When I was young and still in school finding and making friends was a cake walk. I mean, peers were practically handed right to you. You could have your pick out of several different people. Didn’t like that one? There’s a line of others to choose from. For lack of a better word, school was like a friend factory.
I think because of such a place, I never realized how much different it would be to find and keep friends as a grownup. And by different I mean nearly impossible. Add being a parent to the equation and it lowers the chances. Throw in being a stay at home mother and you might as well just give up. Now I suppose it’s not completely hopeless. There are ups and downs, ebbs and flows to friendship and life in general.
Several years back I found a fantastic person. A woman I already knew (as an acquaintance) from school. She was a stay at home mom as well, with children mostly around the same age as mine. She even had a stepdaughter just like I did. I felt like more than just a mom and wife. I felt like my own person again. For the first time since my teen years I felt like I had a best friend.
Fast forward to present day, and it’s been quite a while since I felt that way. She got a job, her youngest started school, and she got distant. I tried to talk with her about it yet only got excuses. I can only conclude people and situations change, and those changes cause some people’s friendship dynamics to change as well. Once she bought a house and I found out via her Facebook wall (and not a personal text) I knew what I had already known for months; the friendship was over. I stopped clinging to what was gone, I moved on.
That leads me back to square one. Back to wondering where to find people, company. I’ve already accepted the days of friend factories are long gone. It’s slim pickings out there folks. Now don’t get me wrong, I have a few close friends who I appreciate dearly. It’s just a social life beyond butt wiping and talking to toddlers that I lack.
It’s not just finding them, it’s talking to them that’s a mystery as well. The factory days of “Hey you’re a pretty cool person, let’s be friends” are gone. Can you imagine being a thirty-something year old adult and saying that? I drop my four year old daughter off at pre-k seeing the same parents four days a week. And even after several months of seeing said people, I can’t figure out how to even begin making friends with any them. Can’t get beyond small talk.
I’m sure once I start working again and aren’t the warden of my house 24/7 I will have better opportunities for friendship. That and maybe better management of that bitch Anxiety. She really doesn’t make it easy. In the meantime, I am forever grateful for the few good friends I do have, the couple of close family members I talk to often, and my gift of self reflection to keep me company.