Everybody’s Friend and Nobody’s Friend

087

I’ve just woken up and I already feel the wave.

The wave of today’s problems set upon me.

They didn’t like what I said but they liked what everyone else said. I have to send that message. Why haven’t they texted me back? I’m going to have to let them know that I might have to cancel last minute. Will they understand? I have to text them back. Do they think I’m avoiding them? I’m so tired. Let’s stay in tonight. Let’s plan a group trip. I never want to see another human being again.

And then there’s

Everyone reads your blog but no one wants to sit down with you and talk about it.

Everyone knows about your marriage but no one wants to check in on you.

And the constantly-feeling-like-I’m-in-the-midst-of-people-saying-to-each-other

Oh sorry I couldn’t make it last night!

Make what?

Let’s text each other and find a time!

A time for what?

Now I don’t want you to think Poor Andrea.

But if I’m claiming to be Honest shouldn’t I be?

Even if it means it gets a little awkward?

(And I’ve already told you I’m not afraid of awkward.)

To be honest, I’m frustrated because once again

I’m everybody’s friend and nobody’s friend.

That’s my story and I can’t seem to get it out of me.

That no matter where I go, or what I do, it’s always the same narrative.

You see, I’ve lived in seven states and two countries.

I’ve been to thirteen different schools and performed in over thirty productions, each with different casts or companies.

And I always like everyone and everyone likes me.
I’m friends with everyone and everyone is friends with me.
I think everyone’s great. And they usually don’t mind me.

I think I’m the one who you don’t invite because you think she has so many friends already.

And that sometimes I’m that girl who falls through the cracks.

_______

Friendship.

That word doesn’t sum it up completely. To me, it just feels like

Knowing people.

I know people but am I really friends with them?

The one who’s everybody’s friend and nobody’s friend at all.

I get close to people and they move or I move or they go on tour or I get busy.

I’ve known so many and none at all.

I have endless dear, old friends and no best friends.

You see, although I don’t like attention, I don’t like to be forgotten.

And although I wish I were invited, I probably would have wanted to stay in anyway.

And I’m honest but I’m private.

No one gets to know anything about me until they ask. If you ask, I’ll tell you anything. I’m an open book, a well of stories waiting to burst out.

But only if you ask.

But as I write, I realize how many untruths are in my words.

I need to write a pep talk to myself. To remind myself of The Truth.

Isn’t life just a series of reminders of stuff you already know?

I know all of this. I just need to remember.

 _______

Dear Andrea,

You have lots of friends. Lots of people love and care for you.

Anything that says otherwise is a flat-out lie.

And you have baggage. You’re broken and bruised and and carry scars from the transient life you’ve lived. You’ve never planted your roots. And from that came wisdom and adventure and compassion, but you never learned friend-making or friend-keeping tools. You never learned to be a good friend because you never got the chance. You haven’t stayed in one place for more than 2 years. It’s not your fault.

You are also predisposed to friendship troubles. Social anxiety, moodiness, codependency, introvertism. You hate to talk on the phone and get easily overwhelmed. You’ve had a lot of things going against you. So stop getting anxious about all that you can’t control  and start looking ahead and see how you can change and grow.

And Andrea, everyone else is broken and bruised too. They are just as anxious and confused, and anything that says otherwise is a flat-out lie. Because we are all broken and flawed and imperfect and just trying to do the best we can in this world.

So Andrea, always give the benefit of the doubt. Relax and trust. Remember that every one can’t get invited to everything. Know there is a time and a season for different friendships to bloom. Work on yourself. Commit to working on being a more loving and giving. Know and believe that you can only control your actions and your thoughts. Cling to the truth, not the lies. See the good in people, not the bad. Be grateful. Be patient. Be kind. Be authentic. And never forget that you are already so beloved and befriended by God that those feelings from anyone else are merely sprinkles on an already decadent, elaborately decorated, three-tiered yellow cake with chocolate frosting.

And anything that says otherwise is a flat-out lie.

