Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Being an Adult Sucks: Making Friends

Hi, my name's Courtney and I'm an introvert. I enjoy being quiet and keeping to myself. Outside of my small group of friends, I tend to not let many people in.

Throughout my school years, I managed to befriend a great group of girls, in spite of my shyness. These girls had my heart and I knew that they would be a part of my life forever, and for the most part they have. Life pushed us to different places around the country, and we check in with each other often, but it's definitely not the same.

During college I piggy-backed off KJB and his friends became my friends. I lived at home and he lived in the dorms; that combined with the fact that he could make friends with any stranger meant he always had lots of new people for me to meet. Since I didn't have to make new friends on my own, I think I forgot how to put myself out there a little bit. Because even though I'm an introvert, I still need love and support from people around me, and that can only develop by making friends. 

While KJB and my relationship continued to blossom into it's magical self, we graduated, friends went separate ways, and the beginning of life as adults with big kid jobs began. At first it was all exciting and new and when our group would have time to get together, we would share all about our jobs and how great life was going. Those events became sporadic and pretty soon entire months would go by without checking in on each other. We realized that life was busy and that we each had dreams, and since they weren't exactly the same dreams, our priorities for each other moved further down the to-do list.

Now, six years out of college, most of my high school and college friends an hour away, married without children, and pretty content in my career, I've discovered a new feeling: lonely. Making friends is hard work for a shy, little introvert like me, especially as an adult. 

Externally, I'm just not as exposed to as many people, and when I am there is less expectation to actually develop relationships. People in my same season of life who are understanding, supportive and encouraging? How do you find that in a crowd of people? Internally, there's a fear to developing relationships. There's a vulnerability that's required and trust that has to happen to grow those friendship seeds. That doesn't happen over night.

I wish I could share a long list of things to do to make friends, but I can't. My only advice is to not give up. Get out there when you can. Meet new people when you can. Try to keep yourself involved so that feeling of "lonely" doesn't overwhelm you.

Have you ever encountered this problem? How did you overcome that lonely feeling?

(Also, if you're reading this and feeling lonely, know that you are loved. You are more beautiful than you know, more talented than you think, and more loved than you can possibly imagine. You have a Savior that gave his life for you and if you don't understand this or have questions, I welcome you to email me at courtney {AT} splendidactually {DOT} com.)