Making friends at any age can be difficult, but it tends to get a little tricky as we age. What was once an easy feat in elementary school, has become an awkward “do we have enough in common that we can tolerate and perhaps even enjoy each other for 4 hours at a time” situation.
Since I’ve been away in the province with the mountains and pristine lakes for the past 10 years or so, most of my friendships from high school had become quite distant. Sure, I still had those friends that I remained close with over the phone or through my constant barrage of Instagram posts, but over time the friends I met for dinner during my twice-yearly visits slowly waned. And since I’m nearing the big 3-0, most of those same friends are either married or raising tiny humans, while I’m over here sleeping till the crack of noon on weekends and feeding myself whatever I find in my freezer (frozen burritos, anyone?)
That is why, when I made the decision to move back, I knew I would most likely have to expand my horizons to meet new people. Since I was no longer a bar person, I was looking forward to my classes at the university, hopeful I might stumble upon someone in the same life situation, someone that had chosen post-secondary a little later than the norm. Even if I ended up friends with a few people in their second or third year of working toward their degree, surely they couldn’t be that different from when I was 18.
Want to feel old? Hang out with a group of people 10 years younger than you.
I wasn’t aware so much could change so quickly. They were saying things I didn’t understand. Someone asked me if I wanted to dip. Dip? Was that a new drug? Was that some sort of activity you did on campus? Was I……..BEING INITIATED INTO A GANG?
Ya, um, she was seeing if I wanted to leave the study area and go for lunch. Which, in hindsight, makes quite a bit of sense.
Ok, so I didn’t meet as many people as I had planned. I made a couple of good friends last semester, but this term had left me feeling a little isolated, and I had to come up with some sort of new idea. I groaned about my problems to a coworker, which was actually met with some constructive ideas. “Ok, so you like to read and write. Why don’t you go somewhere that people are reading and writing and make friends.”
Oh yes, I thought, I will go to the library. I will go to the library and approach someone reading at a table, preferably in the quiet section. I hate being disturbed when I’m reading, and obviously that’s something I would look for in a friend. When I get to them, I’ll make sure to have a big smile on my face so they know I’m friendly. Then, perhaps with a book in my hand so they don’t think I’m there just to scope out potential companions, I will loudly exclaim, “HELLO MY NAME IS DIANE WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE HOBBIES AND WILL YOU BE MY FRIEND?”
Ok, I see your horrified reaction. I suppose I could also do something active, like join a beer league softball team this summer, or run around the park purposely getting in the way of peoples frisbees until one of them talks to me.
Either way, I suppose leaving the house would be the first step.
Have a lovely week,