It was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever said, and I wish I could remember more about the context of thinking it and saying it: I don’t really need people.
I can even recall the room I was standing in – in our den in South Carolina – so it must have been significant. You can only say something that careless and arrogant when you are in a season of plenty. I had a lot of friends in this season – close ones, good ones and casual ones – and the demands of friendship, marriage, family and life must’ve been pushing me to some kind of ragged edge to say such a thing.
Regardless, a lot of time has passed since I felt that way, and if I’ve learned anything since then, it’s this:
I DO need people, and very much so.
I’ve started over three times in the years between then and now, moving to new places where I didn’t know a soul. Pursuing friendship has demanded effort, initiative and intention, and given my children’s ages, it hasn’t happened as easily and naturally as it once did. Moving to a place at 40 and then again at 50, well, people aren’t always open to new friends. Which reminds me of this SPOT ON bit from Jerry Seinfeld–
Unless you’ve started over as a 40-, 50-, 60- (even 30?)- something, you can’t imagine how challenging it can be. When I was settled, before life and circumstances uprooted us from The Comfort Zone, I sometimes took my friends for granted. And something I’ve seen in recent years is that I haven’t always done a great job at maintaining the relationships of friends who are important to me–I assume they know and that’s good enough.
It isn’t always good enough…. ( ~ crooked, fragile, begging-for-forgiveness smile ~ )
All of this is to tell you about something I’m extremely excited about:
I’m working with a team potentially to develop resources that can help support, feed, initiate, inspire, nurture and encourage you to maintain friendships!
Friendship rarely comes together by accident; it has to happen because you pursue someone or she pursues you, typically after you’ve found common ground–that moment C.S. Lewis speaks of in his wonderful, little-but-heady book, The Four Loves: “Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . . .” What would help you become more purpose-filled in your relationships?
I fully realize a thing doesn’t make a friendship happen; but a thing can—
- communicate thoughtfulness and intention
- express affection and interest in another
- become a connecting bridge
- serve as a tangible reminder that we are loved
- act as a conduit for getting together
- encourage, affirm and demonstrate that we are known
I’d love to hear your ideas as they relate to initiating, cultivating, maintaining and deepening friendship.
I’d also like to know about your needs and wishes as they relate to friendship, hear about difficult situations (broken fellowship), how you’ve restored or reconciled a relationship, the tools and resources you already know about that encourage and turn you toward friendship.
Books, articles, blog posts and/or any other resources, apps or products that come to mind. There are no wrong answers.
Your simple response might be the spark that creates something wonderful.
Whether you’re a frequent commenter to blogs or you’ve never commented before; whether we’re friends from the second grade or you’re hitting my blog from a friend of a friend’s share; regardless of your age or stage of life–
I hope to hear from YOU!
I’ll keep you posted as I’m able to share more; for now we’re in the brainstorming / crowdsourcing / ideation (ohYESthatsaword!) phase.
Thank you in advance for sharing this post and your feedback; I’d love to hear a broad spectrum of thoughts and ideas. And if you’re a little gun-shy about commenting publicly to a blog, shoot me an email at robin dance(dot)me(at)gmail.