Friday, February 6, 2009

Will you be my friend?

I totally failed again at blogging. Well here I am better late then never. Beware it’s a long post, but please read through because I need your help!!

I want to talk about something I feel like I’ve talked about before but when I checked back I couldn’t find the post anywhere so I hope I’m not repeating myself. Anyway.

I want to talk about making friends when you get to a certain age. In elementary school making a friend was something that occurred on a daily basis it seems. Middle school you kept those same friends and maybe a few more were added to the mix. Same goes for high school. I’ve known my best friend since I was five years old.

When you go to college, if you’re like me and go to a place where you don’t know anyone, you have to make a new set of friends all over again. At first I had no idea what to do. Then gradually I began to open up more and made wonderful friends. I was lucky.

I got along great with my roommate and we befriend 5 other girls that all lived on the same floor. For the next four years those girls would be my rock. I never had to worry about finding something to do or someone to hang out with. With them we could always find something.

After college while a lot of my friends stayed in Baltimore I went back to Jersey. I had no job lined up and even though I loved going to school in Maryland I could never see myself living there.

Back home I went, and here is where I ran into trouble. In college I lost a lot of contact with friends from high school. Either because of fights, growing apart, or I wasn’t that good of friends with them to really bother staying in touch. I came home to my best friend, somehow even with going to school 7 hours away from each other our friendship never diminished, and one other girl who lives 45 minutes away. Oh and one other girl who I used to be best friends with but who is more like an acquaintance. We have lunch with each other once in a blue moon.

Each weekend I find my options of doing stuff very limited. I only really ever have plans with my best friend and we usually meet up with some people wherever we go. It’s not like I don’t have friends. It’s just that they all live far away and planning things with them take time. I miss being able to just meet up with someone on a whim.

My question is where do I make more friends?? How do I even go about it? There are some girls that I work with that I could see myself hanging out with but again they all live in the New York so again if I wanted to hang out I would have to make a plan and travel over an hour to do so. Plus going out at night is a problem because the trains to NJ stop running at 1 am.

Also the thing is I’m not really bothered by the lack of friends I have at the moment. I’m not the type of person who has tons of friends; I’m the girl that has a few very loyal friends. And that’s okay with me. I am also the kind of girl that loves to have my alone time. I am defiantly the type of person who could go on vacation by herself and have an amazing time. In fact I have done it before.

Since I work so many hours every week by the time the weekend comes I am craving my alone time. So I can recharge my batteries so to speak. Plus I only get to see my best friend on the weekend. I really see no problem with the situation at hand.

The problem is with my mom and brother. The constantly make fun of me. Seriously, my mom who’s almost 60 and my brother who is 29 and STILL living at home make fun of me for having “no friends”. Honestly I am sick of it. When I do manage to say something back they tell me I need to relax and they are only kidding around, but they aren’t. I wouldn’t mind it so much if they did this in private, but they do this in front of other people. Especially my brother, whenever someone is over he somehow always manages to bring up the fact at how much of a loser I am because I have no friends.

I’m at a loss for words and I don’t know what to do anymore. I could try and make more friends but really that would mean hanging out with people I didn’t like from high school, or I need to find some way to shut him up. I know he never will though, because this is all he has on me to make fun of.

My brother is 29, living at home, and is a teacher’s aid barely making any money. He’s a mooch off my mother and instead of going back to school so he can become a proper teacher, he decides to play video games. Really he is just a sad man who constantly tries to relive his high school days instead of growing up. The only reason he has the job that he has now is a friend who got him the job. Before that he was unemployed for TWO years.

What do I do? I can keep ignoring it, but what really bothers me is when he does this in front of others. How do I get it to stop??? And maybe I do need more friends, so I could use some tips there as well.


Rachel said...

Carolyn, I can totally relate to being the type to not have tons of friends, and have a few very close, very loyal friends. It's never really bothered me, but since I moved back home, and spend a lot of Saturday nights alone, I keep getting caught up in what other people might think of that, even though I love my alone time. Thank you for posting this, it made me feel less alone in my i-don't-have-that-much-of-a-social-life-friend-scene-right-now-ness

Karen said...

I guess I am an the odd ball. I have a lot of friends and I meet new people all time.

Meet people at work, at the gym, through other friends, at local places you hang out (bars, coffee shops, etc.), at the nail salon. Take a classes that interest you at your local adult school. (I took knitting a few years ago and made a great friend.) Join a book club. Volunteer at your local animal shelter. Go see local bands play. Go to blogger meet ups...they are constantly going on in NYC. Join a website like to see what is going on in your area. When my friend moved to NJ from NC he didn't know anyone and used to go to meetup events all the time.

I am clearly FULL of ideas. I hate to hear that people cannot make friends.

Now finding a good man. That is something I don't know about.

magda said...

I have felt this way so, so many times. My experience? It just takes time. You are SO RIGHT that friends out of an academic setting is really a whole new scenario. Like you, I went to a college where I knew no one; it took me awhile to settle in with real friends, but I never lacked for acquaintances. That's the deal with school; everyone's in the same boat, and even those people who know everyone have something to gain from your friendship because they're in classes with you and common study environments 24/7. I felt like I'd just made my friends when I moved away to law school. and it all started over again. Then, WHAM, right when I thought I had the whole thing down to a science, I landed in the world of offices and elevators, real communities and serious grown-ups. If I had had a blog when I first moved to DC, I would have made MANY posts just like this one. I tried to force a lot of friendships; I'd go out with the mission of "I'm going to make friends tonight." It really didn't work. I met some people through church; that's where I started. But I didn't really mesh with them. and the people I work with are really not friend material. It really took me a year and a half to really feel settled. Still now, I have only a small grouping of friends ... but they were SO worth the wait. I guess my best advice is to hang in there. Keep writing, keep nurturing the relationships you have, and develop your own interests and stay busy. Moping about being lonely is the worst, and yes I know this from experience! Friends will happen for you : )

Ashley D said...

Sorry I'm a little late getting to this post, but I had to leave you a comment. I completely relate to everything you're saying. My sister always makes fun of me for not having any friends. Although I'm still in school so it's easier to meet people, I'm terrified of what will happen when I graduate in a few months. I guess it's easier to meet people when you are involved in other activities (yoga, church, volunteering, etc.), but I'm not really outgoing so I think it's going to be more of a struggle. I guess my back up plan is just to meet people through the friends I already have.