Sunday, December 02, 2007

Hard Hearted

I was chatting to an old friend on the phone a few nights ago, and realized something.

Somehow, somewhere, I have lost a talent I used to have for friendship.

Ever since I got to Canberra, I have been lamenting a lack of close friends. I made some good friends almost immediately, and Judy in particular. But over time, they have moved away. Canberra is like that. It's very transient. Most people stay for a few years and then move on. It's hard to hold on to people.

Now, having made more effort, I basically have a few people who are friends, but it's pretty casual. We do stuff together. We have lunch. We go to each other's houses. We see each other at work. But that feeling of "clicking", of understanding each other's heart that I have had with other friends, of feeling strong loyalty and love for them, seems to be missing - for them and for me.

Now, some of this is the stage of life. We are all working and raising small children. It's tiring. It's hard to fit each other into our schedules. Even with old friends, it's hard to have a proper conversation without our kids interrupting.

But some of it, I have to admit, is me. I used to treasure my friendships. I used to feel much more for my friends. Now, a lot of the time, it's as much of a nuisance as a pleasure to see them, and when they leave, it really doesn't bother me as much as it used to.

What is this? Why do I seem so... half-hearted? Actually, kind of hard-hearted?


Blogger Sailor said...

I can't speak for you of course, but for me I've found that there was a period when our kids were little, and we were so focused on them and jobs, etc, that the friendships really became secondary.

I have had one really constant friend, ever, and him I still talk to regularly; but all the others, have been passing by types, as you describe Canberra.

These days, as the kids are older, even though by no means out of our care, they have become more independent, and that's left a gap that friends fill- so I'm making more effort than I used to.

You too, may find that this is the case for you, as the kids get bigger, you'll have more time to devote to your own friendships.

Hugs, even if this friendship is from waaaay afar! :)

6:26 PM  
Blogger C-Marie said...

I think I can echo what sailor is saying - I've spent so much time with kids, jobs, household responsibilities that it didn't leave much room for a social life. I also think that as I have grown older... my tolerance for others has waned. I've learned throughout the years that I didn't particularly enjoy being pulled or obligated into certain social groups and I have no time for more than my share of dramatics, if ya know what I mean. High school ended a Loooong time ago! Haha.
I cherish the handful of friends I have, old and new but my primary focus is my homelife.


5:25 AM  
Blogger Cat said...

I think sailor may have something. I think the day to day when your children are young makes it hard to maintain the close intimate friendships you may have before you have kids or when your kids are older and more independent.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Charmed said...

It is nice to see someone else feels the same way I do. I took a couple of years off from work several years ago and reconnected with some friends. And, it was great! Once I returned to work full time, the friendships slowly slid back to only the occasional email here and there. And I too, feel more like it is a duty to keep in touch than somthing I do out of pleasure. Why is that? Too busy with life I assume.

5:06 PM  
Blogger hasarder said...

I agree with everyone that having a small child and working leaves very little time to create and maintain close friendships.
But I think another key is what you say about Canberra being a transient population. The town I live in is like that, and it seems our friendships up here are not so deep. We have friends, but mostly what we've seen is that people are disinclined to make close friends when they know either they or their friends are not planning to stick around. It does keep things on a more casual level.

5:51 PM  
Blogger oldbear said...

Hi Em, like the others I think part of the cange might be due to your family circumstances right now.

If you feel its due to some defect in you, or some decrease in the positive things about you its possible.

BUT going by what I read here, I doubt it.

You seem a very good person. And despite the stereotype tha tgals make friends deeper/better/longer thn guys, I do believe most of use will have few transcendant friends over the whole of oour lives.

Even pretty good friends whe have "clicked" with will come and go in our lives.

Dont be too down on you, eh?

2:09 PM  
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9:02 PM  

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