Monday, September 6, 2010

What is Friendship?

So I recently moved to Tucson, AZ from California and by recently I mean about 7 months ago.   The transition has been challenging to say the least but the overall experience has been good.  I feel healthier and happier than I have in more than a decade.  I can move freely with little to no pain from my rheumatoid arthritis, my allergies are manageable, and I have no recurring bouts of kidney stones, ovarian cysts, sinus infections, etc, etc.  I no longer have to work full-time, though I choose to work part time and go to school to keep my mind active and thinking.  I am getting to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher and I am finding the path more rewarding every day.  Yet there is something still plaguing me.

Friendship.  When I left California, though I did not have many friends (I can count them on one hand), I left behind the best friends that have ever entered my life (well technically, one left me first *ahem* Missy *cough*).  They taught me how to laugh and live again after my divorce.  They taught me what it truly means to be alive and the value of life and love.  I could count on them for anything.  Day or night, if I needed them, they were there.  Now I am almost 1,000 miles away from them and while they are still there for me by phone and email and I love them dearly, it just isn't the same.  They will always remain my family, but I can't just get up and go say hi to them when I feel like it. 

To fill that lack of human connection, I actively started trying to meet people here in Tucson.  There are several people who I like to think will become good friends, but as some of the relationships build, I find myself asking "What is friendship"?  To me, friendship is calling or texting each other on the phone just to say hi, popping by to see what is new in each other's lives, and asking for and offering help to one another.  A friend is someone you can ask for an onion and not feel uncomfortable about it because you know they will ask for a potato later.  A friend is someone who will gladly take you in when you just don't feel like being alone.  A friend is someone you miss if you haven't seen or talked to them in several days.  A friend is someone who will give you a ride someplace because you have no way to comfortably get there.

So tell me then, you who I consider a friend (you know who you are, though I won't call you out by name because that is just rude and something a friend would NOT do), why won't you let me help you?  Ever?  Why do you find it surprising when I miss you?  Why do you find it strange that I want to take care of you when you don't feel well?  I like to think of us as friends, but perhaps you don't?  Should I even try?  Should I just give up on this friendship?  I really don't want to. 

So can you tell me what friendship is to you?