I’ve lived in quite a few cities in my life and made friends in each one. Every group is different, they represent various stages of me: my early teens, the horrible school years, uni, even my first job!
I have friends from each stage that I still keep in touch with and I like to think that my friends are my friends without prejudice.
But the reality is very different.
I have a very close bunch of friends from this stage in my life that I see very regularly. We’ve all been through quite a lot together: relationship get togethers, break ups, house moves. Life.
I love them. They’re my friends. They keep me sane when I think the world is falling down around my ears and they make me laugh until my tummy hurts. But I’ve come to realise that I don’t feel 100% fulfilled by them.
I know it sounds horrible to say but it’s the truth.
For 4 and a half years, I lived in Bristol. I moved in 2000 with my then other half. That relationship broke down horribly (I found him in bed with another woman – another post!) and I moved out. Every bone in my body told me to pack my stuff and run home to my Mum and Dad. But that stubborn streak in me told me to stick it out. I had a new job, some new friends but more than that, I would be damned if I was going to let him think that I couldn’t cope in a new place on my own.
So, I carried on working and I met a group of people that I wouldn’t be without today. Don’t get me wrong, we didn’t do anything together particularly special, but I look back on that period of my life and I wonder how I ever got through some of it without them.
We’ve all seen each other settle down, get married, buy houses, have babies. Hell two of them even emigrated. I think that’s maybe why I feel most comfortable with them.
The couple who moved to Australia have come home for a visit. They’re here for 4 weeks and we had a small reunion last night and for the first time in a long time, I felt like I was home. I haven’t lived in Bristol for 4 years but whenever I go back I feels like I never left. The sad part is that when I do have to leave it feels like I’m doing so under this massive grey cloud.
I miss my friends. I miss seeing them every day and I miss watching their children grow up. Two of the daughters are the same age as mine and when I watch them play together a massive part of me wishes that mine could be part of it. To grow up with the children of people I care deeply about. But that wont happen because I don’t live there.
It dawned on me today that the reason I feel so sad when I come home and why I miss them so much is because my lazy arse doesn’t make enough effort to go down there and see them. It is entirely unacceptable to me that my friends don’t know my daughter and have only seen her a handful of times since she was born. Equally unacceptable is that they met my other half for the first time. We’ve been together two years. What a shocking let down on my side.
But that is going to change.
I promise to make more effort in seeing them. I promise to make them part of my daughters life.