Friends

Aspects of Indiana are great. The wildlife I’ve encountered. Cooler weather than Missouri. A lake that’s like an ocean.

Something is missing though. Friends. The place is teeming with potential friends, but I’m still working on making them.

Tuesday night, I went to a “20-somethings” Bible study group at the church we’ve been attending. I was in a bad mood and needed some self-coaxing to go hang out with a bunch of people I’ve never met. They were really great though. Everyone was friendly. We played charades before the Bible study. Charades is really a jump-right-in way to get to know new people. It’s a good thing I’m outgoing and love the spotlight. A shy person would have died in that situation. The group is studying the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). This week’s theme was goodness. After the study, we went to Tequila’s Restaurant for Taco Tuesday.

I enjoyed the group. Only one problem – the church is in Crown Point. Crown Point is a small town about 40 minutes from where I live. At that distance, I’m worried that it will be hard for me to get connected. I want people I can call up on a whim and hang out with. Things are still up in the air. We love this church and all of the people I’ve met there so far are great. Pastor Kipp has made me feel welcome since the first Sunday, when I showed up 10 minutes late and sat in the back row. They have all kinds of awesome ministries going, including lots of practical hands-on service to the community. I just wish it was the community that we live in. I want a church that is home. I want to really get plugged in and be actively involved in what they’re doing. When I’m honest with myself, the distance is a big roadblock to my overall involvement. It’s something I’m still praying about.

Wednesday night Michael and I went out with another couple. Nathan was the one ready-made friend who came with Valpo. We went to school together preschool through high school (adding Michael in junior high), and he has just finished his Master’s at Valparaiso University here in town. He and Michael got especially close during our engagement while Michael was in Valpo, I was still in Missouri, and Nathan’s girlfriend was (and still is) living in Ohio.

This was the first time I met Nathan’s girlfriend Amanda. We had a great time eating pizza and ice cream, walking around downtown and hanging out at Nathan’s apartment. The sad news is that Nathan is moving back to Missouri on Friday. So much for ready-made friends.

I have a couple camp friends in Indiana, but none of them are particularly close to Valparaiso. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for kids whose families move a lot. I lived in the same city for the first 23 1/2 years of my life. I have a picture from my wedding reception of 9 people who all went to grade school together.

Friends since grade school

Some of them I’ve known since I was 3 years old. Now we’re all scattered. My best friend who I met in college lives in Boston.

Who can I do this with in Indiana?

All of my family is still in Missouri, too. Growing up takes you away from some of the people you most want to be near.

I’ve sometimes imagined that I don’t need friends as long as I have the wilderness. A hike can clear my mind, cheer me up and make me feel alive. But the truth is that there’s really no substitute for friends. I miss mine. If my husband wasn’t one of my best friends, I would be completely out of my mind by now. And a rabbit, though adorable and sometimes affectionate, is not an acceptable replacement for human interaction.

This blog may be really disjointed and poorly written. I don’t really know. It’s 4 in the morning. All I know is that I miss my friends. And I hope I meet some more soon.

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About Nicole

Daughter of God, wife, mother, volunteer youth leader, substitute teacher, aspiring writer, rabbit owner, nature lover. These are some of my titles.
This entry was posted in Relationships. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Friends

  1. Mom says:

    This was my concern when you left. Maybe there’s a church you like closer to home….
    Love you!

  2. Mere says:

    Aw, hang in there. I know it’s not easy, but you’ve just gotta get out there doing things to meet people. You’re wonderful and people can’t help but love you once they get to know you šŸ™‚ Maybe if you guys end up moving you can go a bit closer to that church to make it easier. I love you!

  3. cstaude says:

    Contact the Lutheran Church nearest to the University! There are bound to be 20-somethings and grad students your age that are doing things there! Someone with your openness won’t be without friends very long.

    Also, if you’re not working yet, consider donating your time as a volunteer for an organization you respect…. hospitals, animal shelters, children’s shelters.. are all looking for people with a heart to volunteer! You will meet new folks and find a niche!

    Above all, don’t sit in the apartment all day… ugh! With a little ingenuity, you will make your new home into a place complete with friends!

  4. FoolsGold says:

    Friendships are largely alien to me. I was amazed when I met one young woman at a California airport who still kept in touch with two girls who had been third grade classmates of hers and whose families had moved across the continent. Decades ago I met one young woman who kept a notebook of all her contacts from dormitory days and stayed in contact with all her friends via what would now be termed a “snail mail tweet” system. All this is sometimes fascinating but alien to me. One couple lived in Las Vegas for years and never once met their neighbors, the couple then moved to New Mexico and all four neighbors showed up with food-gifts within 48 hours.

    Your changed circumstances and changed geography provides challenges particularly since you may be in an area where social activities are constrained by road travel time or other factors. The internet can be your friend here, but don’t lose sight of your various interests. Wine appreciation classes, horticulture, classic film clubs, … all such things can be ways to meet new people. Is there a coffee shop nearby?

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