Lately it’s like this one thing in my life has come to the forefront for some reason – maybe it’s because Anthony is feeling better and we have almost been living together for a year now… maybe my focus is not on him as much and this has just emerged, inevitably, because of the timing.
I’ve been feeling super sensitive and weird about my lack of friends in town the last week or so. I’ve had a hard time making girlfriends ever since I moved here – I basically just adopted Anthony’s friends (who are all insanely amazing – I’m so lucky I get to mooch). Like my friend Amanda, who plays in Anthony’s ensemble – she’s my shopping buddy who has gotten me through the last 2 years without noticing a deficit in girlfriends. But lately they have had a ton of rehearsals and shows and I have been thinking about how short my list is of people to call to hang out when Anthony or her aren’t around.
My BFF Emily (former fellow Miss Mélange editor) just moved to Santa Cruz (which feels light-years closer than when she lived in San Diego, and LA was an offensive barrier between us that we had to drive through). I feel like I hit the jackpot with her, and it’s so annoying that I have an amazing BFF that’s everything I could ever need but I don’t get to have her close. Which is apparently such a thing right now.
I also have my sister only an hour away, with her whole little family there to support me and feed me and let me use their laundry room. And I see her a lot more lately than usual, and it is amazing. That sister relationship is just something that you can’t get anywhere else. Talk about being able to completely be yourself and laugh til you start crying.
So what’s my problem?
(This is when Anthony and my therapist say: “You are allowed to feel this way, you don’t need to beat yourself up or rationalize away these feelings.”)
I think I’m hitting that point where I’m in my mid-twenties and it’s actually really hard to make a good group of friends that all are close and have those automatic plans every weekend. In college it was easy – there was always someone to hang out with and some social event to show up to with your whole crew – it was awesome.
But then you start working, or you move cities, and you’re like – wait. Best friends don’t just happen like they used to. Like, when you meet and you fall in friend-love and it’s just obvious that you are going to spend a ridiculous amount of time together from this moment forward. Now, you have to make an effort – schedule a happy hour, actually go somewhere else than you’re bed after work and hang out with people you’ve never met or hardly know for the chance of finding someone cool.
And shows like Friends and How I Met Your Mother do NOT help. Besides the incestuous dating, I want that group of friends that just walk into your apartment all the time and meet you at a bar where you know the bartender and have a booth just for you. I feel like I’m close, but I could really use some extra girl bonding. That type of girl group where you don’t have to think about if you’re talking for too long, or about yourself too much, or if that came out right, or if you start crying will they know you’re not really upset about that, just like, crying…because? Or when you say your arms/neck/ears/toes look weird/abnormal/too skinny/too fat on a whim, they know you have a healthy sense of self-esteem and love your body and are just shooting the shit with them. But yes, please tell me they look perfect and that I’m crazy, thank you.
I think this type of friendship is just hard to find. So I feel guilty having this need for it lately, because I already have it in a few people who I love! But, according to Anthony and my therapist, I am allowed to want it still, I guess.
I’m just not used to feeling all insecure about asking a friend to hang out and being so invested in it – it’s like dating all over again!
I have a lot of friends that have had the same experience, Anthony included. I think it’s just about knowing what you want and putting yourself out there, over and over again. Which I’m not great at – I get lazy, or take dumb things personally, or try to play hard-to-get… I just get weird.
I’m trying to be patient – maybe in a year or two I’ll be surprised at the network I have here. Wish me luck!
Have you ever felt this way? How long did it take you to make a group of friends after moving to a new city or transitioning from school to work?