As I was saying, I believe in loyal, long-term friendships. While I realize that isn't always the case, it's nice to know that there are people in the world we can depend on when we're down, when we want to have a good time, and when we just need someone who 'gets' us as an individual. I am a strange cookie though, and strange in my own strangely odd way. On the surface, I suppose I seem normal enough, but rest assured, I am different when it gets down to it. A bit about me:
1. I'm 34 years old
2. Married, with no children (and no real desire to ever have them, though I do think they can be fun)
3. Three dogs
4. We live in an area full of young families with multiple children, who have very different focus
5. I am a non-traditional, fine arts student at a college in Denver, but don't currently have a job
6. I had a 'real' career (prior to my second college round) in Human Resources, but also worked in Insurance and Higher Education (P.R. mostly)
7. I love bicycles (if that hasn't become abundantly clear) and want to ride whenever possible
8. Though I am a friendly person, I am hesitant to share a lot about myself with new people immediately (introverted, basically)
9. I am up for almost any adventure or new activity with little- to no- advance notice
10. I enjoy attending live sporting events, specifically football and basketball (though I am game for others)
11. I love music, though I likely couldn't tell you any musician/band names off the top of my head that weren't popular at least two to four decades ago
12. At heart, I am an earth-loving, animal-obsessed, always-wanting-to-roam, sometimes-cranky-for-no-reason, analytical-on-every-subject-that-matters-to-me, crazy, creative person
13. I believe in respecting all people, from all orientations, backgrounds, and religious beliefs - even if I don't necessarily agree with another's view point
14. I live a pretty tame, mellow, every day existence, and am totally okay with that (save for those spur of the moment adventures!)
And, despite all of these things I have listed, it could never fully describe the person I am. These are all, basically, surface items that don't really tell another human what this particular person is all about. Sure, it may give a sense of where I am in life presently, but what about things like knowing how I'll react when someone tells me that I have to do something, or knowing my true thoughts/feelings when I say that I don't have to get an 'A' in a class, and that I'm fine with that 89%?
I ask these questions because I recently reached the decision to start browsing friendship Craigslist ads. I was a little sad and weirded out to read some of them, and also wondered if there is any hope of finding true friends in adulthood. When reading the ads, many of them sound like advertisements one would put out to find a boyfriend/girlfriend/more-than-friends-relationship kind of thing. Though they state specifically in their posting that they are only looking for friends, the requirements some of the women desire seem entirely specific, and not really necessary for a friendship, at least to me.
For example, do you really need a thin friend? Yes, this was a specific requirement, or an alluded to necessity in more than one of the postings. How shallow can a person be? It also reminded me of a recent posting in which I vented frustrations with some people assuming because an individual is overweight, s/he is therefore out of shape. I'm totally down for a hike, a walk, a bike ride, etc, and not being thin doesn't take me away from that love of the outdoors. Are they just looking for people to pick up guys with? If that's the case, I'd think they'd want the larger friend with them because wouldn't most guys naturally be drawn to the smaller woman's svelte shape, rather than the bigger friend? I mean, it's not like I'm hideous or anything, but com'on, really?
|See, totally adorable, right?|
|One tattooed arm (and there are more, though these are the most visible)|
Another factor is, without a doubt, our location. We live in a city (and not even in the actual city) that is full of families whose focus is soccer practice every Saturday and getting the kids to bed on time. While I don't object to friends having children, it makes it difficult to get together with any sort of regularity, particularly if one wants to participate in any activities that are non-child friendly. Even the local bike night (which I was highly excited to learn about this past spring), is densely populated by small children. It makes a fun bike night a bit more challenging, simply because everyone has concern for the children and keeping them safe. Not that kids shouldn't be the primary focus when there are issues of safety, but it's not exactly what I have in mind when I think of a bike night ride.
I have been fortunate to meet a few people semi-locally with whom I have formed a bond in recent months, and time will tell where those bonds leads us. Whether they will be life long friends, or friends-for-now remains to be seen, and honestly, I'm open to both. All I can do is be ready to explore the friendships, attempt to be a genuine me, and see where the journey takes us. After all, isn't the point of life to enjoy the journey, and not constantly dream of the destination?