We’ve made very few intimate friends in our 12 years of marriage. I realize this only in hindsight. Oh, we’ve had plenty of “friends”, we’ve waved goodbye to a decent amount of people that felt fondly for us. But they only knew our poker face. Our smiling at the door, not our fighting in the car, face.
Partly I suppose our nomadic tendencies are to blame; it takes time to develop intimacy. But more than that, the simple truth is that we haven’t invested in others, haven’t opened ourselves up and been vulnerable. It requires a tremendous amount of trust to show your struggling side.
And there are appearances to keep up.
We did develop some true and strong and slightly messy friendships during our more than three years in Georgia. And it was good. Even the parts that weren’t.
But I don’t have three years this time. I might only have one year, and half of that is already gone. I find myself in a lonely space of wanting intimate friendship but being scared or unwilling to allow for the slightly messy parts. But relationships don’t work that way. You have to let people see the hurting side of you, the less than picture perfect.
In some ways that feels harder than ever to do.
I want a best friend, here in the flesh. I want real community and friendship and intimacy. Someone or someones that I can tell the kinds of things that never make it to the blog, the kinds of things that take up residency in my heart, and soul, and mind.
But there’s also the very real necessity of protecting your secrets, your family, from the wrong hands. And there’s a fear of being found out for a hypocrite, of disappointing, of not living up to some standard or ideal. Or worse, being rejected.
And the possibility of all of the above can seem more painful than the loneliness itself.
Deciding who to trust with yourself is a tricky and terrifying business.