I grew up in an area where, even as a young child, I knew it would be difficult to find people to spend time with who were like-minded. This knowledge combined with a lack of time to really search for those people like me who were sure to be out there somewhere, between the golf courses and the gas stations, made it really difficult to make friends. I would leave school and go straight to work at whatever grocery store or restaurant, where the general consensus among the staff was not hat this was a stop on the way to something else.
I met some good people at these jobs, but none that I really felt connected to. I liked to hang out occasionally, but generally, I needed to go home after work and finish whatever project or piece of writing I was trying to complete for whatever assignment was due the next day.
So I spent a lot of time alone, and then I went to college, and I spent even more time alone. There's just not time too weed through first impressions when you're in school five days a week, working full time, and interacting with--between the three classes and all the customers--sometimes over 200 people a day.
I feel so lucky to be living in a place now that is somehow filled with people who are hard working, rich with interests, supportive, and willing to find a way to make a little room for me. Real friendship is hard fought, and I could never have imagined meeting so many people who I feel deeply will be in my life for a while.
This past weekend my BF invited me to a gathering with long time friends in Swansboro, NC--a memorial day tradition that has been in place for almost a decade--that he has been attending for years. There were of course the original members of the friend group, but others have been added on over the years as people have made new friends, and begun new relationships and friendships. I was a little nervous that with all the catching-up I was sure would go on, there wouldn't be much room for a new person like me to find a way in, but my concerns were assuaged almost immediately.
I had the best time, and came away feeling like I had become a part of something really special.
Here's to being open to making new friends, and to being a part of somebody else's family.