Monday, November 15, 2010

Social(ly Inept) Butterfly...

I had a friend stay with me this past weekend and we were discussing social circles, friends lists, and meeting new people. Having recently moved to a new city, I've had a few people suggest to me ways in which I might meet new people and I've had more than one person offer to 'set me up' with some social contacts. I know that the people making these suggestions have my best interests at heart and I'm sure that the friends of my friends are all lovely people. However...

I honestly have no interest in meeting anyone new. I have little interest in 'getting out there' and the idea of having to forge a new friendship exhausts me. I'm sure that some people will think that I'm weird or depressed or afraid. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and who am I to try and change the way they think?

My reasons for wanting to keep the status quo and not add to my little circle of friends are quite simple. I'm protecting myself and choosing to only have people in my life who make me feel comfortable and supported. I only want the people who get me in my life right now. At some point I'm sure this will change and I'll be open to new friendships but that time is not now.

You may have guessed that this relates back to the struggles the Boy and I are having in starting our family. Yup, we're back to infertility - aren't you sick of it? Don't you think I'm being dramatic? Don't you think I should just GET OVER IT? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you should probably just stop reading my blog because that's not going to happen until I'm typing one handed while trying to feed a baby. Bye! And thanks for reading.

Those of you that are still with me, let me explain. I'm glad to be here in this new city where hardly anyone knows me. I'm glad that it's just me and the Boy. I need this time and I think he and I as a couple need this time. As I said earlier, I'm sure my friends only want to introduce me to all the best people they know and I'm sure that there are many, many great people in this fair city. The problem lies in meeting people my own age because you know what? A lot of people my age are having or have had babies. I don't need to meet any more of these people. I know quite enough people already who are having or have had babies. I love these people and I love their children and their soon-to-be children and even though I love them it still pains me that I'm not like them. So, no, I don't need to add any parents or future parents to my list of friends because I don't love them yet and it will make me crazy if I have to be happy for people I don't even know.

All of that may make me sound like a bitter, jealous person. Perhaps I am. I don't know. All I know is that I'm sad and struggling to not be. All I know is that all of the energy it takes to meet new people is energy I need to spend in trying to remain positive and cheer myself on. So, please, don't be offended if I don't jump at the chance to meet up with your cousin's sister's best friend who's a super awesome nice girl. I'm sure she is but hey, my dance card is full.

It's not entirely true that I'm not making any friends. I've actually built up quite a great circle of new friends...they're just all online and not living in my city. I met them through a fertility website. Does the fact that I've never met them face to face or talked to them on the phone lessen their importance? Not at all. They could all live on different planets and it wouldn't matter. If I'm ever having a bad day or I feel like screaming, I know I can go to our group and each and every one of them will understand. Sometimes all a person needs to feel better is to have someone else say 'Hey, I've been there.' I don't need to meet them for coffee or shopping to get this same sense of reassurance or comfort. I'd like to, but I don't need to. This might be one of the greatest contributions the internet has made to society.

I hope my 'real life' friends who are reading this don't think that I don't appreciate the shoulders they've offered to me to cry on. I'm eternally grateful to all of my friends who have been there for me in what ever way they could. Fortunately, I don't know a lot of people in real life that are struggling with infertility. Unfortunately, this can sometimes make me feel like I'm boring them with my problems. Let's face it, I'm kind of an infertility broken record right now.

In the end, what really matters to me is not whether I have 2 or 200 friends. What matters is that I have just the right friends. And I do. This is all I need. The rest of the world will still be there when I'm ready for it.


Anonymous said...

You know you'll always have me to turn to about infertility =) I've gone through everything you've been through or might still be or goin to go through...i'm just a ferry ride away...lub you =)

RDuke53 said...

I was just thinking today, as I was looking at my FB friends list, that I like my "online fertility website friends" more than most people I know in "real life." Infertility/fertility or not, I'm also at a point in my life at which I don't really want to make any more friends. I don't really like the ones I already have. It's exhausting. Hahaha! Who loves you, Carolyn baby?!?! XOXOXO

McD said...

I completely understand the friend deal.. I have a nice small group, who mostly are aware of my issues, and I like to keep it that way.
I have to admit every time something exciting happens, I do find I jump to my online Buddy Group first.. they understand :) and I do love hearing their stories too. I don't remember ever being so hopeful and excited for other people, especially those I've never met.

spongeknuckles said...

"This might be one of the greatest contributions the internet has made to society."

I fully agree Carolyn. For half my life now, I've been actively relating to and communicating with people online. Several of my best friends became so online before we ever became acquainted in person.

The power of the Internet was hammered home once again for me last night upon viewing a documentary about a girl with Cystic Fibrosis (65 Red Roses) -- the subject was finding great comfort in her plight by documenting it on a blog and talking things over with people far and wide who have the same struggles. The Internet is fantastic for this, and I hold out hope it can still be a helpful tool in the overall well being of our wired-up-the-ass society. Less linking, more thinking please!

I can't offer you much in the way of comfort through words, but please know that what you've posted here since I started reading has given me a much greater understanding of infertility simply by offering a no bullshit real world perspective. What you're doing is journalism in the purest form. It keeps me coming back, and compounds my empathy on the subject every time. Please keep posting.

The Happy Ranter said...

Anon - you can't fool me, I know who you are :) Lub you too!

RDuke - I think it might be partially an age thing. I'm too old and tired to be bothered making new friends. Ha! P.S. I also like my buddy group peeps more than a good portion of my IRL friends.

McD - I've definitely taken on a pack mentality with the buddy group. I feel very protective of and hopeful for all my girls. I think it has a lot to do with being in the same boat - even when it feels like it's sinking HAHA!

Sponge - I'll have to look up that documentary. Thanks for the blog encouragement! Since I have so much free time at the moment, I'm going to attempt to be a little more active!