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Know Who Your Friends Are

It’s something you really don’t think about when you move, but it is almost critical to any existence when you don’t have family nearby.  I wanted to touch on this subject as it has opened my eyes since moving here on what the meaning has become to me.

When I had my Mom living so close to us, I never gave a second thought to who I was going to write down as the emergency contact at school, who would be there for my kids if something happened to Craig or I, or if I needed something at all, she would never hesitate to help. I knew that once we moved to FL, that that would all go away. The dependency I had invested in her would now have to be in someone else, and that was a scary thing for us to think about.

This blog itself was the first step for connecting us with those who lived in the Orlando area- a stepping stone for friendships. But what the Facebook brochure doesn’t tell you is that as much time and effort that you may be putting into the “friendships,” are you getting the same in return? Are you looking for a return at all?  We all put our best foot forward online because we want to be shed in the best light possible- sometimes no one is interested in our pitfalls and bad days because we know how it feels to be in them ourselves.  But here is the problem, how well do you really know your online friends? I thought we knew ours VERY well, but when faced with the ins and outs of daily life with those who were only a FB status before, it became apparent that we had nothing in common after all.

Where am I going with this? It’s simple, when you have just moved somewhere new, and exciting, and at the same time, oh so scary, you need someone outside your family to be able to rely on. Someone who you can call when your car breaks down, when your kids need a ride at school, or someone you just need to vent too about how the relocation is going.  It is an important role to not only find in someone, but to be for someone else.  It is a crucial component that is key to making a smooth transition, just as much as having what makes your home a home. Don’t sacrifice your comfort level in any area of your life without knowing what the cost will be to do so. Having the most wonderful place to live in isn’t as fun if you don’t have the company to share it with.

I have loved social media, but only to a point. I feel like the days of “Hi, my name is Amy” have been replaced with strangers “poking” me and reading conversations on Twitter that I feel aren’t my business to be reading in the first place.  I think we all feel we “know” each other, but I will always stick by the fact that we really don’t know each other at all until we are face to face and spending time together. I have made some incredible friends through the blog and through Facebook, but I have also been hurt in the same fashion.  Because of the blog, I am more in the Disney public eye, and it gets frustrating to figure out who is there for me, and who isn’t.  I have to say that sometimes I regret ever writing any of it, only because opening up your life to the world invites in everyone with a judgment call to make.

Getting back to my point, make friends that will help your relocation a celebration and not a frustration. If friendships you made aren’t what you need in your daily life, don’t be afraid to make new ones. Life is too short to waste on those who aren’t bringing anything positive to your life, and trust me, it takes a lot of courage to admit it.  I know that the friends who have truly been there for me are the ones that make me smile with every email and phone call. I hope I have been a good friend to others and that someone out there sees my picture and thinks “She is a good friend.”  I am learning as I live here, and I hope I have helped someone out there in this area of life.

20 Comments »

  1. Amy, I can hear how much your heart is hurting right now. I’ve never met you, but please know that I pray for you and hope that things start looking up soon!

  2. I am so sorry that people have disappointed you. It is hard but not impossible to get to know people online. I hope someday Bill and I get to meet up with you in WDW.

  3. Being a friend and being friendly aren’t the same thing… We too have learned that the hard way over the years. My prayer for you is that you don’t give up. Your light is too bright to hide away.

  4. very thought provoking and very true. Be strong Amy and know that you are loved!

  5. I wish I could be there physically for you hon! I know it is so hard to find that bestie in a new place! You know I would totally help you with whatever you needed if I could. Love you Ames! Call ANY TIME you want to vent!

  6. So sorry you are going through so much lately. I know how it feels to think you have a friend and then find out you weren’t really friends. (((Hugs))) to you and praying for you and your family.

  7. I am glad that I got to meet you just before you left. I hope that we can continue our friendship over the miles and can get together when we can. Sending hugs and always willing to lend an ear if that is what you need. 🙂

  8. I absolutely understand what you are saying as I have relocated here too within the last year. I also absolutely agree with you on the social media aspect too – have had some fairly low points to that too though I still look for the good. “Friends” on social media is a questionable word. Dont let that keep you from enjoying what you moved here for. I moved here for same thing. Hugs to you and the family, Amy.

