(I realized the other day that a LOT of my blog posts are about things I am struggling with. I realized that I am not very good at posting victories or just general every-day things. A casual reader of my blog, without knowing me in "real life" might get the idea that I am a bit of a whiner. I don't think that that's fully true [though we all have moments of whining], I do know how much easier it is to complain about things that are hard vs. being grateful for things that go well or for victories. So, with this in mind, I am going to post some good revelations I have had regarding friendship stuff in the last month or so, since that has been a little bit of a theme in the last few weeks.)
I have a good friend who went through natural childbirth without any painkillers or drugs. She talks about "transition" labor and how painful it was. This is the final stage of labor leading up to actually pushing. She says that most women who start out wanting to go through natural childbirth but who end up having an epidural change their minds during transition labor. She says that transition labor is the most painful part of childbirth.
I feel like this is a pretty good description of how seasons of life that are transitional feel. I am in a bit of a transition season with friendships for many reasons:
1. I am in a unique place in life that not a lot of people are in: an older, single woman. So, most women my age are married. A lot of women that were my single friends have gotten married, some even have children. This changes friendships, even if that change is just something as simple as not having as much time available.
2. Several of my closest friends have moved away. I have very close friends in Washington DC, LA, San Francisco/Berkley, Honolulu, and South Africa to name a few. While I am still regularly in touch with these women, they are not physically available to spend time with.
3. The church I attend has a big youth focus. I love this about us, but it offers a different kind of fellowship opportunity when the women are significantly younger than me. There are both good and bad things about this.
In addition to all of this, I have my own areas of growth that contribute to this season of friendship I am in. One area in particular is not initiating enough. I also especially feel that I have an idea in my head about who and what friendship looks like. So, I need to break out of the box, so to speak. I am starting to initiate with women who are not necessarily at the same stage or place in life as I am.
While transition seasons are painful as things shift and change, I just have to keep in mind that from transition labor comes a birth of something new. And that gives me hope.