Sunday, February 8, 2009

Reaching Out

When you found yourself in need of comfort for what ever reason and you let it be known, how long did it take for someone to respond? When you heard the cry for help from someone unknown to you, how long did it take for you to respond? When it is you in the position of answering the call do you wait for others to respond before you make a move?

I have asked myself these very questions. I have even wished for a friend that I could vent to, visit without invitation, have a cup of coffee with in the morning while we discuss our inner most dreams. Many friends have come and gone only three remain out of all of them. One from high school that I found searching on the internet. The other two I used to work with, they email or text me every other day.

I had a close friend and I use the term loosely. Turns out that I was the only friend in the relationship. By the time she figured out why I wasn't talking to her anymore I had cut her off. No more accepting calls that wound up with her telling me all her drama and me never getting to say my piece. At first I made the excuse that she really needed a shoulder to cry on. The whole five years were like that. She would call my cell phone, text me or call my home number. If I didn't answer one she would call the other number simultaneously. A co-worker that witnessed it said they call that STALKING. Then it started at home and my mother was witness to it she was shocked and said the same thing. It has been 3 months since I've heard from her.

This didn't stop me from making other friends. I am just a little more careful about choosing them.

On the other hand I have also had the opportunity to make friends that reached out to me. Either in person or over the internet. Writing has become a tool that has been useful for me in this respect. I have reached out to others through my writing. It is as if my heart has taken over and pours out what my true self is all about.

One of my neighbors invited me to a neighborhood barbeque. She had these every so often so everyone could meet and get to know eachother. This time I accepted and actually went. I had the time of my life. My next door neighbor who would wave as she passed talked to me for over two hours. We had a lot in common!

I had come from a neighborhood where I lived for most of my teen and adult life. Everybody knew everybody and their kids and parents. My mother and step-father were getting older and decided to move to a smaller house in the next city. Not one neighbor greeted them. After my step-father died I moved in with my mother. Still no welcome. Now it has been four years and I decided I needed to make the first move.

I'm the kind of person who waves and says hello to everyone. But I guess not everyone is ready for that kind of friendliness. Not until I went to the barbeque! We laughed, we talked, we listened to music. I had a blast. Now when I go for my morning paper I get the waves and hello's that I prayed for.

So what is the real lesson here?

I have learned that if I am to make a decision that I want a friend and what my expectations are from the relationship.....I first have to ask myself what kind of friend will I be? I have to be able to meet the challenge of what I expect in a friend. What I entrust I must also trust. So you see it is a two way system. And the answer is simple. All it takes is reaching out....


Jeni said...

I've lived in this village I call home for over 50 of my 64 years on the planet. Two of my best friends are neighbors I grew up and who in our childhood, lived two doors from me. Today, the older sister (8 years my senior) lives 5 houses up from me and the younger (same age as me) lives three doors down on the opposite side of the street. We don't "visit" each other much, relying more on seeing each other at church or events more public. I tend to exchange calls with the older sister more frequently as she and I are a lot alike in our love of crafting -usually each of us has some project underway and we compare notes on those things.
I haven't had a friend, one really close to me that we phoned each other usually daily, often stopped by the others home just to gab a bit in almost 29 years now. That's when the couple who are my son's Godparents moved to Florida. We still keep in touch but over a thousand miles distance keeps the contact a little more on the scarce side.
I'd love to have a friend again -one that I shared so much with as I did the one who is now in Florida but as close as I am to my two neighbors -and I love them like I would a sister -there was just a tiny bit more involved in the other friendship that is now very long-distance.
I think sometimes blogging does help to fill that void as I have made some very good friends via this medium.
If ever you feel you'd like to just chat with someone, joke a bit, exchange recipes, crafting tips, gossip -whatever -feel free to e-mail me (off-list) or hit me on instant messenger or if you really want to hear a voice, call me on the phone. (I'd be more than happy to share my phone number with you if you want, as I know how much more comforting it is to hear a voice responding to whatever it is that you (or I) want to talk about, talk out, rant, cry -you name it!
Anytime, Cindy -feel free.

conarnold said...

It's often hard reaching out to others, but so worth the effort when you can find a true friend. The internet has become a great way to find new friends, and I think having a blog does help. I'm glad to have found you as an online friend!