I am finding that as an adult it is more difficult to make new friends. There is so much going on in all our lives, and social media means we can connect without having to physically change our schedule and present our bodies in person. Heck, maintaining the tried and true ones from grade school are difficult due to the varying paths we go down. Rarely do they merge. Making the effort to keep in touch and hopefully ‘pick up where we left off’ is all I hope to gain generally. Being at the tail-end of the holidays has me reflecting on this.
I often hear my fave talk radio guy Dennis Prager say how ‘Friends are the people you choose and family are the people to teach you how to tolerate people you wouldn’t generally choose.’ I doubt he is originally cited with this, but his voice resonates. And dear G*d if this wasn’t the truth this past holiday weekend. Quite honestly there are people in my family I find repulsive and disgusting, but because theyre ‘related’, here they are, in my life. No way in hell I would walk up to them at a party and introduce myself if they were strangers. But aside from this, they teach us a lot, so bless their presence. Anyhow.. for the one’s we deliberately seek out
There are people that are truly meant to be in our lives. Spontaneous choices lead to meeting someone whom turns out to be the best thing in your life for years. Walking down the 20’s in Manhattan one day, I got in the passenger seat of a BMW convertible when it pulled over to let another guy out. Both of these guys are some of my best friends to this day, 6 years later. (it is one of my many fantastic stories) One provides my sleeping quarters when I don’t stay in a hotel. Also, one of my very first followers on twitter from over 2 years ago is one of my greatest friends to this day; he knows a lot of my pain and we have helped each other through difficulties. We have only met once but we communicate weekly. I have many examples like this, of really easy instantaneous connections, so I know it isn’t coincidence. These type of experience have built the bulk of my adult relationships. Making new friends shouldn’t be difficult. When I reflect on my twitter list even, it seems so casual but it really is genuine. For all the chaos and abundance that social media represents, we still have chosen those we have connected with and vice versa.
But as adults, as our lives are busy and frenetic with romantic relationships and jobs and children or animals and more job stress and more sleep deprivation, I think the actual act of seeking out new friends and nurturing them on a weekly basis fades. There isn’t enough time realistically. We just try to stay connected with a ‘hello’ email or text message. Occasionally we meet for a movie or meal. Every Sunday in my email inbox I get a list of the new MeetUp groups for the week tailored to the various things I’ve already programmed in as my interest. Out of hundreds, honestly have been present to 3: business networking, French conversation, or Dennis Prager listening groups. Though I share similar interest with these people, I haven’t taken away any great friends from these settings. Nor am I a female that cattily projects that ‘I will call you, let’s hang out’; I don’t even pretend. I know from experience how easy a connection can be and it will happen if it’s meant to. I know how much time I have and don’t have also. I want to be making the concerted effort to ‘be’ the friend and really connect to what is already in my life, and let the more casual acquaintances know that I am sincere. We are in each other’s lives for a reason, and thank you!
What I have learned about myself, I don’t have to pretend. At the end of the day, if I have two people or five people, they are and will be the right people. And all the effort it took to build the friendship and continue to maintain the connection wont seem an effort at all. It may be casual, but it is stress free and always sincere.