Having just moved 3,000 miles across the country to return to the city I grew up in, and having taken that drastic action, in large part, to be closer to family and friends who I feel REALLY KNOW ME, I've been thinking a lot lately about that awesomely cozy sense of comfort and familiarity in relationships and friendships.
You know, feeling so insta-comf with someone you know incredibly well -- the kind of well that you just automatically breathe a hulking sigh of relief the second you see them. Those rare peeps who know you so intimately that you don't even bother pretending; or putting up a front; or putting on makeup, literally or figuratively; or trying to hide how you really feel because duhhh, they know you so well they'd spot your true feelings splashed across your face anyway, or hear your true feelings poking up between the breaks in your voice like sharp little weeds, without your even realizing it.
Growing up as an only child, I felt lonely a lot of the time. Poor me. Just kidding. But I did feel like I was missing out on some of those seemingly perfect, sympatico relationships my friends and relatives had with siblings. Of course, as I grew older I came to learn that, um, obviously being blood-related to someone does NOT make you automatically connected to them in any substantive way beyond DNA. But not experiencing those sibling relationships for myself meant that I instinctively leaned even harder on my friends, especially my female ones (which tended to be tighter than the ones with guys) -- my friends really became my family. I trusted them -- er, most of them! -- intrinsically, and told them nearly everything.
Now, back in my hometown, I'm realizing that I don't necessarily have any more of those deeply warm and cozy friendships here than, well, anywhere else. I have old friends here, one I hadn't necessarily talked to in a while but who watched me grow up, watched me become ME. Those friendships are great, and I'm so glad to be reconnecting with some of those peeps. But my closest FRIEND-FAMILY members are elsewhere -- New York and Boston, mainly -- which isn't ideal, but it's OK, because at least I can hang out with them a lot more regularly than I could when I was in San Francisco. Like last weekend, I went to New York to meet up with a couple of my best college friends, and it was, indeed, THE BEST, and hallelujah -- it only required 4 hours in a gross, grey-slush-splattered vehicle to make that happen.
In any case, I am rambling now, and that is enough.
What I'd like to know is! Who do you feel most yourself around? Where's your friend-family and, if they're not physically near you, how do you deal?
I'm on Twitter here.