One of the things I love about ICLW (besides all the comments!) is finding new blogs to read. Even though the new blogs I stumble upon may be a different stage than me, it is amazing how just reading one or two posts from someone you’ve never met can get your brain moving and wanting to respond. That’s how I felt when I read Megs’ post on being a friend.
You see, I already had a post floating around in my head about making new friends. My husband and I are major introverts and find it hard to make friends. We are the type who are fiercely loyal to old friends and stay in contact with friends going all the back to middle school. In fact, I just had a recent girls weekend with my two best friends from high school. But since we’ve moved around a lot and our friends are scattered in cities other than where we now live, it’s been hard to make friends here.
I’ve been thinking a lot about why it has been so hard for us to make friends in our current city and I think it comes down to the fact that we haven’t had a ready made cohort in the form of being thrown together in a dorm or going through a undergrad/grad school experience with. Now, my husband did get a graduate degree in this city, but the program was geared towards part-timers who were working full-time, so it didn’t create the fishbowl life of a typical college experience.
What drew me to Megs’ post was the focus on how intense struggles can create friends–much like how Ron and Harry became friends with Ginny after battling a troll together. I have plenty of friends from college or grad school that I would characterize in that way. Even though we are great friends, it was kinda random that we became friends and due to the need to battle the mountain troll that was grad school. And now having moved to a new city and started a new job–there hasn’t been a similar troll to battle with a designated cohort of people. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve been here for 6 years now and certainly have plenty of people that we are friendly with. But few actual friends. For example, I have plenty of “work friends” and enjoy hanging out with many of my colleagues. But perhaps because we are different stages of our lives or whatever the reason, there’s really only two people from my work that have broken through the “work friend” barrier to become, simply, a friend. And one of those is someone who I have become close to because we’ve shared our infertility journey together. So, in a way, we battled a troll together.
But in the past few months, our friend circle has expanded much more rapidly. And it’s all due to our son. Just as the journey of infertility can be a mountain troll, so is the journey of parenthood. And we need to find all the help we can get! Plus it helps immensely that I can tell our son is going to be a social butterfly. He makes friends with all the other toddlers on the playground and that allows me to make friends with the parents. And now we find our social calendar filling up pretty quickly!