All you need is friends

I was listening to an interesting piece recently on a new favourite podcast. It was women talking about female friendship and while that seems like the most banal and standard discussion for women, I realised (as the participants realised) that we don’t often talk about the nature of female friendships. Sure, we talk about our friendships – we usually bitch and moan about all of them at some stage but we don’t often ‘out’ ourselves and the way we conduct our friendships.

I’m useless as a friend. Particularly since having a family. But more than that, I’m pretty introverted. I’ve always had a handful of good friends (close? I’m not sure) and make little effort with others; others that would consider me a friend and that they are one of mine. But what can I say? 

But I guess what I was most fascinated by on the programme was the capacity women have to talk about each other to each other. Not often to each other’s faces but about each other. How this form of communication is really quite normal. Par for the course. We all do it. We can’t help but do it. But I’m just not sure why. I know why I get frustrated and annoyed with friends but I don’t know why I have to talk about them with my other friends. For reassurance? For guidance? I don’t think so. It confuses me.

I’m leaving this city soon but more importantly I’m leaving a group of wonderful women who make me feel better (usually) when I’m with them. Only now, faced with ‘starting again’ on the friends front, am I truely aware of what my friends mean to me, what they bring me in life and how much I share with them. It’s going to be tough and I’m not great socially. I’m already at risk of failing to share all of myself with others but over the last 6 or so years, the friends in my life have inspired me to be more open, to share more, to give more, to care more, and to laugh more. It was quite a long time coming. It took a while for these disparate women to come together regularly and just be with each other. But we do it now (albeit not as much as we’d wish) but we are a team I guess.

What team will I belong to now? I’ll be teamless and I can’t help but feel that my natural reaction will be to look for one-man sports, avoid the groups, the many, the glasses of champagne. I also know that this isn’t healthy for me.

Only time will tell and in the meantime, I’ll be flying when I can back to Sydney, back to the arms and the laughter and the too-many-bottles-of-wine of my nearest and dearest.

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August 2009

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