Friday night, just me and The Mountain Goats. Ok, my cat’s with me, too. I shouldn’t forget her in moments like that. There are times where a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night comes and I do wish for the days of old, where I was around folks that it was fun to see and talk to. I don’t get a ton of those any more, partially due to where I’m at in life, and on the other side, just thanks to me being me. I still don’t make friends terribly easily. Sure, I make quite a few acquaintances but really making a friend is something I’ve never been terribly great at.
When folks started moving out of the area a couple years ago, I figured we would all still stay pretty close, but that just ended up not being the case. I don’t say that’s a problem, either. Life pulls people in opposite directions a lot of the time, friends or not, and it’s something that you’ve got to get used to. For the most part, we have. We have our online game nights from time to time, and every once in a while, the closest delegation of our group that are living out of town make their way back for a weekend and we all get together to catch up, reminisce, and try to keep things together. We have a riot almost every time, evidenced by the raucous laughter that could wake the dead, and new stories that we most certainly will start to look back on the next time we all see each other face to face. It’s one of those fantastic things that, even though it is a meet up of a kind, it’s really hard to quantify as a specific experience.
It’s not just us catching up, nor is it people who get together just to be rowdy, nor people who are really close throwing joking insults at each other (all of which happen). It isn’t about the drink(s), it’s not about the location. For me, it’s somewhere where I can be myself around other people again. It’s where I trust the people around me and can just let go of definitions placed on me around other people. It’s where I can hang loose and people won’t care (too much). It’s one of the few places where I feel safe enough to crack a joke and not worry about people chewing me out because it’s not funny or just a little bit blue.
I know this is going to sound cheesy, but I absolutely consider them my family. Yes, that’s been said by many people over the years about many groups of friends who are close. I feel that’s absolutely the case for me, so I’m going to use that. My group of friends feels like a family to me. Yes, I still have my family that I grew up with and I’ll always have them. My truly special time though is with that crew of friends. I don’t get to see them often, but I think that makes those moments when we are all in one place that much more enjoyable and sane. For me, I just don’t get that feeling terribly often.
With how much it means to me, I think that’s part of the reason why I don’t have a ton of people I call friends. I wish I could change that, but it takes an elite group to be able to make it into that list. Some of the time, they move from acquaintance to friend it’s truly fantastic, but most of the time, something just stops that from becoming the case. Maybe for some reason I think if I do make more friends, it’s just going to dilute what makes the two small groups of friends I have special to me. It’s an idiotic reasoning, but it’s the only thing that my utterly moronic brain can seem to come up with. The social graces not being one of my strongest qualities doesn’t exactly help my case, but it is something that can be worked on. Still, what I have with my groups of friends are special to me, and I don’t tell them that enough. This post is to you all.
To those here that I still don’t see much, that’s my fault, and I hate it being like that. I swear I’m not trying to be a recluse. I’m trying to be more social. Hopefully, I’ll start to come out of my shell again soon.
To those not here that I still don’t see much, I’m so glad for the moments that we do get to see each other, and I can’t wait till the next one comes. Hopefully that’s this weekend.
To those so far out of the area, I only get to see you only once a year or less, I’m so glad that we have online communication. You few people that I only get to talk to online anymore are some of the people I’m able to talk to the most. I’m glad I’ve still got you to talk to. You’re the ones who keep me sane.
-To Dustin, Katie, Chris, Chaz, Mike, Ben, Carrie, Vickie