I found myself deep in thought, while sipping my coffee, waiting on a dear friend at our local weekend coffee spot. The thoughts deep like the swirls of whipped topping and caramel mixing with my coffee were about making friends as an adult. Let’s go one more step more and add to the complications of that… making friends. as an adult. while living abroad. I feel that in high school or even college for that matter while they are preparing you for the “real world”, they should be instructing on real world issues such as when you take that gigantic leap outside of your safety blanket (your hometown or surrounding area) what you may find yourself feeling.
I know, I know… the world’s tinniest violin is playing for me right this second. I’ll take this second to have a small (but respectful) pity party for myself, then we’ll get to moving on with this post.
2013 proved to be one of the more challenging years for me in my adult life. However during those challenges, I met an acquaintance of a friend that turned into a dear friend, a sister for life. Unfortunately, I know all to well that she is only abroad temporarily and will be moving on in the next few months. I’ll always remember a wise family member saying that quality over quantity will matter when you are an adult. At the time I remember thinking, yeah sure… then gloating about all of the “friends” that I had on my Myspace page (Don’t try to deny it..you know you had a Myspace page too). Now my 20 something self is understanding just how true that family member’s statement was. As a child, my grandparents told me that I could be-friend anyone, anywhere. The public pool, yep had a random swim buddy, the playground, yep had a tag or jungle gym pal, high-school, yep some bad gal pals and good gal pals, college, yep crazy but fun housemates. Truly I have been blessed to have met some amazing friends along the way and share equally amazing memories with each of them too.
However, over the past few years, let’s say the past three, I haven’t had the best of luck making friends since we moved abroad. I blame it on my mostly on my work schedule, and maybe partially on the fact that I have turned a bit anti-social. And introvert-ish. I’ll digress. Some of the first “friends” I made when we moved abroad turned out to be a group of ladies that belonged to a church group. Sound choice, right? Wrong…some of these women made me feel so insecure with myself. Constantly judging my knowledge of religion, my life, masking me with this toxic vibe, etc. Isn’t that comical? Ladies of the church! But at the time I couldn’t see it… Then I snapped out of it and distanced myself. I made the decision that I really longed for quality over quantity. I think that is where the fuel was added to the fire.
Don’t misunderstand my words, Mr. B and I have some great couple friends, most of them with kids too. (Apparently we are freaks for not having one by now). Ooops. Kidding! They are outstanding and we love their kids too!
So how does one make quality friends? Sometimes I wonder if I am sending out the wrong vibe? Hmm.. Really, what is the right vibe to attract quality?
Although…side note…I did take a gigantic leap and branch out last month. Yes, I made random conversation with a woman while she bundled up her baby, about politics outside of the grocery store. We ended up exchanging Facebook names and are “friends”(our generations most acceptable way to socialize, right?) Since that first encounter, almost every time I run into the grocery store to grab something we bump into one another. We talk eggplant, holidays, serious grocery chatter. This most recent encounter we actually took a step forward and decided to make a plan to meet up for coffee soon. Hopefully I do not let her down by not being able to uphold my end of conversation about breastfeeding, the homeschool, private, or public school decision. You know, whatever all of you cool moms talk about over coffee. We will see.
So…. there it is just in time for my coffee dates arrival too. I’d love to hear your thoughts.