Thursday, February 21, 2013

On not being everything to everyone

Recently I have been spending a lot of time hanging around with stay at home moms that I met through Elli's school.  Initially I just saw them at school while I volunteered but I have been slowly integrating myself into the whole social scene that is interconnected with the school and it has illuminated a few things.  Mostly it has made it clear to me that I have been a bit dumb in my life in terms of who I have been friends with.  Not that my friends have been bad, quite the contrary, but I have pursued friendships with particular sorts of people to the exclusion of others.

Since I got to university I have been friends almost exclusively with gamers and math geeks.  They understand my jokes, obscure science references, and gamer culture.  If I talk about taking a hook, first picking Morphling, or rolling to see who has to play the cleric they get it.  Because being a gamer geek is a huge part of my personality and history this is awesome and really important; I need that outlet.  Unfortunately I think I have, in the past, spent too much time focusing on people who share that aspect of my personality and have lost out on the breadth of humanity.

For example, I have had lots of conversations about marriage, sex, and children recently that the great majority of my gamer friends simply wouldn't be interested in or knowledgeable about.  Talking about how it feels when you are in the middle of sex and a small person knocks on the bedroom door asking for a drink of water is something you need a certain amount of experience to appreciate!  Also, talking about wanting to punt said child off the balcony after getting them said water and parking them back in bed is best done with those who have been there.

It is fantastic to have that sort of community and it really got me thinking about how I have in the past expected my friends to be everything.  I understood that our experiences differed of course but I never really openly acknowledged to myself that my friendships with people can and should be entirely different from each other.  There is no need for the person I play board games with to be the one I confide in when I am worried about something, nor for a friend I met through Elli's school to be somebody I get drunk/high with.  I can happily see some people constantly and others twice a year.  Rather than searching for people who can be all things at all times I should really focus on spending time with people who fill niches that I need and who make me happy.


  1. *cough* some of us are gamers and have kids *cough*

    (although also some of us are in other cities...)


  2. Note the words "great majority" which imply that in fact that friends of mine who are both gamers and parents exist. They just aren't the norm.

  3. While I definitely fall into the "twice a year" category, I can definitely relate to this as well.

  4. To be fair, you did choose to live at the end of the earth far, far away from civilization. Visiting is hard under such circumstances.