I mentioned to my husband a few days ago that it seemed I don't have as many friends as I thought. The fact of the matter was most of the friends I thought I had were actually co-workers. Not saying that I did a heck of a lot with them outside of work but it filled the friendship slot enough for me to not feel the need to increase the number of people I knew.
Now that I am not working, I'm realizing those 'friendships' were actually convenient acquaintances. No one likes to say that but we all do it. When we are in school (college) or take a job, we take up with people that have little in common other than the the places we share (i.e. school or work). It happens without us actually realizing it. If we are lucky, we might actually get a couple of real friendships out of it but the others are fairly disposable. Once the shared thing is gone, so is the so-called friendship. We don't feel the need to keep in touch. We might wonder about that person but we don't put forth the effort to see them. You know you've done it.
The hardest part is when you realize you have been put in that disposable category. Does it hurt? Hm....I think it's more of a surprise. I for one never wanted to admit having put anyone in that slot but I've done it time and time again. It's only after being one that you see it. Once the association is lost, you don't do much to try to keep the friendship going unless you shared something other than that one association. So, here I sit with time on my hands and no one to share it with. I mentioned all this to my husband. He said,'That's how it is when you become a real adult. You realize the not-so-nice ways of human nature and move on.'
I decided I need to work on making some new friendships that didn't involve work. I looked into meet up groups but haven't found one that peaks my interest. I did join the running group but we only meet up a couple times a month. But then something happened that made me rethink how I was doing this.
A long lost friend found me on facebook. It had been 10 long years. We worked together when I first moved to her hometown. I only lasted on that job 2 months but hers was one of those work-ships that turned into a real friendship. Sometime after I quit, we lost contact because we both has some pretty heavy things going on in our lives. But thanks to social networking, we are once again in contact.
She invited me to an end of summer party. It was to be after 9pm on a Saturday night and the location in the less than desirable drive past downtown. I can honestly say unless it was life or death or something of that magnitude, I would normally have turned this down without a doubt. I like my evenings clear for that 10:30pm bedtime option. But because of the conversation with my husband and the fact that it's been nearly 10 years, I figured I would give it a gander.
We showed up at her door at about 9:15 intending on staying only an hour or so. Well, turns out there was some pretty good margaritas, an awesomely beautiful display of homemade sangria and a salsa instructor. There was a nice mix of people and most were our age or older. You don't know how much more comfortable it is when you party with people closer to your age. And there were plenty of men for my husband to hang with. It was truly a good time. She and I caught up and it was like those years never lapsed. I told her about my lack of friends in this city I've lived in for almost 6 years. She insisted that we have to renew our bond and discover new friendships together. It was a nice suggestion and I was game.
After dancing (and sweating), drinking and meeting so many new people, the husband and I realized we had stayed well over midnight. We decided to head home. It was such a nice time and I can say that I made some new acquaintances but I found an old friend. I think I should consider exploring those (old friendships) a little before trying to make new ones. I am thankful for the work-ships turned friendships, but am also thankful for the friendship of convenience. Without those, I'm not at all sure I would have enjoyed half the time spent in the classes or the workplace.