Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Growing Pains

“Make new friends but keep the old; those are silver, these are gold.” – Joseph Parry

I've been fortunate throughout my life to have girlfriends….always, it seems. I can only remember one span in my life when I found myself truly alone without a friend…or at least one I wasn't related to.

With lots of things to say and a real tenacity to always be out and doing something, it didn't take long before I realized “this will never do.” A few days later I accepted an odd but extremely well-timed invitation to a girl’s birthday party in a town 3 hours away. I’d only hung out with said birthday girl maybe 2 times before but I thought nothing of driving the 3 hours at 6 pm on a Friday night, donned in some Forever 21 tank top I’m sure, to throw back some red bulls with a bunch of people I’d never met. It was on that trip I met one of my closest and best girlfriends to this day.

A few weeks into my freshman year of college (a college of more than 46 thousand students of which I knew just one at the time, my boyfriend from back home) I made hand-written invites for every girl on my dorm floor to invite them to FCA one night. I lived on a floor of 80 girls. Talk about writer’s cramp! But it resulted in friendships that carried on throughout college and after.

And when I moved to Atlanta, just two weeks into calling this city my home, I found myself and three other ladies I’d talked to for approximately 10 minutes making dinner plans for that following week. And from that one interaction, I met some of the most incredible women I've ever known.

I’ve come to the conclusion I either have extreme uncomfortableness with silence and an awkward need to fill it that somehow by pure blessings from the heavens above has resulted in friendships OR I just subconsciously know the importance of having great girlfriends…..Let’s go with option B. #itstotallyA.

But the point in all those stories is that all those friendships have changed over time. And now 2.5 years into life in Atlanta, I find those friendships changing too. But don’t’ get me wrong, they are good great changes, they’re “part-of-life-changes”.….babies, boyfriends, weddings, promotions. These are changes that were longed for and were often the center of our baby-less, man-less and money-less conversations.
Johanna | via Tumblr

Yet, these recent friendship “growing pains” and my ever-clearing social calendar have alerted me that I watch way too much real housewives that it’s time to meet new people….again. And even though I can’t possibly fathom anyone replacing these girl’s best friend statuses– it’s time for some “filler friends” that may just turn into good friendships too (Dear Future Filler Friends….I hope you aren't reading!)
Fotos de la biografía | via Facebook

Only somehow, this time, it’s harder. Whose door do I sticky-note? Whose random birthday party do I attend? Who do I chat it up with on the soccer field?....Ok, let’s be real, I’ve never played an organized sport in my life…but you get the drift.

What’s your go-to for meeting new people?!
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?



Ashley Slater said...

I am with you---- but its been different for me. I have moved so often, and then in the last few years its been especially difficult for me to find REAL, lasting and great friends. I wouldn't say there is anyone here in Kzoo that is really an amazing friend, or a group of girls I can hang out with. I have been praying for some close friends myself! Of course, so glad I have people like you in my life! I can't wait for you to visit! 6 weeks!

P!nky said...

Growing pains sometimes are hard, but like you said most of the time it's GOOD growing!!!

I need to be like you and find random friends :)! SOunds super fun.

Lindsay @ la vita dolce said...

I am so with you...well in a little different way. I felt this way about 5 yeas ago, and I just needed a change for myself. So I moved to San Diego. I didn't meet any gf, but I did meet my husband. What I am trying to say is, change is always nice. We change as people...some of us grow and mature, some dont LOL I am not a huge extrovert, but Im not exactly and introvert either hahah
Having a group of close gf is always the best, but it is hard to find those people you want to put extra effort into maintaining. Can I just tell you I love how your randomly met your friends, so fun!!!

Katie said...

I think that definitely says something about you and your personality that you make friends so fast! Friendships are definitely so important!!!

Shannon said...

I can't give you any advice because my jaw hit the floor when you explained how you met all your friends. I applaud you. Maybe that's why I only have a handful of good girlfriends.

Of course,I'm one of those girls who now spends her Friday nights folding kids laundry and falling asleep by 9pm, so again, totally not one to give advice.

Elise said...

I am with you. I am in that in between stage, too. I still have my core bff's- but even those are changing a little. A lot of my small group friends have gotten engaged and are getting married, too. Or they're moving away. So now I'm just being more intentional with a few girls that I don't know that well- from work and church!

Nicole Shea said...

I remember the scary task of making friends when I moved to Okinawa. It was such a weird feeling to realize that I didn't have any friends-people either couldn't speak my language or were military wives. I remember signing up for tennis lessons, karate lessons...I even took Japanese lessons from some woman who I'm pretty sure thought I was her American granddaughter. Something good always comes from putting yourself out there!

Ashley said...

I totally get what you mean! I know about 5 people that are pregnant right now and although they are still my friends, we are just not in the same place right now. I need some new peps to hang with too! Will you be my new friend!? haha, its been awhile since we talked lady, hope you are doing well pretty girl!! :)

Navia said...

All my friends are married or having kids at this point. I think that sometimes friendships serve there purpose and we move on.

Ronna said...

This post was meant for me! I am new to the Atlanta area and I left all my friends back home in Columbia (Go Cocks!)I have no idea where you meet good girlfriends. Is it weird to go to the bar and sit alone and creepily ask girls to be your friend?! :-/ Maybe we can go together and scope out the new girlfriend scene ;)

Katie said...

I wish I had advice to give but we all know that I am a friendless loser. Jk. but not really.

If you get any good tips on meeting new people, let me know. I tried to get to know the interns at work recently and that failed for me and now they are gone so I need lots of help.

Fit With Flash said...

*cough* roadtriptokentucky *cough*

Jamie said...

This is definitely tougher as we get older. I moved to Atlanta about 6 years ago not knowing a soul but my then-boyfriend/now-husband. It took me a solid two years before I started to grow the kind of friendships I needed - and my advice from experience is to take up new activities! The girls who I now consider my closest girlfriends are gals I met through a dance class, which rolled into other things. Take your soccer field idea/question and insert *your choice activity* in its spot!

Sara Louise said...

I love how you've put yourself out there to meet people!