Saturday, November 20, 2010

Too Much is Not Enough

I've always thought that my daughter was an extrovert: she's loud, funny, loves people and new things, and since the age of 2 has always made new friends instantly with anyone on the playground, inviting them to her birthday party that was about 9 months away, and firmly believing that she'd see this acquaintance again. She won't even know the person's name but refer to her as "best friend." Clearly, not my daughter. I think it perhaps takes me five years before I can safely call a person "best" or even "close" friend!

The other day a person referred to me (namelessly) as "a friend." that sent him a quote. I jokingly mentioned he must be an extrovert to consider me a friend! And he challenged back, that as an introvert, does that mean I don't consider him a friend?

Ah, it's so complicated! Yes and no. The banter went back and forth for a bit, and caused me much further thought. What makes a person my "friend?" What does it take? I don't say that word lightly, and yet.... what better description than "friend?" Yet my only interaction is at church and church functions, as well as a bit of emailing and blog, but nothing that I consider "in depth" or in a way that makes me feel connected. So what does it take to feel connection? A meal? Meeting outside the context of a corporate gathering? Time?

I dropped Katie off at a sleepover and she was so happy and welcomed by 2 little girls she knows quite well from church. But then the doorbelll rang and in came in 2 girls she did not know. I'm not sure what happened, but before I left I noticed she was hiding. I went over to see how she was doing, and encouraged her to play with her friends, who came over, laughing and coaxing her to play with them, assuring her the new girls she did not know yet were nice. As I left they all seemed to be having a great time, but it did make me ache for a moment, wondering what happened to me super confident little girl? Did I do something to make her feel bad about herself? Is she insecure at school? What is it that is making her so self-aware? Is she an extrovert, or an introvert?

I want her to be opposite of me. I want her to feel at ease and confident in new surroundings. I want her to have no insecurities but just have fun and enjoy life. I want her to be instant friends with folks, despite the shallowness that would bug me like crazy. I like that. I hope she always is bold, loving and happy.

And me? I'm still trying to decide if someone I've known for months can be termed "friend," and realize that my email/blog/Facebook interactions are oftentimes more in-depth than my Real Life ones.... and yet, not sure I'd term many of my online interactions as "friends." Yet, sadly, they are often more fulfilling than my Real Life interactions.

I'm not sure I'll every be satisfied....... "Too much is not enough."

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