Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Make new friends, but keep the old

Over the past six years, I've moved three times. And not to different apartments or homes within the same community, but moved to a new city (or town) three times.

Moving is the pits, yes. Just ask anyone who is currently experiencing box-it-up hysteria. However, I don't think the task of physically moving is what I find so daunting. It's leaving behind old friends and being charged with the task of making new.

Of course I always plan to keep my friendships with those I've become close with upon moving to a new place--I value those relationships dearly. But things are never the same, let's be realistic. You can't meet up after work for drinks or dinner any given night of the week or meet for a lunch and catch-up session or simply "drop by" their house to say hello. It's those little things about friendships that I love. Those face-to-face encounters where seeing a good friend is enough to make this crazy world feel "right" again, even if only for a brief moment.

I'll be honest--I like to refer to myself as a "forced extrovert." An introvert in disguise. I have to work hard to be outgoing and especially in situations where I am meeting new people. Do I feel like I'm lying to myself? No. I just feel that it's important to put yourself out there, even if it mean stepping outside your comfort zone. If I stayed in my comfort zone all the time, I'd never meet new people or make any connections. In reality, I'm actually quite shy. If any of my dear, old friends read this, I'm sure they would laugh because that's not the Kelly they know.

So this is where I am: eight months into a move to a new city where I moved knowing virtually no one. And I've yet to make any new friends--other than some professional acquaintances at my new job. And I'm feeling a little blue about it--not going to lie. As I started to think about the situation, a song popped into my head. A song from my days as a Girlscout.

"Make new friends but keep the old,
One is silver and the other gold.
A circle's round, it has no end,
That's how long I want to be your friend."

I need to put myself out there. I need to meet new people. I need to push my shy persona aside and take a chance. Making new friends as an adult, however, is a lot harder than it was when I was young. The older you get, the more you know yourself. You know the type of people you like to be surrounded by and you start to recognize the people you don't want to be surrounded by. And you have a greater sense of the importance of time and how important it is not to waste it on people or things that aren't going to be a meaningful, fulfilling part of your life.

Bottom line--I miss my old friends and I wish could see them every day. And it's hard to imagine finding new friends that you'll share that same bond with. If only everything was as simple as it was in the days I was a Girlscout. So, here's to old friends, new friends and the journey that brings people together. I'll keep you posted on my quest.

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