Saturday, July 9, 2011

Starting Fires & Making Friends

Since one of my dear friends replied to a recent post about making friends and said she though it was one of my strong suits, it got me to thinking about why it is so hard to make new friends in new places.
I've come up with the following analogy. I'm a visual person, so I like to make strong parallels for things in my emotional life to things in my physical life.
Here we go.

I think I am decent at making friend, but mostly when I'm in the comfort of my own environment. I think most people would agree to that admission.
Like a wife who already has the comforts and benefits of a furnace running well at home to keep her warm in the winter, it is sometimes fun to venture out into the wilderness and start a fire by hand. She has no worries about starting the fire because even if its a total flop she can still go back to her humming little furnace at home.
Most time the wilderness fire is not a flop and then she can bask in the glow of the new and wild and interesting feel of real heat from an open fire. So much fun!

What is not so much fun is leaving your home and furnace behind and moving to the wilderness on purpose forever and building a new home from scratch. Now all of a sudden if that fire you are starting by hand is a flop, then you know your very life could be in danger. So you work and work and work, but the work isn't necessarily fun, it is for survival, it is something you need to succeed at. Even as little tiny flames begin to emerge from the kindling, you don't show too much excitement so as not to exhale too strongly and put the flames out, but you wait and watch and nurture those little fires.
Once the fire is blazing, then you start to relax a bit, and then you can start thinking about building a new home and turning the wilderness into your sanctuary.

Maybe some of you will think that my analogy feels a bit overly dramatic for the topic of making new friends, but for a woman and her true need for real friendship, I feel it is a very real parallel. I would say I am the part where I'm seeing the tiny flames... sign (but not to strong so as not to put out the flames).

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