Monday, November 15, 2010

I finally feel like I have actual friends in this town!

You all know I've had a lot of insecurity about making friends in Podunkville. I swear, for the longest time I was feeling like I had one, maybe two real friends in this wacky little town we've been calling home for the last 28 months. Early on, I met a few douchey types who were haters and had issues. I can't stand Mean Girl stuff, and like Flock of Seagulls, I ran, I ran so far away at the first whiff of it. (Sing along if you like.)

So I waited, and watched, and accepted invitations to shit I really didn't want to go to where they were reading books I didn't want to read, and selling things I didn't want to buy, and I just diligently, genuinely tried to get to know as many people as I could.

I got obsessive about remembering people's names & stories & little tidbits of info about their lives, and I wrote lots of thank you notes and sent lots of random emails & texts of things like 'hey, this reminded me of you,' and of my gratitude, and openness to new friendships, and I brought dinner to people I hardly knew when they had babies or were sick, and I remembered birthdays, and I got involved in some charities... Soon I was going to the park, and to baby showers, and to happy hours where I knew several of the people and they knew me, and small talk became so much less awkward.

Then one day (last Friday actually) I'm sitting there at dinner... with 13 local women who all showed up to take me out on the town for my birthday. I could not fucking believe it, but I actually have made some real friends here. I went into the ladies room and looked at myself in the mirror in disbelief. Finally!!! I'm not anonymous anymore in this town. People would actually notice if I went missing.

If you would have told me that this time last year & even a few months ago, when I seriously thought there was something wrong with me because nothing was clicking with anyone, I never would have believed you. BUT... let's be real, I'm not going around flying my atheist flag in people's faces, and we're definitely not talking politics... and I have to say, things are very pleasant, and finally feel comfortable about it.

Anyway. "Keep putting yourself out there" and "give of yourself" turned out to be damn spot on advice.

Thank you to all my bloggy friends who have been here for me, listening to my cursing and whining, and reassuring me that I wasn't a total loser.


mom2boy said...

Happy belated birthday!! The effort you have put into being nice and friendly has paid off - not surprising though. :)

blue said...

Good for you. Yes, most of them are douche bags. Yes, you ran away and hid your true self a lot. But, apparently during all of this, you were also being yourself enough to become not only noticed, but also liked. And now you have the friends to show for it. I'm happy for you and hope you continue to enjoy the love. Happy birthday, by the way.

p.s. They can't all be as cool as we are. :)

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

I admire you, and all the effort you put into getting out there and meeting people. Introvert me, I don't make a fraction of that effort, ever (and I still don't know many people here, surprise!). Maybe when we move -- which may happen in the next nine months or so -- I'll be inspired by your example...

Zenmoo said...

It is hard, hard work making friends in a new town. Putting yourself out there is tiring - but yay! It sounds like it has paid off.

Happy Birthday Hush.

Zenmoo said...

Oh and dude - I totally sang along to the Flock of Seagulls

Claudia said...

That rocks, and you did it in much shorter time that I did.
I also feel like I've got friends finally, and it makes it that much harder to consider moving. We may need to relocate to somewhere with some jobs, unlike here. It would be within Denmark, and closer to DH's parents, who are getting a bit older and DH would like to be available more often to do stuff.
Oops, this isn't about me.
Happy belated birthday! You most definitely deserve to be treated to a great day.

P.S. There are Fuzz Nightbeer pajama bottoms available on Etsy. You're welcome. :P

hush said...

@mom2boy - Thank you! I sooo needed the night out to escape the incessant whinings of my dear 3 year old.

@blue - No, they certainly can't be as cool as you all are! ;)

@Parisienne Mais Presque - I'm also an Introvert (INFJ Meyers Brigg), so it was truly out of my comfort zone, but it got better. I have to imagine it is even harder to act more extroverted when you're not speaking in your native tongue.

@Zenmoo - Thank you. Flock of Seagulls sing-a-longs are much too rare these days, no?

@Claudia - So glad to hear you feel like you have some friends!!! It is a good feeling, and I know you've worked hard at it. Hope the decision to move is one you can embrace if need be - knowing that you can make friends again, and that it will certainly take hard work and time, but it most certainly will happen again.

I have a bit of an Etsy addiction actually! ;)

caramama said...

That's awesome! Way to put yourself out there. I really need to do that more. I talk a lot about doing things with my neighbors, but I (and hubby) don't follow through nearly enough. You are going to be my inspiration now!

Belated Happy Birthday!