Well, we made it through 2020. Phew!! Anyone else let out a huge sigh when the clock struck midnight? Not like anything actually changed, but you know, placebo effect.
To be perfectly honest, 2020 wasn’t ALL bad. I definitely got a lot of clarify on how I want to spend my time and who I want to spend that time with. The threat of a virus filters who you feel comfortable hanging around, mask or no mask. And once everyone got wind of Zoom, there were non-stop weeks of Zoom calls. That got old pretty quick. So now we are not in the clear, but this virtual quarantine life we are living, is somewhat stable. We have been doing this for 10 months now, so we kind of have our routines down.
So I began thinking of my post from 2018, No New Friends. If you know me in real life, even the title is ironic. When I wrote the post, I was tired of fake friends, shallow friendships, and putting energy into new friends or people of interest, that would flake or ghost, or just be disingenuous.
The idea of just living life and enjoying it is a great philosophy. I actually did finish watching Lost (LOVE IT, but seasons 4 and 5 were on the weird side), and I am doing the things that I enjoy doing. Tomorrow is not promised and I firmly believe we should enjoy each day God has given us. The irony is really with me – I can’t not make friends. It’s just not in me. So here I was traveling along 2018, thinking that I don’t need new people and letting past experiences dictate future relationships.
Hanging out with people, or activity partners is very empty to me. I admire men that can have friends for different activities – basketball, working out, movies, going out, networking, etc. I’ve noticed that women tend to want more well-rounded relationships from each friend. And that’s the way I’m wired as well. It was fun to have people to do things with, but I trying to not make new friends, you miss out on deep conversations, and getting to the heart of what makes that person tick and why you are connected to them.
So I changed my outlook. I decided not necessarily to seek out new friendships, but not to avoid them either. I was also learning to be more selective of bad choices. Some people are just wolves in sheep’s clothing (You really do learn everything you need to know in Kindergarten). A social skill we really aren’t taught is how to politely let someone go when it isn’t working for you. It’s much more defined for romantic relationships when you are broken up; it’s less defined for platonic friendships.
I love people and sociology. I think the different interactions one person can have with various people is fascinating. There is something magnetic about vibing with a new person. Sometimes it’s just a great conversation on the airplane or elevator, and other times it turns out to be a lifelong friendship. You never know though, and it takes vulnerability to find out. It’s exciting and scary at the same time.
Friendships are born over dinner or books or interests or looks. It takes work and energy to keep them. Some you hold on to and some you let go. When there’s a disagreement you decide if it’s worth fighting for or shrugging off. There are one-sided friendships, where usually the person putting in the energy hasn’t figured out they are the only one. And then they stop, and the friendship will fade. Or friendships that have gone past their season as people change jobs, locations, and marital/parental status. And then add romantic interest on top of that. Still figuring out if men and women can truly just be friends. Like for real, for real, no feelings whatsoever – Jury is still out. There’s situational friends because you share the same classroom or office space. The dynamics of human interaction make this journey called Life, even more enjoyable.
All this to say that the fun is the journey, and the journey includes the people you pass along the way. You may stop to meet them, or you may just glimpse them out of the side of your eye. Either way, the people we cross paths with shape our lives and how we see the rest of the journey. And hopefully they offer perspectives you are not familiar with.
That, is the best part.