Met with the girlfriends today –

Oh how I love them. Didn’t want to leave even though we all needed to get on with our day. I have very few friends – I’ve either chosen them or lucked out on friends of friends – and they are amazing.

We are all older – and have very different lives. And yet – that makes it more fun. We come from things from different backgrounds and different direction.

Anyway – I’m very very grateful for them.

One of the things I like the most about us is that we let each of us be who we are. Our lives are busy – and if fact one of the four of us, who met this morning, we only see a couple of times of year – but of the four of us she is the most type A (forgive me T). Between running a department, getting MBA, owning a small business, having two kids, and a darling but type A husband. Getting time on her calendar is a challenge.

The rest of us are more laid back.

I’m the single girl. The rest have been with their men the ten years I’ve spent single. I used to like my single life and make myself feel better about the compromises married couples have to make. Funny, but I don’t feel that way anymore.

The best thing about my friends… is they let me be me.

I don’t always feel social. Most days I’m happy living in my own world, writing my stories, researching, reading, and keeping my interactions with the outside world to a minimum. My friends never make me feel guilty for being away. In fact T, D & I were celebrating the fact that we’ve gotten together 3 times this year. Sometimes we go years without seeing each other and email is sporadic at best. Yet we can still sit down and talk, catch up, and enjoy every moment of it.

I remember when I was young, how eventually I didn’t like seeing my Father’s family much. The conversation was always peppered with “We should do this more often” or “We wish we could see more of you” and on and on and on… once they got in that vein it was sometimes 20 minutes before you could get them to change the subject. It was agonizing.

We are all busy – our lives intersect and diverge and intersect again. The people that stick with me are those who I can call on a whim and reconnect with – without bemoaning the time that has passed.

But I need to be careful… apparently even a hermit like me needs social interaction and my “wellbeing” would be greater if I spent at least 6 hours a day socializing. That seems like so much. Yesterday I got up, wrote a note to my boyfriend (such an odd word at our age but lets go with it for now), then worked. Finally sometime round 4 pm I decided I needed to get out of the house and to talk someone – so called a friend on the east coast that I often miss and caught up with him for an hour. That was it – oh, wrote another email to the boyfriend. I don’t think that was anywhere near the 6 hours.

I often need to go away – I guess it is okay for a writer to live her life inside her head.

When I was younger I think it hindered me in my dating because I tended to rely on my “date” more than I should. As I’ve developed close relationships with both men and women that have survived the years it’s decreased my need to hold so tightly to one person… I also, the value of age, feel no need to apply external standards to my relationships – friendships or otherwise. One of the hardest things in our extroverted society is to be an introvert that does extrovert well. Assumptions are made… both by others and by yourself. Age is a great thing – eventually you live with yourself long enough you start to figure things out.

But I started this out talking about coffee with the girlfriends… I know this is strange to say – but it is the most amazing feeling I have when I look up from my internal life and realize I have friends. And friends who will let me back in after I’ve hibernated.

A toast to them, for putting up with me! Cheers!

~ Tess

 

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