I've previously mentioned my friend Beth's book, Let Me Fall: The Love Story Between God and His Dimwitted Daughter. As she talked about a few things in the book, I had several realizations about myself.
I've realized how insecure I am. Oh, I know we all have our insecurities, our weaknesses. We're human. We have elements in our life where we fall short and, to be honest, we're right to be insecure about those things. For example, I'm insecure about my athletic ability. And since I basically have none to speak of, there is certainly a valid point to that insecurity!
But one of the things I am somewhat secretly insecure about is my friendships. I'm sure it's rooted in some childhood issues I had with non-loyal friends through the years, but the more I think about it, the more odd it seems to me that an overall friendly person who never had much trouble making friends is so insecure about the ones she already has.
For example, in one group of friends I have, I always feel like an outsider. We talk a lot as a group, but I feel like, despite my best efforts, I never made it to the inner circle, I never mutually connected with one or more of the ladies that seem to have no problems connecting with other people. (I know, I'm being vague. Let me get into more detail in another example...)
My friend M. We had a rocky beginning to our friendship. As a matter of fact we've known each other for a really long time and there was a time where she truly didn't like me, despite the fact that I was close with one of her best girlfriends and her brother and pretty chummy with her boyfriend (but in a big brother/little sister sort of way, so I don't think she was worried I was trying to steal him or anything.) But now? Years later, we're quite close. In an alcohol-sodden, tear-filled confession recently, she told me I was one of only 4 close friends that she really felt she could talk to. And we do talk about a LOT. But maybe I'm just more needy than she'd like? Or maybe she's just too busy? Because every time I text her and I don't get an answer back within 24-hours, I'm always plagued with the nail-biting "why doesn't she want to talk to me?" thoughts. Whenever she makes other plans during our usual "Wednesday nights while waiting for the kids to be done with church chat time", I'm always like "is she sick of me?" We've spent most Saturday nights together since the end of October. We've dubbed it "our tradition." But when she has other plans more than one week in a row, I wonder if I did something to offend her. This girl is probably my best girlfriend right now, but I am constantly second-guessing myself as to where I stand with her.
Sometimes I long for the age where you could exchange Best Friend necklaces and just put a label on your friendships, declaring to the world that you're taken.
There's another couple of ladies that I love to spend time with. Together, we have 6 kids - we were pregnant with our firsts together and our seconds were all very close in age as well. (and we are a blond, brunette, and a redhead. Our firstborns are also a blonde, brunette, and a redhead, but the kids' hair colors don't match the proper parent. It looks amusing sometimes when we're all together in public.) I get along wonderfully with both of these ladies individually, but I really click with K. We have so much in common, despite very different family backgrounds. And I spend time with both of them separately, as well as when the three of us get together. But I have to say, I get incredibly jealous and insecure when I find out that they made a play date or adult-only double date without me! And the fact that Jo's husband gets along with both other husbands, but my husband and K's husband haven't had a lot of time to get to know each other is frustrating, since I'd LOVE to be able to do more double dates with them.
In my head, I know that my friends probably actually do like me. That they do like to spend time with me, that they aren't embarrassed by me or to be seen with me in public. But sometimes, I feel like I'm on the outside, desperately trying to make my way into their lives, to be as important to them as they are to me. And maybe that isn't possible. Or maybe it is, but it takes more time.
I'm working on this. I'm working on not worrying about every little ignored text message and every little rescheduled get together. But sometimes I wonder if I will ever be free of my self-doubts.