So, I have always been a bit on the reserved side. Or, you can call it cautious or more observant than most. I've never had a lot of friends, probably from being overly guarded, too selective, or too smelly, I'm not sure. I guess I'd rather have a few friends that I know I can trust and open up to and can really develop a close bond with than tons of casual friends that you never have deep conversations with. I like deep conversations and people that are willing to "get real". The few friends I do have, I love and appreciate them deeply. Even with dating, if the guy wasn't boyfriend material, I simply didn't bother - didn't want to waste my time. Ya, I probably have many deep rooted issues that could use a few years of therapy, but hey, don't we all? But, one thing I have noticed, is that as I get older (I'm going to be 40 some day...) and especially since I have kids, it's either talk and share and relate or suffer a horrible isolating depressing existence. Life is very hard. Parenting is the hardest thing EVER. And, if you don't reach out and ask for help, share similar stories, or simply vent you really start to lose it and are no good to you or your family or anyone.
So, in my wise old age of 37, I'm finally realizing that it's good to show people that you are human, it's how we relate and bond and help each other survive. No one wants to be friends with someone who seems "perfect" on the outside - it's way too intimidating. And, when a friend gets real with me and shares their personal struggles, I am overwhelmed with love for them. I want to give this gift to my friends, too. But, honestly, it isn't always easy for me to say to a friend or mom or husband "I'm having a hard time and I just need to share", but I'm getting much much better at it. In fact, I'm so eager to do it, often the store clerks aren't really in the mood for personal conversation and give me that I'm-trying-to-be-polite-but-I-really-don't-care look, so I've got to hold back sometimes. I'm so much happier with my relationships then I have ever been in my life, and it feels pretty amazing and not so scary after all. I'm thinking that it should be mandatory to open the floodgates and cry it all out once a week, and spend alone time with your closest friends (no kids) at least once a month (weekly would be ideal). We would all be so much better for it. And, as much as I dread turning 40 (someday...), I look forward to being even less concerned about what people think and feel more free to just show everyone the real 'me' in all my imperfect glory.