We have been in our new town now for a little over a year and half and we are still trying to find our people. We know a lot of wonderful people, but I wouldn’t say we’ve found our PEOPLE, if that makes any sense. Our experience with Shep took us of out of play for a good 10-12 months and for a long time after I only felt known as “that mom who almost lost her son.” That was fine, because for a while, that’s how I knew myself too, but now I miss being known, and known well.
I crave the type of friendships that pick up immediately where they leave off, where judgment isn’t welcome, and any topic is up for discussion. History and shared experiences dictate the depth of many friendships and that’s just something I don’t have with other girls here yet.
However, over the last few years, I’ve discovered a new common denominator in friendships that allows them to grow and deepen at a much faster rate, but it’s scary to be so vulnerable up front. And yet I have found that friendships where faith is the foundation, where spiritual struggles and growth are consistently topics of conversation, have a completely different feel than other friendships. Sure, you can drink wine and talk about your kids schools, the best type of spray tan, or the fact that you sat in bed and watched music videos the entire time your kids napped…. but you can also talk about how you worry your faith is not always enough to help you raise a challenging child, how starting a new business can make you feel terrified and exposed, or how showing your husband the love and kindness he deserves feels like a tall order….you get the picture. The nitty gritty type of conversations. I miss everyday friendships with girls who ask the follow up questions, the “why do you think this/feel this/do whatever” type questions and then will be brave enough to tell you the truth, gently, even if it’s hard.
You know, the Meridith and Christina type friendship. Your person. Husbands are awesome, but they can’t be your Person. You can’t talk to your husband about you husband. Obviously.
On a Texas Girls’ retreat recently, this type of friendship was jokingly dubbed “The White Unicorn”…we all want to know her, but she’s super hard to find. Especially in this phase of life where tiny little people consume much of your free time and half of the meaningful conversations you start with other women are interrupted to change a diaper/stop a fight/hand out cheerios, never to be resumed again. Some of us girls realized we have one or two White Unicorns in our life, but maybe they are not in the same town, some of us had many at one time…but most of us have moved away from Dallas, and we are all starting over in our new places.
In reality all you need is one or two true friends, and I’m so thankful to have experienced what that type of relationship even looks like in the first place. It’s a high bar to set. Abbey for instance, will meet every problem I throw at her with the pronoun “we”. She says, “Oh no, Allie…that’s not gunna work, we need to fix that. We need to work something out. ” I love that about her, she’s all in, all the time.
Same with the Texas Girls, some of us only see each other once a year, at our retreat. But when we gather together to catch up on our lives, and spend time praying for one another, it’s like we never moved away, and have continued to meet every week for the last 5 years.
Erron and I are starting to realize too, that now that we’ve seen community done, and done well, it may be time to step out of our comfort zone and lead out in what that might look like. You can’t find the types of friendships I’m talking about if you aren’t willing to be that type of friend in the first place. So, here’s to taking a leap of faith…and white unicorns. I hope we all find at least one.