Wow! Has it really been almost a month since I've blogged? I guess so. I've started many entries, but decided for one reason or another not to post them. They seemed too personal. Too raw. I'm not sure this one isn't going to be as well.
I have 353 Facebook friends. That seems like a good number of people, but yet when I find myself feeling a little lonely on a Saturday night, only two people came to mind to call. And both were busy. I just wanted to hang out with someone and do nothing or something. It didn't matter. I needed some human interaction.
Don't get me wrong, I have friends, but my most intimate friends live farther away than a trip across town for coffee. We're talking several states away. Now before this starts to sound like a pity party, know that's not my intention. My intention here is to take responsibility for the situation.
I'm a writer. I always have been, in one form or another. That means lots of alone time. When other kids were out playing and learning how to build friendships, I was the nerdy kid inside working on a book report. When other teens were out dating and learning social rules, I was inside writing short stories. In college when others were out partying, I was working on research papers.
Interestingly enough I won an award for one such paper. The topic, ironically was Male Friendships and the Barriers to Bonding. Apparently I wasn't the only one struggling because it struck a chord with my male professor who submitted the paper for a contest without me knowing. I won first place in the non-fiction category and got my first publication.
I wrote that paper almost twenty years ago and I still find I struggle with the same issues. How to be and have a friend. How much do I reveal? How much do I hold back? Will you still like me after you get to know me? Sometimes I feel completely socially inept.
So, I'm a writer. I might not be able to hang out with you because I'm writing.... or I might be using that as a shield because I'm afraid. I don't know. I do know that being afraid can be very lonely at times.
I've been lucky this past year because I met a group of writers who seemed to be in the same boat. They understand the solitary life of a writer. We became friends and after probably sharing too much, they seem to like me anyway. I hope they know how much I adore them.
"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson