Making Friends 2.0

NYE2008
Photo by Gaby Germaine

This photo was taken at a New Year’s Eve party to ring in 2009 in NYC. TEN years ago. Geez, Louise.

I’m actually not an incredibly social creature. Parties are fun, and I bring my own energy when I can. Usually I make the rounds to chat with individuals or small groups, instead of busting all the moves in the middle of the dance circle. But I do like to dance, and I’ll dance if the music calls, but after the chatting and dancing, I gotta get home and decompress.

I made some really good friends in NYC. And I liked spending time with them outside of the LDS social scene, which wasn’t really my thing. I mean, this is partly why I defected from a singles ward to a family ward. People met people and dated people and broke up with people and started over again. That nonsense didn’t appeal to me. I did like going on dates. I liked talking with individuals and a few people at a time, but yowza, it could still be a lot. Because people are different. And sometimes I needed a head’s up to prepare for certain personalities. Maybe you know what I mean.

When I returned to BYU in 2010, all I wanted was to keep my head down, finish my work, and finally graduate. Which I did, for the most part. But a weird, funky thing happened, called Making Friends. And I loved spending time with my new friends when I could. We went to concerts and readings and film screenings. I went to Senegal for five weeks with some of them. And we still hang out, long after graduation.

But we all have our own lives now, doing our own thing with jobs and relationships and whatever our goals are. And we try to get together when there’s an overlapping break in our lives. Most of the time that results in doing something at our house, which I don’t mind. The fewer places I have to drive, the better.

Man, I sound like a grumpy hermit. I promise I’m a real sweetheart, though. Promise.

For a while in my 30s it seemed that I’d reached my limit on good friends, and I would shrug off any opportunities to establish new meaningful relationships. But then it occurred to me that I was depriving myself of new perspectives and influences and chances to grow, and that maybe I was depriving someone else of a friendship with me.

That sounds conceited.

But I like making friends, and I do try hard to be a good friend. And being a good friend is something our daughter needs to see as much of as possible. We don’t have to be especially social or outgoing to be a friend. I have to work at making friends. Maybe it will come more naturally to Z. I’ve been a jerk to a lot of people in the past, and I’ve been trying to make up for that. I’ve met some really cool new people in the past few years, and it’s been fun getting to know them. They’ve become special to me.

All the socializing we’ve done throughout the holidays has made me grateful to be surrounded by people who accept me as I am. New and old friends alike. They don’t force me to talk if I don’t feel like talking. They let me listen and observe and learn. They let me hang out inside my own head until I’m ready to interact more fully. They get my sarcasm that often borders on biting wit. They are patient. They love me without judgment. They encourage me to become better.

I’m working on doing the same for them.

Just this one last thing …

… because my day started at 5am and has been nonstop ever since because the conversation in the car to Orlando didn’t stop and work in the temple didn’t stop and then I zoomed over to my roommate’s Christmas concert then on over to Mandarin to check out the Institute activities and socialize a little bit since I was working off of the day’s spiritual high then I came home with every intention to write some poetry or a clever anecdote but instead have almost completely shut down:

Righteous men are hot.

Some Observations about the Weekend

I am like the Carrie Ingalls of our video. Think about it.

Going to parties makes me feel like dating. I attended four this weekend. Lately, being social has been emotionally stimulating. I’m trying not to reach a saturation point. Because then, I will withdraw and disappear and though it’s sometimes necessary, it’s not always fun.

I still would rather hang out with a few close friends than a big group.

The first sticky snow of the season is always my favorite. Sure, it was all melted by morning, but that soft white layer was so beautiful, and the flakes floated down like littleĀ magic carpetsĀ and it really felt like Christmastime.

When one of my little Sunday school students looked at me today and showed me the broken robot arm and asked me how I do it, I had to question my decision to send the link to our video to as many people as I did.

I love logging into YouTube and watching the number of hits on our video go up. Keep it up, people. Becky needs to be rockstar famous, stat.