  9. My husband’s father died before we met. My dad died shortly after our first anniversary. My husband and I sometimes lived near his mom and sometimes near mine but most of our married lives we have not lived near family, and now both of our mom’s have passed away. I was raised in Louisiana, went to college in Florida. Got a job in another city in Florida and met my husband at a church there. Through 24 years of marriage we have lived in Jacksonville, Florida, the DC area, central Illinois, the Chicago area, and now have been in the Dallas burbs for 6 years. We started homeschooling 7 years ago. Our kids have friends in homeschooling groups and on sports teams and in scouting. We have friends in the neighborhood. I really enjoy Facebook because it allows me to keep in touch with friends all over the country, as well as talk with friends here that I don’t get to see very often. However, online can never take the place of real face-to-face contact with others. I too have had a hard time figuring out who to list as our closest contact. But through it all, the kids and I have all always made our best friends at church. We move, find a good church, and get plugged in there. We attend Bible study and social events and offer to teach or help. We like a medium sized church, not too big (you feel lost) and not too small (we want it to offer lots of activities.) I honestly don’t know how people do it without church, unless they work and all of their friends are work friends?? I find that most of the people we meet in new towns have never lived anywhere else. They think where they live is the best and they can’t understand why we keep moving (hello, it is called my managing a career.) And you have to just accept that. People in Texas think Texas is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I can see the pros and cons to everywhere we have lived. But I can’t expect people in Texas to NOT love Texas. I can tell from your posts that you really miss your old home, which is understandable. I hope you find your groove and your group in your new home.

  10. LOVE this post!!! Because it’s totally true.
    I am sorry that the only help I can give is an email or a listening ear, as I am way to far to really be someone you can count on in times of need.
    I will keep praying for you that you will find that group of special people that you can call REAL friends. HUGS!!

  11. absolutely understand what you are saying and I feel your pain. My husband and I moved 4 yrs ago from Virginia to Alabama for reason at the time seamed right. I had an online friend for 10 yrs that was going to be there for me, we were going to be able to go shopping, sit and drink coffee and do things that best friends do with each other. Once we moved in and I needed her for support she was not there. I began to be very, very depressed and wanted to move back home within 7 months. We did move back and the “friend” has not called or any type of contact since the day I moved from there.
    When I was packing to move to Alabama I told my husband that either the move would make us closer friends that we had always wished for or it would tear us a part. I miss my friend.

  12. Hi Amy,
    Wow, what a wonderful, expressive, vulnerable post. This is truly how a quality blog should be; honest, without candy coating.

    I have always believed that people pass in and out of our lives for a reason. Some last a very short period of time, some a long time… some even gone for weeks but always return. You have to be able to let down your walls enough to let in a new friend, even when there is a risk of being hurt.

    Ken

  13. Very true. Sad, but true. Just know that you ARE touching a lot of lives in a positive way and those who hurt you are just mean people. Unfortunately, there are a good many of those in this world. Those are the ones who sometimes stand out for that very reason. It is for that reason that I come to your blog and read your facebook posts….to see the good. It is so evident in all you say and do. Please don’t let them change you.

  14. Ah, so very true. I have discovered the same. I felt like I was all alone speaking out. Thank you for posting this. I don’t feel quite as alone as before. But in the end, I write about what I must write about and ignore those who don’t get it or get me.

  15. As I just said to myself yesterday: enjoy life when you can because it will bring its own load of cr*p without you having to look for it. And my son and I also had an interesting conversation about Facebook – how we don’t get on it much anymore because of the nature of the posts.

    All that said, I’m so glad you started this blog. When I discovered it, I went all the way back to the beginning and read straight through. When I sit down to read my bookmarked Disney blogs, you are my very first go-to. Why is that? You don’t just talk about Disney news. I can read that anywhere on hundreds of blogs, but there’s a personal touch to The Relocated Tourist. I love that you take us along on your visits to the Parks and give us your perspective, which is from the heart of a Disney lover, but isn’t always clouded by pixie dust. ;0) Thanks for putting it out there for us, Amy.