First up: the smart and sassy Tara of the blog Magnolia. Tara is a fellow 2012 BiSCuit and incredibly intelligent and writes some of my most favorite fiesty political rants on her blogspace. And you all know how much I love a good rant.
Today, though, she touches on something else: the nature of friendship, at this age and in this age, when the social dynamics are rapidly changing as well as our own lives and interests. Or something. I don't know. Just read her post before I ruin it with this introduction.
Hello, new Internet people. Kelly has kindly agreed to share her part of the blog-world with me today. Hope I do right by her.
When I sat down to think about what I was going to write to y'all, the first thing I thought of was the topic of friendship in the 21st century. There was a really scare-mongering article in the New York Times on the matter a few days ago. If you believe everything contained in this article, we are all doomed to never, ever have another friend ever, ever again past the age of 30. It's just too... hard. And hell, I'm 31. Where in the world does that leave me? May as well resign myself to a lonely, friendless life right this second, if the Times is right.
But really. What kind of foolishness is that? It may be challenging in the strictures of the modern world to maintain the kind of intense, saturated friendships we all had when we were kids. But what if what's changed isn't what it takes to be friends, but what the word "friendship" really means?
How you came to be reading these words on this blog is a pretty good case for a total evolution in the definition of the word friend. If this were 15 years ago, Kelly and I would not know of the other's existence. We are thousands of miles away from each other in real life, went to different schools, and grew up in separate parts of the country. But because of Twitter (and BiSC), we have a relationship that leads to me talking to her audience (and what a lovely audience y'all are, might I add.) It's not exactly the same as how things were between me and my friends from high school, to be sure. But then again, why is that such a bad thing?
I have close and continuing friendships with the same crew of people that were my nearest and dearest in high school. The man, my live-in boyfriend, first came into my life in March of 1996 and has never left my side as a friend, then a lover, since. So your flesh-and-blood friendship mileage may vary from mine. And there is truth to the fact that, once you leave the comfort of a school environment and settle into adult life, it is harder to get those kind of relationships off the ground. But it's far from impossible. I met one of my close adult friends because she was the roommate of the girl I sublet from during the summer I took my bar exam, and happened to be around for a week when I first moved in. Just like that: brand new friend. It can be done, and all it takes is a little bit of openness. A big southern mouth, like the one I have, is also helpful; the stereotype that southerners will talk to anyone and everyone is, in my experience, quite true. But that's not necessary.
Also, we all need to get comfortable with the fact that in 2012, the word "friendship" is bigger than it used to be. I have very good friends who I have never actually met - we started our relationship as commenters on one another's blogs, but now exchange Christmas cards. One of my very favorite people on the planet, who is an incredibly generous friend and one HELL of a cook, started as a blog commenter and became a gracious road-trip host. And of course, there's my BiSC roomie and amazing friend Cat, who is not only a gifted writer but a total blast to spend time with. All of these amazing additions to my life are wholly attributable to the internet, are very real and deep friendships, and didn't require point systems or new hobbies.
So as I leave y'all here in Kelly's blog-home, I hope I've reassured people who get nervous about having friends in this new, grown world. You're looking at proof that friends come in many forms. All you have to do is look.
Nice meeting y'all! :)