It probably seems a little silly that I have “make a new close friend” on my 30 Before 30 List. I mean, I can’t make other people like me. I’m not some sorcerer with Justin-Bieberesque mystical powers. Not yet.
But I knew if I didn’t put it on my list, I wouldn’t make it a priority. And I want it to be a priority.
Building friendships with other women has always been a struggle for me. Growing up in a small town, I found it hard to find the kindred souls that make a BFF. My college experience wasn’t much better: my program didn’t attract many straight-out-of-highschool kids, so week two, I teamed up for a project with one of the only other girls my age and found the friend I’d always wanted.
My friendship with her is what I think a friendship should be: we may not see each other as often as we’d like, but the distance doesn’t matter. I know I can count on her to be there when I need her, and she knows the same. And when we’re together, it’s like no time has passed at all. We’ve been bridesmaids at each other’s weddings; we’ve seen each other through good times and bad; we can say whatever we want, wear whatever we want, do whatever we want when we’re together, and we know there will be no judgement. No matter what, we’re friends.
I want more friends like that.
Right now, I have four: my best friend from college, my sister, my husband, and my brother-in-law. Yup. Three out of four of my best friends are family. And I’m really not sure they count – they have to love me no matter what, so I can be myself around them all I like. (My real self is pretty gross most of the time. I wear my pajamas a lot. A lot a lot.)
So making new close friends is a priority of mine. And my struggle with it goes beyond just letting down my guard and allowing someone to know me. My issue is this: I genuinely like doing things by myself. Working and commuting long hours the past two years made me really value my alone time (even more than normal for an introvert.) Now, it doesn’t even occur to me to invite others along to do things.
Taking a yoga class, going to a movie, shopping for clothes, walking my dog – I do it all, all by myself. And I kind of love it.
That’s why “make a new close friend” is on my list. I need something to remind me that I have some amazing friends in my life – women who won’t ever be close friends unless I make the effort.