Monday Musings: How Does Friend?

On Thursday, I decided I needed to take some drastic measures in regards to an area of my life I have always struggled with. After class, I asked if my communications teacher had a few spare moments after class to talk. I followed him to his office and there I asked for assistance in this great trouble of my life:

“How do you make friends?”

Witches, he gave me the saddest, most pitying look I have ever received in my life. For a moment, I felt like I’d made a grave error in judgement. But, I held strong and explained: I have anxiety. I’m almost thirty. I live far away from anyone I would meet at school. I don’t drive. I. Need. Help.

I don’t know what I expected; it’s not like I haven’t typed this query into countless search engines. His responses mirrored Google: “Have you tried meetup? Have you tried getting involved in campus activities? You just gotta put yourself out there.” He did offer this new bit that, while good to know, doesn’t really help me now: “It will be easier when you transfer and are focused on your major, because everyone taking that major will pretty much be in all the same classes.”

As it turned out, there is no secret, magical short-cut to getting people to want to hang out with you. You just have to talk to them and hope they think you don’t suck.

Not super helpful in a practical sense, but just expressing this frustration to another human being who is professionally not allowed to judge me made me feel a little better. It’s progress, at least. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, or something.

I decided to take his advice and looked through the list of campus clubs; according to him, our campus is the most socially active in our district. Witches, I looked through the list and found two that appealed to me. One of the other district campuses (the San Diego Community College District consists of three different schools that students can attend–enrollment in one constitutes enrollment in all of them, basically), has a couple I’m interested in, but I’m not sure I want to travel that far.

I emailed the advisor of the GSA asking for more information on what they do and when they meet. Maybe I’ll even ovary up and go.

This is all so far outside my comfort zone, it’s ridiculous. Making friends was so much easier in high school when I could buy kids off with food. Bringing cookies to hand out to the class just doesn’t have the same social charm when you’re thirty as it did when you were fifteen. Go figure.

But, that doesn’t mean that I won’t. Because, really, any excuse for cookies, right?

I love you all.

8 comments

  1. Hi. You seem smart, funny and capable from your blogs, but like a lot of writers, a bit anxious/analytical around social stuff/friendships. In my experience, just having one or two people in your life that really get you, or that you like to be with, is enough. But when you haven’t got that, it can be lonely. I feel better if I think more in terms of who do I want to be with, whose company do I enjoy, rather than thinking of it from the point of view of, do they like me, am I interesting enough, etc, which makes social anxiety worse. You are very interesting, perhaps you just haven’t found your people/person yet. I tend to have different people for different things, and I suppose I naturally reveal different aspects to different people, whilst still remaining authentic. I still have these kinds of issues at 47 but I do have a few close people and I am still able to be very happy. I think writers are by nature rather solitary, unusual and complicated, and that can be just fine!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your kind words. I just want people to go do things with. Going to the movies or out to dinner alone can be fun in a “treat yourself” kind of way, but doing things like Disneyland or big events are always more enjoyable (for me, at least) when I have a couple other people to go with. It would be nice to get a few people who also enjoy doing those things.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I completely get that. I am sure you can manifest a companion or two to come into your life if you set your intention and remain positive. (I know that isn’t always easy to do but it does seem to work as a method). Wishing you the best of luck, sending positive thoughts!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am sending so much love to you. I know how hard it can be and I don’t have the answers. It seems that for me, every time I make friends, things end up falling apart in one way or another. The only friend I’ve kept is a best friend from childhood.

    I did start creating friendships when I was in classes with people over and over again, the classes for my major. But it took years for us to even end up speaking to each other, which is frustrating.

    I guess I don’t really have any advice or tips, just to not give up because friendship can be so beautiful and meaningful. But you aren’t alone in this struggle.

    Liked by 1 person

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