Having moved around as much as I have, you’d think I’d be a friendship MASTER. Well, I desperately wish I was. I’m the first to compliment you on your nails, delicate gold necklace, or ask where are those high waisted shorts from. Why? Because I genuinely like those things and the older you get there’s no “opening line” for adult female friendships.
Also – I’ve received feedback it’s off-putting to ask, “Will you sit with me and talk about things that don’t matter but for some reason bring me immense joy?”
The reality is that the older I’ve gotten the harder it has been for me to reach across a table, a hallway, or even social media and say, “Hi, do you think we could be friends?”
Because what I’m actually saying is “Uh hi, I’m an extrovert in desperate need of people. You seem like a delight. For the love of god please tell me you watched the Bravo reunion and like if not NO WORRIES BUT HAVE A GLASS OF WINE WITH ME K THANKS.”
In the words of Tayshia Adams…it’s a lotttttt.
There’s this pressure that we must be satisfied with our lives. Like there’s this magical Paris filter book somewhere with the guide to life, full of check mark boxes just waiting for your next milestone. I find this interesting because I personally value the ability to form community and make new friendships much more than I do the ability to have a bank lend you an overreaching mortgage. However, c’est la vie.
I would say for the mildly reflective souls, there’s things on our childhood to-do lists that as adults we’ve traded in for gingham wallpaper and a false sense of stability. However, that might be my high functioning anxiety overthinking my everyday observations.
Speaking of observations – I marvel at influencers. My husband would much rather I lessen my time on social media, but what I think I’ve never been able to effectively communicate is that I find these men and women quite remarkable. Now it isn’t their outfits, pre-sets, or face tuning. That (having worked in the industry) is something I glaze over; but rather it’s their consistency in the narrative that life, or at least theirs is quite perfect. They are open air kitchen shelves with jars that say Cookies. Meanwhile, I am over here delicately balancing one more wine glass to fit in my cheugy cupboard. Message received – we are not the same.
Now of course one must insert an authentic crying storyline here or there to be relatable to the masses, but for the most part their feeds are beautiful Positano colored houses, lit up with only the happiest moments. It’s a city planner’s dream of square frames and clean yard lines. Uniform, yet seemingly never happier. It makes one think, what have we come to admire or value?
I plan for a living. Yet I find the act of planning pretty comical. Irony at its finest. When someone tells me their plan (friends please don’t unfriend me or stop telling me – I envy your outlook!) I am always nodding.
Mhmm. Yeah. That does make sense.
Oh you have a Plan B too? Wow. Look at you.
My life has never gone according to plan. Like ever. My angel of a wedding planner Rachael (seriously she is the BEST) put up countless questions from me which began with,
“But like what if….”
Because, if I’m honest, my life has been a “what if” run on sentence. And while that may strike fear into the monogrammed hearts of many, I have found the most glorious and fulfilling experiences in the “what if” terrain. What ifs are freeing in a way because they have led me to discover that what’s familiar might not always be what’s fulfilling.
So, to come full circle on making friends, new friends aren’t necessarily familiar and yet I’m so thankful for the fulfilling friendships the “what ifs” have brought my way. The light that comes from a new friendship isn’t quite as magical as Positano – but it’s pretty damn close.
I think we had it right back in Girl Scouts, “make new friends but keep the old – one is silver and the other gold.” My life milestones don’t quite fit the Paris filters, I don’t care for open air kitchen shelves (controversial I’m sorry), and I haven’t checked off as many boxes as the girl next door. But, this mixed metal life of mine is friendly, fulfilling – albeit not always familiar.