I used to think that after a certain age you did not acquire new friends. I thought you only picked up new acquaintance to help you on your journey and then moved on.
This past weekend that belief was shattered, and not that I know the future of my new girl tribe, I know I haven’t felt this way about meeting new people in a long time.
As I headed toward my late twenties forming genuine relationships with people just seemed harder, like a lot of unnecessary work with no pay-off. If I am honest, some situations lead me to think that investing in new people was not worth the disappointment because once they got what they needed they bolted.
In one situation, a girl shared her deepest, or what I thought was her deepest, secrets with me, we cried, prayed, and plotted out goals for the next steps in her life. Once she found a more affluent girl gang, I did not hear from her again. Another situation was around dating a guy who came with loads of friends, and after we broke up, they disappeared, because I am sentimental and sometimes petty I took both of these situations as a profound indication of my worth and became closed off and dismissive.
My "from a hurt place" analyses was, you just don’t make solid new friends after the age of about twenty-three.
Over the weekend, I went to a writer’s conference in New York and met five women who, while there, became my wine, late night burger, stroll around the city crew. It was amazing! On one particular night after a full day of speakers , we skipped the last session and headed to the bar for wine. I ended up learning about the loss of parents, fear of writing well, and plans for the future. On another day, three of the girls and I headed into the restroom during a mixer, and by the time we made it out the party was over. We talked about everything from misconceptions about race, books that helped us write, and the misunderstanding that comes with living in the world as women.
The only thing that had changed in this situation and my previous ones was me. I went to the conference with the mindset to be open and giving, to try and listen more than I spoke, realized it was not all about me, and that the love of writing was my connection to anyone I met so start there.
In the end, when I was ready, when I shifted my expectations and perspective the right ladies showed up.