Hey guys! It’s been a little while since I’ve penned a more personal essay, so I thought it was about time to chat about an issue that has been weighing heavily on me lately. Today’s topic is friendship — more specifically, friendships as an adult. Who knew friendships were so difficult in adulthood? I sure didn’t. I wish someone would have told me in college, “hey, you better make as many lasting friendships as possible now, because you’re going to have the WORST time doing it when you graduate.”
It sounds so silly saying making friends as an adult is hard, when I look around and see so many awesome girl squads. From TSwift’s squad to the close-knit groups of bloggers that I follow, I always wonder how those friendships came to be. You see, even in college I didn’t have a ton of friends. I’ve usually been someone to have a few best friends and a handful of good friends, but not be friends with everyone I meet. In college and afterward, I didn’t share most common interests most young twenty-somethings have. I didn’t like to go to big parties or drink every night — and in college, that is 85% of the weekend activities. Even now, I am not a big drinker and like to minimize the amount I go out to eat, both for dietary reasons and to save money. I enjoy waking up earlier as opposed to staying out later and always prefer hanging out with one or two close friends than a group of ten people.
I classify myself as an extroverted introvert and that’s a very hard thing to be when you’re living in a new place where you know nobody. Ever since I graduated high school, I’ve had a knack for moving to new places where I know no one. It is incredibly difficult to meet people outside of work, so my only pool of friends are those I spend my 8-5 with. Don’t get me wrong, I love my coworkers, just as I did at Lands’ End — but when the workday is over, we all go our separate ways. No girl squad, no weekly brunch meet-up, no one to randomly call up to go shopping.
Once I met Brian, this bothered me less. Finding new friends was really put on the back-burner as I started to spend more time with him, getting to know him and falling into a routine together. Brian and I moved in together a few months ago (you can read more about that here), and as great as it’s going, I’ve been starting to feel lonely. The past few months, my life has been 4 things: working, working out, blogging and Brian. We have a routine and I always plan out what days I am doing which activity (except work, obvi. I do that ALL the time). So when Brian wants to hang out with his friends last minute (which should TOTALLY BE FINE), I’ve been passive aggressive about it. It’s horrible. There’s no reason he can’t go hang out with his friends — he should be making time to hang out with his friends. It wasn’t until recently that I had to confront my feelings on this and it’s all coming back to my lack of friendships in Fort Wayne. I don’t have anyone to call up and go get pedicures and chai teas with. I don’t have that girl squad I can rely on when I’m needing margs and tacos but Brian is too busy to go. Guys, that is a really hard thing.
The other side of the friendship issue is maintaining them. I have always prided myself on being a good friend — I’m consistent, loyal and don’t break plans. Moving two states away has really thrown a wrench in that. At first, I really tried to stay in consistent contact. Dani and I would facetime every other week, Eric and I would facetime monthly and I would text up Ali and Kast whenever I had a free second to tell them something funny. Friendships are two-sided, but I have not been pulling my weight in the past year. The more places you move, the more people you have in your life to try to stay in contact with. I’m not trying to make excuses by any means, it’s just been a struggle to stay on top of the life I’m creating here and still make time to maintain friendships in Madison, Ames and the QC — not to mention, regularly keep up with my own family members.
TV shows and movies are very deceiving. I watch things like FRIENDS and How I Met Your Mother and wonder why it can’t be like that? Why can’t making friends be as simple as it was in kindergarten and why can’t all of your friends live in one place and get along? I knew adulthood would be hard for the being-on-your-own, working-full-time, paying-for-everything-yourself reasons, but I had no idea the social implications of growing up.
So is it just me? I’d find it hard to believe that it is. Maybe if I had stayed closer to home, living in a place with a handful of my friends it would be a different story. But for those of us who have moved away for work, how do you do it? That’s not rhetorical either, I’m genuinely curious how you go about maintaining and creating friendships.
Without sounding too desperate, if you find yourself in Fort Wayne and in need of some girl time — whether it be drinks, shopping or a good, old-fashioned manicure, you know where to find me.
Until next time —