So you all know I came to Pittsburgh with no family and no friends here. In the past four months I've met some great people are reconnected with some Illini. However, I make it a point to tell people all the time that I have no friends in Pittsburgh.
Sure, I'd had a couple of ladies over for dinner and I go to my Pastor's house and fellowship with his children and their friends weekly, but I have a problem using the word "friend" to describe these people I just met.
My "friends" and I have been through some things.
My friends knew me when I wasn't staying in a high rise downtown with valet-only parking. My friends have shared dorm beds with me before they owned their own homes with guest rooms. They've sipped tea on a towel on the floor of my first apartment after I moved out of my mama's basement when I had dishes, but no couch. My friends have dealt with me through breakups... Lord, help them.
My friends know if I need them and can't get to them I will call their husband in the middle of the night and ask him to pass them the phone (true story).
My friends share in my successes, buy me cupcakes when I'm down, accept my flaws, pray for positive transformations and travel up and down highways and across the country to see me.
My friends know when to agree to disagree. My friends have seen my hair in rollers and my eyes without liner and mascara. My friends hug me like they're never going to see me again (Chile, if I get one more church hug in Pittsburgh I'm going to scream).
My friends know how to spell AND pronounce my name and have never once called me Tanisha (WHO IS THAT?!?!?!?!) to my face.
My friends are the product of years of grounded relationship building and strong connections.
I'm not opposed to making new friends (tiresome as it may be), but I wonder how long it will take to build the type of trust, loyalty, honesty and genuine concern that my friends and I share with new folks. I wonder if these surface relationships will always be so. I wonder how I can become a potty mouth and begin to use "The F Word" without reservation. I wonder if building those relationships will ultimately dictate my ability to "be settled" in this new place. I wonder if I pick up new "Fs" will I have to let old "Fs" go.
Time will tell.