Do you live in Central Florida? Want to meetup? More info here!
If you are visiting from ICLW - my story is here.
We challenge you to dig into your "followers" list and find a follower you don't know well (someone who doesn't comment regularly) and reach out to them and ask them to do a guest post on YOUR blog. Link up with your guest post and have your new friend (guest poster) link up as well!
For the last installment of Friends You Love - I have one of my newest followers - Single Mom in the South. She's a transplant like me but she was lucky enough to live up north longer than I did! Now she's part of the sweet tea, bless your heart, and yes ma'am southern world.
Funnily enough - guess who I'm guest posting for too? Yup - Single Mom in the South - so head on over to read my post there. And enjoy her post below!
My parents still live in the same house in which they lived when they brought me home from the hospital. Although they didn't know each other until later, they both went to the same high school as I did and as a result, many of my classmates were the children of theirs, some of my teachers had taught them, and some of my teachers had gone to school with my parents.
It was a small town. Although now,with increasing suburban sprawl, it is within commuting distance of a major city, so it's not quite the good ole boy network it used to be. Growing up like that has it's good and bad points, but it definitely leads to a since of security and a resistance to change... or at least it did for me!
When I got married at age 23, except for a short and disastrous stint at college, I had never lived anywhere but my parents home. Then, I found myself with a husband who was unhappy with his work, resulting in multiple job changes. With each new job came a relocation. Suddenly, the girl who'd never lived anywhere else was moving every two years. Moving down here was a HUGE deal. Yes, my sister is here, but I've never lived this far from "home".
It's been interesting, having to learn to make new friends for essentially the first time as an adult. I still have a large network of friends, many of whom I've known since Kindergarten, but with each move, I've had to make new friends. I will say, that for me, having kids has made it easier. Kids provide an instant common ground. In each new place, I seemed to make one or two close friends within a larger group of acquaintances and I kept in touch with one or two from each. The advent of facebook has allowed me to reconnect with many people and that's been nice.
But, now that I've lived here Below the Mason Dixon Line for three years, I'm finding out the hard way that maybe those friendships were a little superficial. When you become tight, fast friends with people and then only live by them for a short time, you never have to show your warts and they never see yours. Your friendship often isn't put to the test of time and conflict... of learning what a person really stands for and finding out that maybe you don't agree.
I'm in that place now. Over the last year and a half, the fast friends that I made when I first moved here have waxed and waned... morphed a bit. I've lost some friendships and gained a few more. It's a sometimes painful process. For me, even when I know in my heart that a person isn't someone I truly want to maintain a friendship with, it still smarts when there is a need to move away, either on my part or theirs.
But, in each new place, I get to reinvent myself a bit. I get a fresh start and now, now I can appreciate the gift of change, of friends, and of warts, whether they match mine or not!