In California I always had a thick circle for friends around me, we were the kind of friends that were untouchable and unfiltered. I’m use to handling my friends a certain way. We talk, we gossip about celebrities, guys and other people in our circle, not in a malicious way just in a blah blah catching up, kind of way. It’s how it’s always been. We all talked about one another, we all knew who in the circle could and couldn’t be trusted with certain information but for the most part we all told each other everything. These are friendships I still have to this day, these are friends that I love and care for deeply. But these are friendships who I’ve had to love from a distance while I’ve been in Florida, and so I’m very rusty in how I do life with friends at 36 years old. I have friends in Florida that I can have these unfiltered open ended conversations with as well but there have only been a few over the past 12 years and so in the last 3 years I’ve relied solely on the friendships I’ve made from the church to fill a void of girlfriendness.
It. Is. Not. The. Same.
These girls I love, but they’re all southern girls, who I’ve met as adults. I am different from them, they are different from me. We do not share the bond of college, we did not meet as kids, and to be honest with the exception of Jesus there’s not a whole lot that we have in common. Some yes, but honestly not a lot of things to break bread over so how do I fill this void with the ones I’m very comfortable with. Gossiping. It’s a way to connect, and feel connected and share a common thing over. It’s something I’ve wanted to stop doing for a while, so after some Youversions devotions and prayer, I’ve managed to get a grip of my tongue in the workplace.
Well that brings me to something that recently happened. I have one friend in particular who I enjoy vastly. Like I really love this girls energy and I hope it’s a friendship that last a lifetime. However, recently I fucked up (sorry there’s no polite way to phrase it). I’ve been listening to Jen Hatmaker’s podcast and it’s about friendships and ya’ll know how I feel about those and I guess without even realizing it whenever I’m around this friend it’s spent talking about other people, (cause again I’m trying to make those deep connections like in the podcast). And this is mainly on my end not her’s. I mean we’ll both bring up people, but I realized the other day during a text conversation of screenshots that maybe I had pushed the limit. Her reply to me about a shared friend was very negative. And I thought “did I cause that?”, did I cause this “infraction of irritation from one person to another?” I was so blown away with guilt that I didn’t even reply back to this friend and have not since talked to her.
I’ve had other friends tell me that they’ve needed breaks from their other friends because whenever they talk to said friend they’re always negative. Well have I just become that friend? I’m so nervous that this friend will put me on a friend-break. But if I’m being completely honest with myself, I would completely understand why she would. I don’t mean to be a gossip girl, I just don’t know how to do the small talk thing. It takes me months if not years before I can be comfortable with someone and having the chemistry of connection. I just am not good a building those deep connections, I’ve never had to do it. California friends were easy we grew up together that was the bond, but in Florida I’ve been so secluded and often times cut myself off from the world that sometimes I break the line in these friendships. I don’t want to be known as the neighborhood gossip and the friend no one can trust.
So now I have to fix it. I have to come up with ways to build these connections (new and old) on a deeper level. Here are a list of questions found on Ashley Beaudin’s website via Pinterest (every girl’s friend). I can promise you, out of even the women I consider my best friends, I don’t know even half these answers about them, so maybe..let’s start here, and in the meantime I’ll be praying for God to not only fix my mouth but my reactions, gossiping is fun but now I can definitely see how it can snowball into something else and that’s just not a problem I want to have inside of me.
Thanks for reading, I hope I’m not the only one who struggles with this.
1. What makes you feel most alive? During worship, uncensored laughing with friends
2. When do you feel your most vulnerable? Getting to know someone
3. Are you more afraid of death or not really living? Not really living
4. What do you think makes me smile? (friend answer)
5. If you could do anything for the rest of your life, what would that be? Own Let’s Meet
6. Do you think you’re brave? No.
7. Do you feel deserving of care? Um, yeah
8. Is it easy for you to show yourself love or speak kindly to yourself? Yes.
9. What annoys you the most about people? Lack of common sense, inconsideration, rudeness
10. What are you doing when you lose track of time? Sleeping lol
11. What makes you feel super loved? Taking the time to get to know me
12. What do you want people to feel when they’re around you? Joy
13. What do you keep apologizing for in your life? Nothing
14. How do you want the world to see you? Passionate
15. Who do you want to impact? Do you feel like you can? Women/Yes!
16. What is a dream you’ve never said out loud? Let’s Meet
17. What do you lie the most about? “um, I’m good”
18. What do you use to cope when you’re feeling uncomfortable? Silence
19. What makes you feel unstoppable? God
20. How do you see me? (friend answer)
21. Do you feel invisible or seen and known in the world? Yes but only because I like it that way.
22. What emotion do you experience the most? Hope mixed with fear
23. What scares you the most? Not doing anything with my life
24. What is more important to you — status, power, or money? Honestly, money.
25. Is there anything you see inside of yourself you’re not sure of? Huh