Growing up, I didn't have many friends. Not because I was a dork, or I smelled weird, or I was that strange girl in class. I didn't really have many friends, because that was what seemed normal for my family. I realized early on that my parents really didn't have friends. I just assumed, that since it worked for them, that it would work for me. It wasn't until very recently that I understood, they didn't have friends because they weren't friendship material. I always had my two close friends, Ginger and Katie and my cousin but besides them, I never really kept anyone close in my life. When I met Rob, he had all kinds of friends. This kid has friends coming out his ears, and a few hiding between his toes. I didn't understand it at all. In fact I was hugely bothered by it.

You see, growing up, I was basically taught that, you only did something for someone, if you expected something greater in return. I was also taught to look for all of the negative things about people to help myself seem better. My parents are great at this. I noticed recently, that they spend all of their time looking for the bad in every situation. I regularly hear them saying things like OMG can you believe so in so did this, its so dumb, they should have done it my way. I used to get involved in the hype and gossip with em and now I just shrug my shoulders and say "Hey, its so in so, what do you expect, they have been this way for years, why does it surprise you now?"

Back to my husband. Like I said he had tons of friends. Friends who always wanted to come and drink, or needed a place to stay, or a ride somewhere. All I could ever think was, "Gosh we pay for a lot of beer, why do they need to stay with us, isn't there somewhere else they can go, what are we going to get out of it, are they going to pay for our gas, and so on!" Rob would always get so upset and try and explain to me, that you just do stuff because they are your friends. I couldn't comprehend this idea. The whole time his friend stayed with us my mom was in my ear asking what he would do for us, and wasn't it annoying having someone always in our house. I agreed with her because i didn't know better. We kicked his friend out, and later Rob told me he was sleeping in his car. All the sudden I thought to myself, wow, what was so wrong with helping this kid out. I realized, that there is nothing wrong with having friends over all the time. So what if they come over often. If I relax a little, its actually quite fun. '

So started my journey to make new friends. I made up with Steph and I even apologized to my cousins friend whom I was mean to just for the sake of meanness and all the sudden, I HAD FRIENDS. Last night me and 4 girls went out. We went to a club, and guess what WE ALL GOT ALONG. No one was talking shit. No one was hating someone else. No one was pouting because another girl had been invited. It was just good ole fashion fun. I started to look at my parents and realize that they have created such a lonely life for themselves by alienating everyone around them. In fact, I realized that the best thing that a friend can do back for me, is just be there. Their company is the best gift they can give me.

I bet, when Steph first came over she could tell, I was a little standoffish. Or when my friend Alli moved back into town she could see that I wasn't used to having people over just to hang out. But now, I'm excited about it. I just went out with all my friends and I'm already sitting here wondering when someone is going to come over and keep me company.

Now, that I'm learning the importance of having friends I regret all the time I wasted hating so many people or pushing them away. I've noticed that when I come to work and maybe I have a headache or I'm just having an off day, the first thing my mom does is ask if there is a problem with Rob and I. Its like she can't conceive a life where things are just okay and normal. When I told her I was hanging out with Stephanie she asked why. She didn't understand why I would waste my time with some one who I had hated for so long. But the way I looked at it, the time wasted was really the time spent hating her.

I do choose my friends more careful now, because now I see that I want to make life long friends. Not just friends to pass the time until I find a reason to hate them, or I find all of the things wrong with them. I want those good friends. The ones that years from now we will sit there looking back and remembering the good times.

Realizing this whole thing, I am making an extra effort to see the good things in people. I want to make every effort to see the positive in each day. To try and find a silver lining. Because the last thing I want to do is watch my son turn into me. I don't want to see him wasting his time, judging people and forcing them away because he always expected something in return. Rather, I would like to encourage him to be like my husband, I want my son to have to by his shoes one size bigger because he has so many friends hiding in his toes, and behind his ears and in his pockets. I want him to always be able to pick up the phone and have friend. Always have someone to come by for a drink (of kool-aid) or a game of monopoly. I want him to always have someone to call if he just needs to talk. Someone to trust. But not only that, I want him to have people to call on him. I want him to be the kind of friend who is needed. Not like me. I was the friend you didn't call, because you knew, I wasn't going to be there for you, unless I got something in return.

I am so excited to be talking to Steph now, and talking to Jen and making friends with Angel whom I hated for a reason I can't remember. I'm finally starting to understand what it feels like to have a full life. A life that you wake up every morning and say, hey you know what, this isn't half bad.

** Disclaimer: Steph and other friends, this doesn't mean that you can't still spoil me with chocolates and salty treats as a reward for answering my phone and calling back. I may be working on a lot of things, but phone answering is not on the top of my list!

** Double disclaimer: I'm not sure if this post actually made much sense, I'm writing it outside freezing my ass off with snot dripping down my nose and freezing to my face as I watch my child dig up mud and fling it at himself and the ditty (kitty)! Yay for frozen face snot.

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