Making Friends As An Adult

Do you remember the good old days were all you had to do was sit down in class next to someone and BAM, you were best friends. It was like magic and I’ve been struggling with/failing at finding that again. Making friends as an adult is like pulling teeth. It’s a process you have to hype yourself up to do. It usually costs you money you weren’t expecting to spend and it rarely goes as planned. Sometime’s it’s painful and sometimes it leaves you feeling goofy. The whole process is bothersome if you ask me, and yet…I find myself trying.

Growing up I was socially awkward. It wasn’t until college that I become somewhat cool and even with that, I’m pretty aware that I’m a huge weirdo but at least I accept that part of myself. Embrace your weirdness. Own it. It’ll boost your self-esteem, trust me. But anyway, I’ve come to realize part of the reason I’m having a hard time making more friends as an adult is because I don’t get out much. It’s like I said before, back in the old days I made the majority of my friends by sitting next to them. Part of that was because I was so shy I couldn’t walk up to people and talk to them. We had to be forced to interact (group projects, sharing a workspace, etc.) in order for me to talk to people. Once I started talking, I usually made friends. I am a likable person and if someone didn’t like my personality, they liked how smart I was and how that could benefit them. I’ve come to realize I probably would not have made as many friends and acquaints as I did had I not been forced to be in a building with them 8 hours a day.

By the time I made it to college, I was aware of this. Most of the friends I have from college are all people that lived on my dorm floor freshman year. Sure, I made a few more friends hanging out with them and meeting their friends and every now and then I made a friend by going to an event on campus and bonding over something we both enjoyed but all of this is hard to recreate outside the magical grounds of a college campus or a school building. At work, I try to be friendly but I also try not to befriend my coworkers. It’s nothing personal, I just believe it’s good to keep your personal/social life separate from your work/professional life. So outside of work and work-related events, I rarely contact my coworkers.

But even with all of those obstacles, the biggest problem I’ve run into when it comes to making new friends is scheduling issues. Want to go see a movie Wednesday night? No, I can’t, I have to work. Want to eat dinner at my house on Saturday? Sorry, can’t do that, I already have something planned. What are you doing Monday morning? I have to do the laundry, wash the car, clean the house and go grocery shopping. What about next week? Sorry, I have a funeral to go to.

Yeah. So, even if I manage to meet someone cool I still have to deal with stuff like that.

Why is making friends as an adult so hard?

What I Learned From My Solo Night Out

I don’t get out much. Shocker, I know, but ever since last year, I’ve been on a mission to do more things by myself. I know that sounds strange. Why would anyone actively try to be alone? Well, around a year ago, I read a very introspective article written by someone in their 30s talking about all the things they wished they’d done in their 20s. We’ve all seen these types of lists but what made this one special was that it focused on all the things she wished she had done by herself. Some of the things were simple such as going to see a summer blockbuster in theatres by herself or taking more nature walks in the park near her apartment, by herself.

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At first, it doesn’t seem so enlightening but the more she talked about why it’s important to do those types of things by yourself every now and then, the more I understood why she wrote the article. It has a lot to do with what we miss when we’re with our friends. Our attention is so focused on what our friends are doing or the conversation we’re having that we don’t notice all the stuff that’s happening around us. We miss parts of the movie. We don’t stop to smell the roses or notice the bird’s nest and the baby birds inside of them. As the list goes on, the things she wished she had done by herself became more extreme such as taking a solo road trip or going to a music concert by herself. After reading the article, I’ve been trying to do more stuff by myself. I’ve seen a summer blockbuster by myself in a foreign country (so a mini trip by myself, although that really doesn’t count). I’ve gone to more events in my hometown by myself and last Sunday, I went to the Bishop Briggs concert by myself.

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The concert was held in the Duck Room of the historical Blueberry Hill bar/restaurant. The bar is a historical landmark that draws tourist and locals to the Delmar Loop from all over the country. The sidewalks of the Delmar Loop are lined with gold plaques similar to the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The plaques tell the rich history of the famous people who hail from St. Louis. Right outside the Blueberry Hill bar stands a lively statue of the great Chuck Berry himself.

The Duck Room is located in the basement of the Blueberry Hill. It’s not a spacious room but it’s not cramped either. I took a few pictures of the place before it started to fill up. By the end of the night, the room probably had somewhere between 250-300 people in it. The show was sold out. The opener for the show was a band I was virtually unaware of until that night, Foreign Air. Foreign Air at the Blueberry Hill Duck Room
I enjoyed their live performance. It was a little jarring, I’ll admit. The lead singer does a lot of voice manipulation. If I had heard the songs on the radio, I would not have thought much of it. I probably would have thought it was the other members of the band providing backup vocals but seeing it live, that was something.

The main event was Bishop Briggs. When the band took the stage and started setting up their instruments the crowd started to stir but when Bishop herself came out, the crowd went wild and she met our energy and challenged it. Just from seeing her on stage, I could tell that she was quirky and kind and was genuinely happy to be performing in front of us. She was nervous the first two songs but once she knew she had the crowd and the air around all of us started to warm with our collective excitement, she relaxed and her voice grew steady and strong. I found myself swaying and dancing the same way I do in my bedroom when I’m listening to her music. img_2502I looked around and realized I wasn’t the only one. It felt so nice to just relax and enjoy myself. For three hours, I wasn’t worried about all my problems and anxieties about my future. I wasn’t stressing over my personal relationships imploding around me and I wasn’t missing people I would never get the chase to speak to again. In that moment, under the blue, red, and purple lights, I was fine. I was happy. I was alive and I was having fun.

 

 

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Bishop Briggs Live at the Blueberry Hill Duck Room

If you would like to see Bishop Briggs perform “Dead Man’s Arms” please click here.