First things first… let’s be clear that when I say “Outdoor Activist” sitting on a patio on a warm, sunny day absolutely counts as an outdoor activity.
One of the toughest parts of this journey is meeting new friends. Especially when you don’t have a job. I’m trying to think of how I met my closest friends back home, and I met them either through school or work. Now, I’m not going to school or going to work. But I’m determined not to let that slowly eat me away. I’m going to find some sort of way to make friends. It can’t be that hard, can it?
Yes, yes it can. How do you make friends with people nowadays? With social media, you can have 500 friends on Facebook or thousands of followers on Twitter (I currently have 3, thank you very much), but how many REAL friends do you actually have? The kind of friend that you can call (yes, use a phone to actually phone someone with) on Sunday morning and grab brunch with them. Or go for a coffee. Or go see a comedy show. We are in Chicago for goodness sakes with millions of people and millions of things to do… but are we destined to do everything as a couple rather than with friends?
I have to give my dear Husband credit… he is trying to make friends with his co-workers. He has us set up for a double date with his coworker and her husband when they return from holidays in a few weeks. But what if she is just being nice and doesn’t actually want to be our real friend? Can I really potentially call up one of my Husband’s coworkers to get our nails done together? Where is the line drawn?! She seems pretty awesome so I hope that line is drawn pretty far away…
I’ve decided that it’s easier to find a boyfriend or girlfriend then it is to find a friend. There’s online dating, people love to set people up on dates, etc. There’s a better chance at finding a date in your local coffee shop then there is in finding a friend. How do you make initial contact with a potential friend without coming across as overly eager and/or desperado? Most people already have their group of friends and it’s hard to break into that…
Speaking of online dating, I even tried finding friends through Meetup.com. John and I went to a ‘Meet Up’ to try and meet new friends. We even split up at the event so we didn’t cling to each other out of fear (okay, let’s be real… so I didn’t cling to John out of fear). John is good at small talk. I’m not. I’m shy and can come across as bitchy and reserved until I warm up. Not so attractive to potential friends. So anyhow, at this Meet Up, it was strange. Really strange. I think lots of people were looking for more than “just a friend”. But, I did exchange numbers with one girl and we are going on a double date tomorrow. Will report if there is a potential friendship or not.
Today, I took Ernie (our beloved pup) to the dog park to burn off some energy. I was chatting with a girl there for probably about an hour… nothing too deep, just kind of water cooler chit chat. She seemed really nice, was down to earth, seemed close to our age and was a nurse. Plus her dog’s name was Bert. Bert and Ernie, c’mon! So I toyed the idea in my mind for probably a solid 30 minutes before I had enough courage to grab Ernie’s leash to leave the park and casually ask her if she’d like to grab a drink or something sometime. She was caught off guard but we exchanged numbers and names, and I hustled my butt out of there as fast as a I could without trying to show my sheer and utter embarrassment. I was completely out of my comfort zone and the first thought that popped into my mind was “Oh my god, I can’t believe you $&@&in’ did that, she probably thinks you are some crazy lunatic. Who asks for somebody’s number at a dog park and asks to go for a drink? You did, you dummy, etc, etc…”
After making sure the coast was clear, I called my Mom and told her what I did. She and I are very similar and I knew she would understand the feelings I was experiencing. She listened to all of my concerns about if I got “fake numbered” and that she wouldn’t respond to my text and what if I saw her at the dog park again after she ignores my texts (if she even gave me the right number…) My Mom was great, she essentially told me to put myself in her shoes and I wouldn’t have any of those thoughts or concerns. She told me not to be so sensitive and to be positive. My dear, sweet Mom told me that if she did give me the wrong number or doesn’t respond to my texts, then she likely won’t be going to the same Dog Park so that she can avoid the Creepy Canadian (my words, not hers).
By going outside my comfort zone, there are only two options that could come from this experience:
1) I gain a friend
2) I’ve scared someone away from a dog park for life, and that is a pretty remarkable feat in itself
Who knows, maybe one day I will call her up to go for brunch on Sunday morning after all?
As always, thanks for reading, my lovelies! Until next time…