As I mentioned earlier this week, I’m heading out of town today for a trip to Hong Kong. As you might imagine, I’m plenty excited. And I’ve decided that, like last year when I went to Croatia, I don’t want to blog over vacation.
But never fear, dear readers. I wouldn’t leave you hanging. (‘Cause clearly having this blog to read every day is what gets you up in the morning. Clearly.) Perhaps you remember that last summer I asked the important people in my life, those who’d been witnessing my search firsthand, to write about how my year of friending affected them. My husband, my mom, my brother, and my two best friends each wrote funny and insightful pieces about their take on BFF searching.
This year, now that the “official” year of friending is over (although, is the quest for friendship ever really finished? I think not) I thought I’d ask for guest posts from some of the women themselves. People are always asking me, “Do the girls you pick up think you’re weird?” “Do they know about your blog?” “Did you make any new friends?” My usual answers are “Maybe,” “Sometimes” and “Of course!” But over the next six days, I thought you might as well hear it straight from them. What they thought, how they’ve changed (or not), and if they do, in fact, think I’m crazy. (Spoiler alert! Most are pretty kind.)
In collecting the posts over the past few weeks, I’ve laughed, gotten choked up, and been totally surprised. But one of the most interesting things about reading them, for me, was how much I learned both about my new friends, and about my new friendships.
As a writer, I’ve always felt more comfortable putting my thoughts onto paper than speaking them aloud. If I want to tell a friend how much she means to me, I put it in a card. If I have a complaint or confrontation, I communicate that in writing, too. In fact, a few months ago, a coworker actually called me out for having trouble with emotion. Perhaps it’s true. When friends get all lovey with me in person, I get awkward and make a lame joke when I should be grateful. But I’d say that I simply have trouble with open declarations of emotion. Written ones are my forte.
Turns out it’s not just me. Most of us are more willing to make ourselves vulnerable in writing than in person. When reading the upcoming guest blogs, in each case I thought “that’s what she thought?” or “I never knew that!” It’s always fascinating to hear someone’s first impression of you–what are the things they remember? And do your memories sync up?–but I’m struck by how open women get about the nuance and importance of friendship when they’re writing it down, and how nonchalant we are about it when speaking. It’s curious, no?
When telling your friends how much they mean to you, do you do it better in writing? Or in person? Why are we more willing to be vulnerable on paper (or virtual blog paper)? And have you ever been surprised to learn of someone’s first impression of you?
Have a great week everyone! I’ll be back next Monday. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy learning about my search from the flip side. I know I have!