When Your Circle Gets Smaller
By Jenny Lind Conlee | www.jennylindconlee.com | @jennylindconlee
Since I was a kid, I cast a wide net as far as friendship goes. I would go through phases of having a couple of close friends, but I’d also float between different friend groups. My circle was wide, but not terribly deep. However, I’m pretty textbook extrovert and a bit of a hambone. I unknowingly saw groups as performance opportunities. I live to hear roomfuls of people laughing. I didn’t realize that also kept me from going deeper with people in many cases. The results were a lot of people who think they knew me without really KNOWING me.
Becoming a mom changed everything for me (like it does FOR EVERYONE). It was like every emotion I had was now on steroids. I had so many questions. I didn’t know what the crap I was doing. I needed help. I found myself surrounded by amazing women. Only instead of making myself the center of attention, I just wanted to curl up like a cat and listen to them. The joys and trials of motherhood. How to keep a marriage alive after kids. For the first time on my life, the performer took a back seat. It humbled me. This small tribe I found myself in - they made me BETTER. They made me a listener. They knew parenthood would bring me to the end of myself, and they wanted to be there for me. Not because I make them laugh, but simply because they loved me.
My circle is still small these days, but its roots are deep. I have rich, no filter conversations with the most honest and genuine people I’ve ever known in my life. No judgement. I tease one of my friends that she’s had more people cry on her couch than Oprah. I love conversations like that. Where you can cry one minute, crack a joke the next, talk about Jesus and then maybe drop a verse of some gangsta rap. Because we keep it real, yo!
You may find yourself in a small circle season. My advice: embrace it. Jump in the deep end with people who want to share this journey. The value of true friendship is underrated.
What are some ways you’ve been able to cultivate deep and lasting friendships?