Happy National Friendship Week! My friendships are incredibly important to me. I have been friends with my groups of friends for a really long time. My college group gets together once a month. I see my highschool friends once a week, sometimes more especially when a birthday or special occasion arises. I am lucky to have become close to some of my classmates from grad school. I also have a handful of random friends who I maybe met at a party, worked with briefly, took a class and we keep in touch regularly. These different circles of people never judge when I opt for the two scoops of ice cream instead of the kiddie cone. They will actively listen as I passionately ramble about Gone Girl the book vs. the movie. If I Gchat them nonsense during the work day they will pause their work to answer me. We listen, share advice, divulge the nitty gritty details of our life adventures (not the glossed over version for co-workers and if you’re not giving your co-workers a glossed over version we need to talk.) We have some entertainment, political views, fashion, hobbies in common and we have complete opposite views and interests too.
As I think more about this, I realized we have stood the test of time because we get something meaningful from each other. While the people that have come and gone (and will come and go) it’s because the glue that held us together just wasn’t as tacky as it may have seemed when shared work space or class notes. In my experience, friendship fading happened on its on own. The thing we had in common like work or class ended and the communication died down on its own. No major falling outs or anything dramatic.
I finished graduate school three years ago. My first year adulting was actually way more exhausting than I anticipated. I was adapting to a new work environment where the expectations were higher. I was an entry level employee, no longer the adorable, eager to learn intern. I had to adjust to my budget, student loans and other financial responsibilities for real. This is it, no more fantasy hope of more money. After my life adjustment year, I suddenly realized I had free time. Thats right, time to do things that are fun and not related to advancing my career? Yes please. I love my regular plans with my friends of course. We play trivia, eat out, find random groupon activities, get waaaaay to invested in a TV show (we’ve been suffering withdrawal since True Blood ended, any suggestions?) But I realized, the flow of new people in my life really slowed down. Until now, I always had those fringe friends I met in class or someplace that faded in and out. Now that I achieved a sense of security and consistency in my work life, I realized my social life was also secure and consistent. Making new, real, long lasting friendships is hard and so is finding fringe friends. I love the security of my pack of friends, it feels really good to have those people that I undoubtedly rely on and have so much fun with. But shaking things up a bit wouldn’t hurt.
People have raved about their experiences with group sports leagues. So last year I joined a kickball team. Why not, right? Oh, I HATE sports and being competitive, that’s why not. What was I thinking? I ended up attending one and a half out of eight games. The only time I came in contact with the ball was when I was up to kick and I got out every time. Is that even correct? “got out”? I spent $75 and didn’t make any new friends. I had two vacations planned before I signed up, so that’s two games right there. Three games got rained out and the opposing team forfeited another game. That half game was because I got held up at work. I cannot say I was disappointed about all the canceled games. Going to the gym is one thing, but I am a tried and true picked last in gym class kind of girl. I am really glad I stepped out of my comfort zone, I needed it, but I picked something everyone else does instead of thinking about what I actually like.
This year I found my niche, I volunteer at the Museum of Fine Arts. Most of my friends are not big on art history, so this is the perfect outlet. I help out with the ticketing and seating at events and then I get to go to the event. So fun! And, the other volunteers are interested too so I have someone to chat with and I don’t have drag anyone who doesn’t care about museum exhibits.
Sending lots of love to all of my wonderful friends this week, so glad to have you in my life! You don’t have to spend beautiful Saturday afternoons at the museum with me, but you do have to listen to me rave about it!