over the place, covered in dust.

I'm not sure what it's going to be like going back to blogging. Will it be like an old friend who you can pick up where you left off? Or will it be awkward like where you take turns telling stories in chronological detail? Hit the highlights?

In some ways, it's like time stood still. In others, it's like it tick-tocked by while I was watching from a distance.

I don't know what it's going to be like.
I don't know how much I will be able to write on a regular basis.
I can tell you for sure that I have felt my heart being tugged back into writing more and more lately.
The desire to put words on the blank page in this familiar spot never truly went away.
I just got swallowed by life.

Like in one big gulp.
I think it's taken me this long to even realize it happened.
Not saying I'm past it, or I've figured it all out.

The other thing is - this space was where I poured out my soul when I was at my lowest, and it saved me. I put some really raw things on the internet when I was navigating those early days of marriage and caregiving and I lost myself and this helped me. A little virtual life raft.

This blog has changed over the years. I used to write about TV news and shopping and Brokaw, then I got married and it kind of became marriage and disability and caregiving-focused. Then it was dormant. I just kind of opened the valve and let whatever come out.

I don't know if that's smart or if that's how you're supposed to do it. But I am the boss of this space, so I guess I can do what I want. I worry less now about what people think of me. But, I do still care about my career and I don't want to say something dumb online.

So, I will need to be smart. Maybe pause before I hit "publish."

Maybe I'll just figure it out as I go. Isn't that we're all doing anyway? Prepare yourself for lots of writing about coffee and what God is doing (or not doing) in my life and a snuggly puggle and sappy posts about my husband loving me more than I deserve. Once I get my guard down, I'll tell you about this past year.

I think I need to, in order to move on.

Oh, and one other thing - I want to start a vlog. But I'm afraid of that. I'm afraid I'll overshare, I'm afraid you'll see how fat I've gotten, and I don't know when I'd have time to edit.