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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Girlfriends

In the last couple of years that I’ve been here in LA, one of the things I miss most is having girlfriends. For my female readers out there, you know what I’m talking about. Having family friends, acquaintances, co-workers, neighbors, classmates, family members, in-laws and a husband is one thing. And yes, all those relationships that I now have are indeed great in their own way. But there is something to be said about girlfriends and the kind of bond these relationships have.

I miss hanging out with a bunch of ladies who support, encourage, understand, and empathize with me (and vice versa). I miss girl’s-nights-out –- dressed up dinners, cocktails, karaoke, coffee runs, and watching sappy, romantic, feel-good movies. I miss shoe shopping, getting facials, bargain hunting, and trying on make-up together. I miss sleepovers that really mean staying up all night gossiping about everything and nothing, laughing ourselves silly, and pouring our hearts out over every little heartache. I miss calling someone just to say hello and ending up talking on the phone for three hours. I miss spending time with ladies who know me inside out, who’ve seen me at my best and at my worst, and who’ve been thru the same emotional rollercoasters I’ve been thru as well.

I am blessed to have several really wonderful groups of girlfriends – my friends from high school, my college friends, friends from my first job at JIC, and my Berkeley friends. Most of them I’ve stayed in contact with and we’ve done our best to keep in touch. But e-mails, once in while phone calls, occasional text messages, instant messenger, and for several of them, rare visits that come too far apart -- well, it’s really not the same.

I am not sure why right now, where I am, there aren’t more of these same kinds of relationships. At first, I blamed it on living here. Life in the States, while fulfilling, is just too crazy busy and people always seem to be rushing off to live their lives. My friends from graduate school and I find it next to impossible to meet regularly - not with family, work, and personal commitments always coming up. And for some reason, people here keep moving away. (Side note: I think it’s ridiculous that the more advanced we become in communication technology – the harder it is to get a hold of someone or to have decent conversations). My co-workers and I seem to have different interests. So there’s also the fact that I do not seem to be meeting the “right” kind of people – (not that I have a disillusioned superiority complex or anything like that) – it’s more a case of not meeting women my age (or around my age), who like and dislike the same things I do, and who share a similar lifestyle/background with me. I guess it was easier when friendships were formed in high school and were bonded over homework, and study groups, and meeting guys. Or making friends at work where you had projects, and meetings, and mean bosses to gripe about.

But apart from that, in many ways, I think partly it’s me too. Living here has definitely changed me. I’ve become one of those women who has become so busy with adjusting to life here, getting used to being married, building my career, taking classes, fixing up my home, running around doing a million and one things, and trying to squeeze in some alone time as well. Again, not that any of that is so wrong, but I’ve really not had the time or the inclination to cultivate any girlfriend-relationships.

It’s easy to blame the fast pace of life, not meeting the right people, and the fact that I’m no longer the same person – but beyond that, writing this post has made me realize several things, one of which is that these kinds of relationships are so important to me and have significantly shaped who I am today. And while I still value and cherish my old (as in long-time and not “old” as in elderly!) girlfriends, I think I should make a more conscious attempt to find the time and to make the effort to nurture new ones. The big question now is “HOW?”. Hmmm ....

7 comments:

jol said...

Time is one commodity that money can not buy. Once it passes, there is no way to bring it back. We can only relieve the memories of those happy moments.

I lost tracked of most of my high school and college friends when I started my career and have a family. Now that all my children are grown ups and I am about to retire; I find more time to meet up with these friends.

jml said...

Making friends is easy. With your gift of gab you can always find something to talk about. Do not be afraid to get to know npeople. You will be surprised but many of the best friends that I have are not of my age, religion or racial background. Yet I have found a most fulfilling and happy companionship with them. To find a good friend first and foremost be a good one yourself. Then it will be easy sailing from then on.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joanne, Monse here. I came across your blog recently. I've been in the US for almost 7 years and I know the feeling. There's nothing really like the friends you have back in Manila. Kailan ka babalik sa Bay Area? Kape tayo! I moved to Berkeley nga pala :D

Joanne said...

Hi Monse, Great to hear from you! It's been a while - but it's always nice to hear from a good friend from back home. Hope everthing is well with you.

We are not planning a trip to the Bay Area any time soon. But I will definitely let you know when we do. Ikaw - when are you coming to LA? Let me know. It'll be nice to catch up and just have someone to "girl talk" with!

Also, thanks for visiting my blog and reading thru my rants and raves :)

Sareet said...

I've always thought that we'd totally hit it off in person, so if you want to meet up some time, I'd be up for it!

Joanne said...

Thanks Sareet, that's really sweet. I'll definitely take you up on that some time :)

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