Once again, the power of Twitter has bestowed upon me a new friendship and a fantastic guest blog post from @Vict0ria_P
Friendship is a tricky business; risky too. Gone are the days where everyone was honest and all you had to do was walk across the playground and ask someone if you could play with them; instantly cementing BFF status before the day was even out. Fast forward twenty or thirty years and you’ll find a large majority of people already have their friendships set up (through hard work, laughter, tears and years of shared experiences). The thing is, finding friendships when you are older can be hard work. You suddenly discover that all the best ones seem to have been snapped up. If you already have a close knit group of friends why would you put yourself through the time and effort required to build new friendships, when the ones you already have more than serve your needs?
The thing is though, the world is full of amazing people and you don’t know just how amazing someone will be unless you give them a chance, and giving people a chance is an interesting adventure fraught with perils. The land of new friendships is a land where everything is not as it seems; we’re now at the age where we’ve learnt how to conceal our craziness or at least do the decent thing and let it out at inappropriate times. We all have a few war wounds and I know I definitely have a fair few friendship skeletons in the closet.
Friends who I couldn’t bear to be parted from and yet had to be due to the cruel separation of several hundred miles for a new job? Check.
The toxic friend who just seems to take, take, take; burdening you with their woes whilst asking you no questions in return? Oh yeah.
|Friends: Lisa and Sarah|
Being the person who drives a friend away for a while because you literally can’t stop talking about anything other than THAT GUY? Sigh. Hands up.
Accidentally falling in love with a guy who’s supposed to be just your ‘best friend’? Ok, now I’m just turning into a cliché. Frankly, I’m embarrassed for myself.
There was the girl I met whilst doing postgrad study who seemed like a perfectly normal and pleasant human being until a three-hour coach ride sat together, in which I discovered she had a disturbing habit of NEVER LETTING YOU LEAVE HER EYE CONTACT… whilst continuously talking about cat diseases… a lot. *Shudder*.
There was the girl I became quite friendly with at one workplace, we got along like a house on fire until she suddenly started single white female-ing me (I’m talking haircut, clothes, mannerisms, phrases, activities outside work) to the point where other people were laughing at the fact that we were morphing into ridiculous twins. *Double shudder*.
Then there was the hyper-rational friend from uni who didn’t see the point in meeting up sometimes as she “hadn’t done anything she particularly wanted to tell me about since last time we met”.
I could go on…
I’m telling you, there are gems out there but they are hidden under a whole heap of coal and grit and sometimes you just don’t have the energy to dig. Friendships take time. People have busy lives and not everyone is looking for, or is open to the idea of, new friends. It’s difficult to gauge a person’s level of interest in you, or express your interest in spending more time with them, without them assuming that a) you’re coming onto them, b) you’re one of those frenetic ‘networkers’ who talks to absolutely everyone and leaves a business card in everybody’s palm after 5 minutes, c) you’re simply desperate (I’d at least like to keep up the pretence of being slightly discerning), or d) all of the above.
Don’t give up hope though. The girl I kept avoiding in a mutual social circle because she reminded me of my brother’s ex-girlfriend who I couldn’t stand? Firmly on the list of girly pals now.
The guy I HATED at first because he was the most arrogant person I thought I’d ever met? Yeah, he’s still a bit cocky but he’s hilarious and now firmly ensconced in the fold, so much so that I never want to let him leave.
The woman that everybody else warned me off at work because she was ‘annoying’? Total BFFs.
People are out there. All kinds of people. Open yourself up to them, take a chance. Let them take a chance on you. You never know where it may lead. After all, if it was easy it wouldn’t be an adventure…