The Geek Shall Inherit The Earth

Friday, January 3, 2014

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New Years Resolution: Meet New People




As I've gotten older, I've noticed that some of my longtime friendships are slowly beginning to dissipate. While some have faded away through the natural stage of growing apart or moving away, I'm shocked by how many of my partners in crime have left my life simply because we don't have anything to talk about anymore. I'm on the phone carrying on about my latest bad date or wondering whether I should try a new haircut, their portion of the conversation is purely devoted to the struggles of potty training or how they can better impress their in-laws. It's like we're both on the phone, but neither of us are talking to each other. We're merely voicing our personal concerns to an empty audience.

I've tried to appreciate that some of my friends have acquired new responsibilities as parents and have new people in their lives for whom they must carve a gigantic amount of their time. But I can't help but feel about jealous about my depleting place in their lives. Gone are the days where we can gab on the phone or over drinks for hours about the most trivial things in our lives that garner the most importance. Now our conversations resemble that episode of Sex and the City titled "Critical Condition," when Carrie is on the phone going on and on to her friend and new mom Miranda about a negative review she received from The New York Times, to which Miranda responds: "Carrie, you know what? Maybe you should call your girlfriend Samantha. She has all kinds of time to talk about this kind of stuff."

My friends are never usually that blunt to me on the phone. However, when I go on a rant about something that's light years away from their present life, I can literally hear them tune out of the conversation. And you know what? I do the same thing when they gush over how their youngest child just learned to talk/walk/crawl/etc.

Don't get me wrong: I love spending time with my godson or getting to know my other friends' kids. I enjoy celebrating the birthdays, weddings, graduations and other milestones that have multiplied as they've becomes parents and spouses. But I can't help but get the impression from them that my life is somehow less significant than theirs since I "don't have anything to fill it with" like a man or a child. They're constantly trying to set me up with someone they know, which I hate. Or saying things like, "Your time will come when you least expect it" or "When are you going to stop dating and settle down?" or "I used to feel/say the same thing, until I found a purpose in my life." *insert heavy sigh here*

I have to chuckle at that last quote because some of my friends who have gone on to more "adult" lives used to be the very ones I had to drag away from the club or with whom I could share Hollywood gossip. Now that kind of stuff is petty and pointless to talk about with them. Although, some of them like to be entertained by listening to stories of my single life shenanigans. That's an event I believe Carrie once called "singing for my supper."

I'm going to continue to keep my good friends in my life, because I know they mean well. They don't always say the most comforting things, but I know they're doing the best they can as we all move on to other phases in our lives. But, for 2014 I plan to grow my circle of friends. I'd like to find more people who wouldn't mind joining me in a kickboxing class or going on a wine tour without having to worry about a babysitter, people who may be trying to navigate the same stage of life I am. Instead of trying to convert my old friends back onto my path, there's no shame in widening my circle--learning from new people and experiencing new things. While I've never had a problem with going out by myself and doing me, I vow to make this year the year I start extending invites to new friends and friends of new friends. I may even begin with a small potluck. I'm already excited.

What about you? What New Years resolutions have you claimed?


Candice Frederick is a former editor for Essence Magazine and a NABJ Award recipient. She writes the film blog Reel Talk and serves as co-host of “Cinema in Noir”. Follow her on Twitter @ReelTalker

10 comments:

  1. Candice, this so where I'm at. I find those " you'll find someone" comments to be so condescending. I also notice my friends with kids seem to make way more time to hang out with other people with kids. This has started to really bug me. No, I don't have kids but does that mean I have to be excluded. I love kids. I was a teacher for years! Moreover since they're time is limited, if we don't hang out with kids then we don't hang out and I feel like there us this huge divide between the haves and have nots. Thx for your post.

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  2. thanks so much for reading! i feel the same way. i literally have nothing to talk about with my friends who have kids and they think i just don't understand their lives. it's tough.

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  3. Candice, thank you! I'm in the same space and it's been a very difficult adjustment. I haven't handled it in the best way always but I'm learning and growing from this. Just because a friendship(s) are/is drifting does not incite the end of the world, etc. and there's so many more people to meet and so much to do. Especially considering I still have the room to do so. So dammit, I'm gonna enjoy it!

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  4. Very insightful; I have friends with kids and while I'm understanding of them having to find a sitter, some days I wish I had a road-dog for spontaneous trips or for curvy yoga classes. I know it sounds selfish and believe me, I can't wait to talk about my future kids' milestones but having single friends is everything. Happy New Year!

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  5. This article comes at a good time. I am the single parent who lost touch with having good girl friends. In a way I stopped living and doing things for me and just stayed home. Over time we just grew apart and now I am trying to get out and make friends to do things with again. Its scary to start over making friends at 34 cause I am not really sure how to do this but its a new year so I am staying positive.

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  6. right on!

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  7. happy new year, Chantell and thanks for reading! i don't think it's selfish. there's nothing wrong with missing the kind of friendship you had. it's a challenge, but not one you can't overcome and grow from.

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  8. it's soooo hard to make new friends as you get older, but i am finding that the more i go out by myself and enjoy myself the easier it is to meet someone when you're just enjoying your life for you. it's really about carving me time.

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  9. My son is almost 11 and I am just now learning to balance me time and mommy time. its not easy when you are both mom and dad but I want to live and not just exist if you know what I mean. So I am going to look into classes for the new year or what have you to better myself and hopefully meet cool peeps along the way

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  10. Wow. This is like reading about myself. I've recently been feeling bad about my friend situations. Most of my friends are married, have kids or are in serious relationships. None of those things apply to me. So, it's frustrating when you want to go out and do fun things and they simply refuse. I guess it's time to expand my circle as well. Good luck to you!


    www.cheerstothetwenties.blogspot.com

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