Thursday, April 13, 2017

Most of My Friends Are Invisible

Over the last few months one of the things I have noticed about my life with its change into a new position is that my circle of friends has drastically lessened.

It is a bit odd, this thing called work.  Spend enough time at a position and the people you work with end up becoming your friends, simply because of the amount of time you spend with them:  year after year, brick after brick slabbed on until you have a wall you have built with others.  But then one or the other leaves, and suddenly the proximity is completely gone.

I suppose it is no-one's fault, of course:  we live in a busy age and for the most part there is always something that is there to take up the space.  But it is an odd feeling, after so many years of a daily routine and daily interactions, to find one's self isolated.  Alone, as it were.

My circle has shrunk more drastically than I had anticipated.  Beyond the immediate circle of my family and a much reduced group of coworkers (small company), I physically see a handful of people.  My iai dojo.  The regulars at the rabbit shelter.  My church group.  Even my throwing friends.  But all of these are for short periods of time only.

Isolation sometimes feel like being put on a shelf - and forgotten.  And while I do not fancy myself a people sort of person, it is surprising how the lack of meaningful emotional interaction makes one feel reduced.

And then I realized - most of my friends are invisible.

Well, not quite invisible - but certainly not present.  I talk to them almost every day.  It is just that they are not in my physical line of sight.

You all, of course - those who read and those who comment.  The folk on whose blogs I comment.  Even the friends I have made - some surprisingly good ones - on something as trendy as Facebook.

We talk about important things,  We laugh.  Sometimes we mock in a kind way.  And we support where necessary and coach where needed.

I realized my life is full of people.  Just people that I for the most part do not and may never actually see.

Perhaps the concept of "imaginary friends" was more trend setting than we realized.


PeteForester1 said...

Yeah; my family and I learned to deal with this during my 21 years in the military. We made friends and had to leave them again and again. Either that, or they left us. We yearned for a time when we could be in one place long enough to become a part of a community, only to find out that there's a downside to that as well.

Life is what it is. Deal with it a day at a time...

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Luke 6:34

LindaG said...

God bless, TB and family. As Peter mentioned about the military; there is always an office function or official function to try and bring people together. In Korea, it was baseball; in other units, flag football, bowling. At my first remote assignment, it was cribbage!

I do feel for you. I do fairly well on my own; but tend to miss hubby now that we are looking at 43 years in July.

And I hear you about online, too. On of my best friends is an online person I have exchanged addresses and phone numbers with.
Mostly, online friends will always be supportive and helpful, as you note. :-)
You all be safe, and God bless.

kymber said...

TB - i think you hit the head with "the concept of imaginary friends was more trend setting than we realized.

i have lots of people that we see about once a month, maybe more at our dances and get togethers. i would say that we have 4 couples that are our "friends-friends"...everyone else (about 50 people) are people we see out and most are good people, just not our friends.

i have found that most of my "friend-friends" are invisible and i have never met them....i know them only through blogging and the blogs that i like to read are the ones where the people "feel" real. i go to their blogs and try to leave supportive comments, and they come to our blog and do the same. i've only ever had one troll and my blogging friends jumped on her in a heartbeat telling her to get lost.

but you must check out my latest post - i think you'll get quite a kick out of it. and make sure to get your order in early - bahahahaha!

sending love, as always! your friend,

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Work is a little bit like that - but not in the complete relocation that one finds in the military (or so I understand). Perhaps it is a misconception on my part: growing up in a relatively big small town with the same group of friends for many years, maybe I thought this was the way life worked.

And you are right Pete - community can be a mixed blessing.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

My Dad plays cribbage. It is one of those things I suppose I should learn, but never have.

I wonder if part of the nature of online friends is that they are mostly by choice, not by proximity: after all, it takes time and energy to choose to maintain an interaction and even more so it the interaction is only ever in the ether.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

True for me as well, if I think about it Kymber. My throwing friends I see 10-12 times a year; My iai comrades twice a week. I enjoy the time immensely but it is not the same as "friends". Most of my friends are exactly as yours, existing "out there", seldom seen but very responsive.

I'm off to see what the fuss is about!

Much love, TB

kymber said...

TB - because i see you as a 'friend-friend' i'd be willing to cut you a really good deal on a commission of both pics. i'm thinking about $200 bucks for both on one piece of paper...$300 bucks for each on an individual paper. think of poor I-bun...we both know he is an art connoiseur. bahahahah! much love buddy!!!! xoxox

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Can I plead an unfavorable exchange rate? I have a growing number of college age mouths to feed.

Unfortunately, I-bun's appreciation of art tends to extend to eating it..

Much love, TB

Rain said...

TB, ALL of my friends are invisible! Well, besides Alex, I have no "real life" friends and haven't for over 15 years. At first I felt isolated and lonely but then I realized I just don't like society and most people anyway. I don't like the pressure of having to nurture a friendship when it's a one-way street. When I was younger, I was always the one calling, getting people together, arranging outings etc...because I liked my friends. They came to rely on me to do all the work and when I didn't, I never heard from them. Sure people get busy and all that, but I really think that people don't value friendships anymore. So with that in mind, I let them all go in one fell swoop! :) It felt good when I realized that I (just talking about me here) don't NEED anyone to make me feel happy or good about myself. I enjoy my own company and to be honest, people stress me out now. When I dropped society's brainwashing that a life of solitude equals loneliness and depression, I realized I am better alone. I do love my boyfriend and he is my best friend so I'm grateful for that, but I need nobody else. I dropped all family members and disowned them as well about 14 years ago...long history of abusive upbringing led to that decision and it was a wonderful decision!

I love my blogger friends. They are much nicer than anyone I've ever met as a real life friend. It's very true and I'm sure you can agree!

kymber said...

yes. i guess with 15 college age girls in the house is gonna get pretty costly. I-bun has great appreciation for art if he wants to eat it - bahahaha! xox

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Thanks for sharing Rain. I think it is true that many can fall into the trap of having everyone do something else in order to make something happen. At that point it is much less of a friendship than a sort of social director (and I am probably as guilty as anyone of that from time to time as well).

Perhaps it is just that I have become accustomed to having that level of people in my life. Certainly it is not as if I went back I would have more time to become more involved, at least at this season of my life.

I will agree that my blogger friends are some of the kindest and most supportive people one can meet.

Thanks for stopping by! - TB

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Right? Perhaps if one of them does well after school we can go into the bunny art collection business

kymber said...

i was thinking the same of your 15 girls has to become successful, no? and then you and i can really cash in - bahahah!