7 years ago
on making friends
We are creatures of habit. We wake up, have our coffee, go to work, the gym, run errands, sleep, and repeat. We find comfort in the familiar–our cities, families, homes, friendships, and even food. I like trying new things, but reached a point where I became pretty comfortable with where things are, and everything began to feel a little too familiar. Work, CrossFit, home, more work, watch a little TV, and go to bed. I rarely make plans during the week unless it’s summer, and for the most part, see the same people each weekend.
When I first moved to Chicago 3.5 years ago, I didn’t have any friends. Awww. Sad story. I “knew” two bloggers I had connected with, there was a girl I met at an event, a realtor that I worked with when I found my apt, and a girl that I met through her. My social circle was tiny/non-existent. I’ve never been the girl who had a ton of friends and that will never be my goal. I’d rather have a few close friends than a ton of acquaintances. Meaningful relationships over superficial ones. Those friends who will be there when you wake up from surgery or be there for you when your dog gets really, really sick. I have those friends–I’m a very lucky girl. And I hope my friends know I’d do the same for them in a second.
So when I moved to Chicago, I did what I had to do. If I met someone who seemed nice, I asked to make plans. I went to everything that anyone invited me to, which didn’t happen that often, but if and when I was invited to something, I went. When my mom told me some guy from LA was visiting Chi and going to a BBQ (where I knew no one) and that he’d be inviting me, I was all “mooooommmmm, come on,” and I went. I became very good friends with a girl I met at that BBQ, by the way. So I would have missed out had I not gone.
I was lucky to have a blog and connected with some really wonderful girls through blogging. I’m still friends with quite a few of them, and one even became my business partner. The Everygirl wouldn’t exist had I not networked with Chicago bloggers. Crazy. And had I not gotten lunch with one of my graphic design clients, I would have missed out on becoming friends with Gina and she wouldn’t have been able to talk me into giving CrossFit a try.
I don’t attend a lot of events because I don’t really like them. Small
talk isn’t my thing. I love meeting new people, but I’d much rather sit
down over coffee, drinks, brunch, dinner, or anything, and really connect with people. But I got comfortable and stopped doing that. That’s not to say that I want or need 10 new best friends because I don’t, but I do feel like I could use another good friend or two. There are maybe 2-3 girls I talk to, and then my CrossFit friends. Expanding my social circle wouldn’t be the worst thing i could do.
Katie used to go to RNCF and photographed a feature for The Everygirl last year. We connected via facebook and talked about getting together, but it never happened, which is probably my fault because the end of last year was kind of crazy for me. So I messaged her and suggested we get together, and last Sunday, we met for brunch. Three hours later, we made plans for happy hour and are going out tonight. I know I haven’t even known this girl for a week, but I could see being good friends with her. It’s a sort of like dating, only a lot less terrible.
We all have someone we could reach out to, so I challenge you to do that in the next week. You never know. You may end up meeting a new good friend.