Why are friendships so hard?

As I sit and write this, it’s a Saturday night.  Another Saturday night where we are home.  And I’m bored out of my mind.  I can’t stand the thought of doing another load of laundry, washing another dish or monitoring another fight that breaks out amongst the kids.  It’s been a week of snow, blistering cold and snow days where the kids were home more than they were at school.  I worked from home a few days. And when the walls started closing in on me, I drove slowly to the office, taking a 90 minute normal commute, and managing to get to the office in 2 1/2 hours.  The slick roads and blizzard like winds were worth some peace and quiet of my office walls.

All week, The Farmer told me we should plan something Saturday night.  Let it be known we aren’t date people.  It seems frivolous and not worth the effort.  I don’t really care to go out to eat.  And I hate the movie theatre.  I’m just not a TV or movie person.  In my little town, there isn’t much more to do.  So we take a vacation, by ourselves, about once every two years.  That makes up the lack of dates during the year.

So as Saturday night approached, I was ready to do something, go somewhere, anything to get out of the house.  And no one wanted to do anything.  I begged everyone to go to the school basketball game. But the kids weren’t really excited, The Farmer wanted to chill and I started getting more and more down in the dumps.  It’s a night when other families are getting together to play cards, talk, goof off.  Anything.  I feel like I’m surrounded by people who are best friends with everyone but me.  And it sounds childish.  But the feeling is real.

It then brings back thoughts I’ve had for the past decade.  If my world were to crash around me, who would be there?  Who are my friends?  I have really nice “scratch the surface” type friendships with a ton of people.  I think I know a zillion people.  If anyone wants their kids bragged on or to talk about school activities, farm, sports, I’m your girl.  I love to brag about the kids my friends hang out with.  And I tell their parents when they do really great things.  But my relationships never go beyond that.  I walk into basketball games and feel like I’m on my own island.  I go to church and feel horribly lonely.  I don’t have community.  And it sucks.

It sucks even more that I don’t know how to fix it.  If the answer was to do more entertaining and invite friends over, I’ve done that. I’ve tried to get to know people.  And I don’t want it to sound so dire.  There are times I sit and talk to people at games.  It’s not all the time that I feel so lonely.  But when I do, the feeling is crushing.

I think it hurts so much because I am, by nature, an extrovert.  But I’ve turned very introvert because I think I’m wierding people out.  So I’m quiet.  And it’s so not me!!  But I don’t know what to do.

I do have some very dear friends.  There are a few local friends who I know I can call when I need something.  And others that I treasure who are scattered around the US.  Bloomington, Yorktown, Batesville, Greenfield, Little Rock.  All of these places hold the people who I hold most dear.  And those locations are at least one-two hours from me.  But when I get to spend time with those ladies, I treasure every second.  It’s comfort for my soul.  Their laughter fills me with such energy.  But I’ve not really been able to make many of those kind of relationships happen in my own back yard.

I’m not exactly sure why I need to spill my guts here.  It scares me to think what people will think of this.  Maybe some people will think I’m pathetic.  I guess that’s a risk I take.  But maybe someone can relate.  Someone who looks like they are happy-go-lucky on the surface, but really just wants to figure out how better to connect with people.  That extrovert who is struggling to find their voice.  The mother who just wants out of the house on a Saturday night.  The lady waiting to share a cup of coffee with a friend.