Making Friends Isn’t Child’s Play

Making friends as an adult is hard. As a child, it seemed like the easiest thing in the world to suddenly become best friends with the kid playing next to you in the sandbox. But then puberty happened in all its awkward glory and everything got complicated, and even then, it was still much easier than it is now, as an adult, to make friends.

It has been 8 months (holy balls) since we moved to Calgary. For most of that time, I have been basically friendless. One of my best friends lives in Calgary, but she is newly married and lives on the complete opposite side of town, and we make solid efforts to see each other, but we are busy people, and it doesn’t always work out. A friend from middle school lives in Calgary, as well, and we sometimes get together to watch Supernatural and eat Indian food. But I was feeling sort of lonely, and missing my sorority days when it was super easy to hang out with people: walk into the house at any time of day and you were going to find at least one sister hanging around. Easy as pie.

I was hoping to make friends when I started my new job, but let’s just say that we had different world views and they didn’t clashed in a hardcore kind of way. When I started working at my new job, I knew that I had found people who valued the same things as me, and we had a lot more in common. Friendships began to blossom. Sort of. They were like the fetuses of friendship, blobby and not quite yet recognizable for what they might become.

But still, I feel quite separate from people. I haven’t quite opened myself up to them. I haven’t quite shown them who exactly I really am. I’m quieter, shyer, less opinionated around them. I desperately want to fit in and have them like me. And I find myself acting like a freak a lot of the time.

It’s frustrating. It shouldn’t be this hard to connect with people! Do I just make it harder than it actually is by wanting it so badly? Am I doing this to myself and I simply need to relax? I don’t know. But last week I took the plunge and asked one of the girls that I feel the most connected to to go for coffee. It was terrifying. I was an anxious mess for the whole hour before I managed to ask. And I made it even more awkward by being all flustered and saying things like, “I want to ask you something, but I’m really nervous, and I feel like a freak.” Now I know how boys must feel when all of the pressure is on them to ask girls out on dates.

I am hoping that when we go on our coffee date, that I can relax a little bit more. That I can let a bit more of my real personality shine through, and stop hiding behind my insecurities. I’d really like for us to be friends. But you can’t be friends with someone if you don’t really know who they are. So I’m going to have to let go of the fear a little bit. Embrace the vulnerability. I hope I’m alive on the other side.

Wish me luck?

Making Friends Isn’t Child’s Play