I have always had a serious case of frienvy. I can finally admit that, knowing full well it is never going to change. The way I “friend” is just not compatible with the friendship style I’ve coveted my whole life.
- Have you ever been to a wedding where 16 bridesmaids walk down the aisle with identical dresses, flowers, smiles, before you get a glance at the Bride?
- Have you ever had a Facebook friend who posts the same pictures of the same girls in different restaurants every weekend to the point their faces blur together?
- Have you ever longed to pick up the phone and ask the girl on the other end “what are we doing this weekend?”, knowing plans had already been made for you and your crew, and you didn’t have to lift a finger?
- Have you ever heard tales about wild or relaxing girls’ weekends and felt a pang of jealousy that those getaways just don’t materialize for you?
Yeah, that’s me too. I have finalized realized that I’m a Nomad. And I’m not mad about it either.
Sure, I’ve had opportunities to be part of a crowd. I’ve weaved my way into and out of a few of them over the years. But I never stay long. Heck, I even joined (and quit) a sorority in college. It’s always the same story. I find it too hard to insta-like an entire group of ladies enough to want to spend all my free time with all of them. It’s a huge responsibility to keep up with everyone, make sure no one feels left out, actually CARE about so many people all at once. These days, as a full-time working mom, not being around during the day makes it extra hard to know what is going on in my children’s lives, never mind those of my girlfriends.
The fact is, I don’t have a squad. I don’t have a girl gang. In fact, I never really have. That doesn’t mean I don’t have friends. I just tend to have a consistent set of curated friends, picked amongst different circles, different geographies, different life stages at any given time. My friendships are special, my friendships are deep, my friendships are all very very different. And I like it that way.
- I have the friend who lived down the block since I was two years old. She knows me, knows my family, knows all my faults, and loves me anyway.
- I have the friend from high school who made me laugh and still keeps me entertained with her starkly different lifestyle and swinging single dating stories.
- I have the 2 friends from college who live far away but keep an ongoing live text and email stream sharing the most mundane daily details, supporting each other, giving life advice.
- I have the friends I married into, who have raised families alongside us, and while we’ve dispersed over the years, we remain steadfast and dear to each other.
- I have the work friend who knows what I endure every day at the mysterious office, and is a sounding board for every struggle, every deadline, every life event because she’s just always right in front of me.
- I have the former colleague who is my personal Board of Directors, who is candid and honest and a great cheerleader when it comes to my career. And vice versa.
- I have several city friends we left behind when we moved, but are always up for a quick drink after work or ready and willing to plan a ski weekend away with the kids.
- I have mom friends in the suburbs that keep me loosely posted on the local drama, grab dinner with once a quarter, take my kids home from the onslaught of birthday parties every weekend. These are still a work in progress.
- I have my husband who is the best friend of all but doesn’t happen to be a woman so we’re leaving him off the list today.
Next time you hear me say “I have no friends”, please call my bluff. I truly have plenty, and I am grateful for what they bring to my life. I know I’m not the greatest friend because of my busy schedule and my lack of time and terrible attention to detail. But I love each and every one of these individuals, even if they don’t all know or love each other.
Just because I am not part of a group per se, doesn’t mean I don’t belong anywhere. People who “friend” like me likely have many different dimensions, very little flexibility, and a preference toward diversification vs unification. There is no need to feel frienvy, when the only person preventing you from being part of a squad is you.