Friends — The Art of Making Them
This picture, the one above is of me toasting with all of my new friends I’ve made since I moved to California. You know, all kinds of happy hours, book club meetings, and chatting late into the night. Ha!
Reality check — I need some frieeeeends! I have one. Well, I have one here. In this geographic area and she’s great. Fab, even. And I love hanging out with her. But she’s got a whole life and can’t be my main friend squeeze. Actually, no one should be. I need a few. So I solicited advice on my Instagram story this past week about how to find some new ones.
There were lots of good responses but the one recommended over and over was — Girl, get into some Meetup groups. OK! I’ve been a member since circa 2008, but the profile was in need of some love. So I dusted it off and began clicking around.
Making friends as an adult is a funny thing. It doesn’t make me nervous or have the queasy stomach effect when gets when looking for romantic love. For me, since I move often, it’s an opportunity to evaluate who you are via who you want to spend time with. As I was scrolling in Meetup it wanted to know my interests.
Hmmmmm…I don’t know. The screen prompted me with choices —
Do you like wine? Check. But then I thought sure, I like wine but do I really want to booze it up on a Tuesday? I hovered over the uncheck box, but left it. I can play that one by ear.
Do you like to hike or do you want to converse in French? Theoretically and no thanks, in that order.
Pets? Photography? Movements? Fashion & Beauty? Lots of choices. I pictured myself borrowing the neighbors dog with impressive smoky eye make-up slathered on while talking passionately about saving the local caterpillar. (Not a thing)
But in the end I joined some writing groups, a couple of reading (book club) ones, and I definitely joined the happy hour Meetup. Because one thing I know about Robyn Woodman is that whatever she joins up for she absolutely wants to be home by 9:30 in her jams on the couch. Creature of habit on that one.
I’m being funny, because I am. But while meeting a few friends for happy hour right now would be nice, I also do enjoy the process of finding and meeting new friends. It’s like a 3rd party litmus test of me right now. A snapshot in time of who I am, shown to me via whomever I choose to spend time with in this chapter of my life. Like a mirror.
It’s not often we get an opportunity to form a new community of people based on 100% who we are now. In this moment. Not who know us as in our early 20s, or who we were during that Joan Jett phase, or when one of my biggest concerns was which sea anemone was losing population numbers (hello marine biology degree, I still love you!). I love the variations and the changes and having people in different corners of the world I consider family. It’s one of the biggest benefits of moving. Knitting a quilt of my people spread out over thousands of miles, but held together by a thread of knowing one another.
I’ll take it.
But just to keep it real — This isn’t to say that come Friday afternoon when I want to go to happy hour I won’t be grumbling if it’s just me sitting around with a bowl of chips and a warm beer. And if one of my friends wants to fly in and partake in that bowl of chips with me, I promise all kinds of squealing with delight AND I will blow off that 9:30 pm pajama witching hour!