First, I should confess that I’m a blog junkie. I spend an [almost] embarrassing amount of time perusing the writings of other people on the web. That being said, I discovered a new favorite recently. This blog chronicles one woman’s quest to find a best friend in the city where she lives. With the exception of a few details, her description of the blog is the perfect portrayal of where I’m at right now:
I am a married white female searching for a best friend forever.
I have two lifelong BFFs, Sara and Callie, who I met when I was 10 and 14, at camp and high school respectively. I have seven super-close friends from college. I have dear pals from high school whose weddings I’d never miss and babies (well, so far there’s only one baby) I’m dying to meet. There is no shortage of shoulders to cry on. Here’s the catch: I live in Chicago. Sara and Callie live in New York City. My Northwestern roommates live in Boston, San Francisco, New York, and St. Louis. The high schoolers are in D.C. and (you guessed it), Manhattan. My closest friends are everywhere but here.
I moved to Chicago with my now-husband after we both decided a long-distance relationship (he was at law school in Philly, I was working in New York) just wouldn’t do. We’ve been here for nearly three years and in that time have made a few friends. Primarily couples, with whom we catch up over dinner every few months. But on a Sunday morning when I want to grab an omelette over girl talk, I’m at a loss. My Chicago friends are the let’s-get-dinner-on-the-books-a-month-in-advance type. I’m looking for someone to invite over to watch The Biggest Loser or to text “pedicure in half an hour?” on a Saturday morning. To me, that’s what BFFs are. Not just people who know your innermost secrets, but the ones up for grabbing a bite on a whim because they love being with you just that much, and getting together feels easy and natural rather than a chore you need to pencil in.
So I’m on the hunt for Miss Right. A person who can fill the one void in the otherwise great life I’ve set up in the Windy City. I always thought friendships blossom naturally, like at summer camp and in school. In the grown-up world, apparently this isn’t the case. So I’m taking matters in my own hands.
This is my life right now. I’m thankful to have found my people – I’m well aware that not everyone can share that joy. Except that my people are everywhere but here. In therapy, (which you lucky folks will probably continue to hear about until I’m done), I’ve been asked to hold my people close, and learn to be content with acquiring multiple acquaintances; to lower my expectations of everyone else; to be okay with multiple shallow friendships. For someone who maintains that she has no desire for a multitude of best friends, I certainly don’t act like it. But I’m learning to expect less of everyone, as morbid as that sounds.
The problem, however, is nights like tonight. After one long phone call, my mind is reeling with news that just changed everything. There’s been a shift in my reality, and it’s an uncomfortable one. And all I want to do is sit with one (or all) of my closest friends and just cry. I don’t want to explain why it hurts, I don’t want to be heartbroken over Skype or a phone call. I just want someone here to cry with, someone with whom to eat a bowl of ice cream and watch When Harry Met Sally, someone who will gladly change their Saturday night plans just to sit with me, someone who understands the delicate balance between logical thought and empathy that my soul needs.
But you don’t call just anyone on nights like these. Melt-downs can’t be shared with just any acquaintance, or even a good friend. You need your people. And mine are in New York, Kenya, Germany, and Nigeria. Tonight, I loathe that fact. I ache to sit in comfortable silence with the ones who know me the best, to have them tell me over a shared bottle of wine that it will all work out, to have them know without explanation why it hurts simply because they know my heart.
My heart lives in three continents all at once. And while my long-distance relationship skills have grown exponentially over the last year, tonight my heart is weary and longing for the comfort of my favorite souls. Maybe I should begin my own quest for a new best friend. Except that with my luck, as soon as our friendship sets sail they’ll probably get some awesome job in South Korea.
For tonight, I will try to find contentment in listening to Bon Iver’s The Wolves (Act 1 and II) on repeat, and sipping on a glass of whisky.