 
 
 
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  • http://danaeblessing.wordpress.com Danae

    Andrea,
    I feel for you in so many ways. I know exactly what you’re going through and I would like to give you a little bit about my experiences. My entire life I have been an introvert, waiting for people to approach me, as you said in your post. Waiting for others to ask me questions about how I am doing because if I ask them first then I will be shot down. I know you and I have never been very close but you and your sister and your entire family welcomed me with open arms when I had nobody else to lean on. Each of you showed me what unconditional acceptance means and made me understand what friendship is all about. I have carried insecurities that intensified after you all moved to Oregon because, once Mikayla left, I had no one else. I had to learn how to become an outgoing person and fought battles with myself about The strengths I do possess. Especially, at the church I would introduce myself to new comers and the next week they would absolutely ignore me. I felt like Jesus was my only friend and there was something wrong with me. Although every day I talked to a multitude of people about how they were doing they didn’t seem to want to spend anymore time with me than they had to. I became a person who shut people out and built walls around my heart. Jesus is helping me deconstruct these walls but it takes time. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone. I will be praying for you and I hope that you do grow in your love of yourself and of others because you have always been a beautiful person inside and out.

    • http://andreaenright.net Andrea Enright

      I totally understand the introvert/waiting for others to initiate. I’m so glad my family was able to encourage and love you! You have no idea how much that means. Grateful to hear you have learned so much and come so far in your journey! Jesus can break down any wall but I think we can forget how much time healing and re-learning can take. It’s always a slow, thoughtful process. And we always must remind ourselves of the stuff we already know. Thank you for sharing your story and for your prayers. <3

  • http://aroadofonesown.wordpress.com Katie K

    I’ve been reading for a few months, and this is my first comment. Because this sentence “everyone else is broken and bruised too.” is so true. I moved so often as a child and I feel a lot of the same insecurities you’re expressing. But we’re all feeling the same thing. ‘Am I good enough?’ ‘She’s much better friends with HER than with me’ ‘do they like me?’. Those fears never go away.

    But if I can remember that we’re all anxious, then, paradoxically, I can feel calm, and I can be hopeful. I’ll continue to put myself out there, and invite folks and reach out to friends. I’ll let them know that they matter to me, and in turn feel richer in my own friend love. Keep up the pep talks, they help more than just you!

    • http://andreaenright.net Andrea Enright

      YES. Your whole anxiety/calm paradox spoke right to me. I have to remember that everyone is probably feeling the same way- we just have such shiny lives and everything looks so perfect and fun and busy on facebook and instagram- but we’re all just anxious and lonely. I really believe it’s true. And I need to remind myself (and others!) more often.

      And thank you so much for leaving a comment. Comments act like another pep talk for me. People relate! Keep writing! And I had no idea my thoughts were being read by anyone outside my circle of acquaintances. So good to have you here, and hope to have you back soon!

      • http://aroadofonesown.wordpress.com Katie K

        Will do! Found you through my friend Andrea (http://www.theeverydaysoiree.com/) and I’ve got you added to my blog reader :) I love to comment though, I’m such a discussion junkie!

  • Mags

    I’m the worst kind of blog reader because I read, and I tell people about it saying things like “I read this really great blog today”, and I never comment to tell you the blogger how much your blog speaks to me, and how it rings true for me too. I decided I should probably be a better reader and reply for a change :)

    I’ve moved around a whole bunch too and the struggle to find friends, real friends, who you can say “I just don’t feel like putting on real pants today so I can’t come” to are really, really hard to find. It’s like a secret of adulthood that no one tells you: you will no longer have friends that you lounge in your PJs with watching movies and eating embarrassing amounts of pizza with. You should have appreciated it more in college, or boarding school, or wherever.

    I think you are spot on though when you say that everyone else is broken and bruised too, and that we are all anxious and self-conscious and trying to fit in. I appreciate your honesty here in this blog, and your vulnerability, and your bravery. So, while I don’t ever comment, I want you to know that I read all your posts and I am glad you are braver than I am and put it out here for the less brave of us to read and identify with and feel like someone else understands the struggle. I guess what I want to say is thank you!

    • http://andreaenright.net Andrea Enright

      Maggie, this means A WHOLE LOT. Because being honest is damn hard. It’s so could to hear it’s making people feel just a little bit more understood.

      I’m a bad blog commenter too. And that’s something they say “bloggers” should do. But sometimes it can be exhausting to articulate yourself and you just have SO many things to say that you don’t know where to start so you just don’t. At least that’s what I do… :)

      The Search For Grown Up Friends is real and it is HARD. And it is so much easier in college, where you live and are near people all the time. Friendships are automatic. I don’t know the answers. I feel the same way. But I’m trying to work on it. And I think the first step is to remember that probably a whole lot of other people around us feel the exact. same. way.

      And what I need to say is thank YOU. Thank you for reading, and thank you for sharing, and thank you for commenting. Thank you thank you. And how bout you guys come to NYC soon?

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