Making Grown Up Friends
Do you remember how easy it was to make friends growing up? One of my very early memories was at Awanas running around the cubbies room and asking a new kid to be my friend. I ran around the room because I met said kid, ran away and then realized I’d forgotten to ask them to be my friend, so I had to go back. But it was really that simple back then. You just picked out a kid and asked them to be your friend and that was it. I was talking about this with my Twirly not long ago, how if you did that as an adult you’d get some super weird looks and not many friend.
For a lot of us, we grow up in situations which naturally generate friendships. They throw us in classes and on teams all through childhood and adolescence and bumping up against the same kids over and over inevitably forms relationships. For some it’s easier than others. I never really made friends on my soccer teams, but in acting classes I managed to attach myself to people. I always somehow found someone to be my friend, even if it was just one person. My method through school was generally the same. Pick a person, stare at them all the time until I somehow manage to have an actual interaction and just keep thinking “this person will be my friend” until it came true. It’s surprising how often that actually worked.
I was surprised in college how easily I found friends. At CCBC my freshmen year I managed to make one friend on my own and just absorbed my brother’s friends for the rest. I got super lucky when I transferred to Geneva as friends metaphorically fell in my lap. I transferred in with three of my best friends and more friends sprang up from them. I didn’t have to stare any of them down, either, they just came to me and suddenly I had people. Now as an adult, they are still my friends, and I am so super blessed to have all of them. The only problem with most of your friends being from college is they to scatter. People go back home, or they go where the jobs are and that’s often not here. So after graduation we’re left to find new people to be friends with and this is where it gets super tricky.
I will be honest, I spent probably half a year mostly sitting in our apartment after Logan and I got married. We have one car and I didn’t know my way around anywhere and I didn’t have smart phone until that September so I could even look up places on the fly. We have a GPS in the car so that helped a little, but it was still intimidating, the idea of going out by myself. So I just didn’t. I’d just graduated college and I didn’t feel like I needed more friends. It took a while for me realize how important it is to have actual people around you, not just in text form.
So here’s the thing about making friends as an adult, it happens pretty much the same way it does as a kid, except you can’t just ask and you have to find the groups yourself. My Twirly started a book club with some ladies from the hospital where her husband works, and attached herself to the people at her favorite book store. I, as always, fell into some friends.
Logan and I joined a D&D group a year and a half ago with two other couples and some friends from Geneva and I have slowly attached myself to these ladies over that time. I now have two friends who are within a 20 minute drive of me and it’s awesome. I also fell into some friends through Logan’s work, as the entire IT department is made up of married men, most of whom are young newlyweds. IT wives events are slowly becoming a thing and I’m pretty excited about that too. On top of that, one of my roommates from college and her husband have started coming to our church and while technically they don’t count as new friends, I will count them as more adult friends. That’s one more couple we can hang out with!
I’m an introvert, so I don’t always notice how long I’ve been hiding in the house. It’s kind of interesting to see how things have shifted from me never going out to me hardly having a day in some weeks. I’ll admit, though, I’m pretty pleased with it. I’m excited about our new D&D campaign, I’m excited about our new Bible study group and I’m excited about the bad movie nights we have with the work friends. I think it’s super cool how God has put all these awesome people in our lives and I couldn’t be more thankful for them. Have a lovely day, my friends!