No One Told Us

           When you’re young, you always talk to your friends about all the things you’re going to do together when you grow up. Unfortunately, no one told us we don’t always grow up at the same time.

           My best friends and I are on completely different playing fields. Some are back in school, not working or working but not being paid enough to do anything but pay their bills. Also, a lot of my friends like to drink whereas, I’m completely fine not drinking for long periods of time. To me, drinking has never heightened my happiness or improved my night, that’s done by the people I’m with and the activity we’re taking part in.

           How unfair for us all to be the same age, or within a couple years of the same age, and yet be on completely different levels from one another? I wanted to experience things together. I wanted us all to be able to go out and do things. Go to the zoo, go to dinner, go to plays, travel, go on vacations together etc. But because of everyone’s different financial situations and let’s face it, everyone’s varying interests in what constitutes a “good time”, almost none of these things are possible for us.

           So what do you do?

           Do you wait? Wait for your friends to not want to drink so much? Or wait for your friends to finish school and try to find jobs so their financial situations change? Take it from me, you’re going to be waiting a long time. The sad fact is, the people you grew up with, your best friends, may never be on the same page as you. I’ve come to this realization a lot in the past year. The things I once found fun just aren’t anymore. I want to branch out to do things I’ve never done before but I want to do those things with my friends. I can’t and I don’t know if I ever will. No one told us we wouldn’t grow up at the same time.

           So what do you do?

           Now the obvious thing to do would be to go out and make new friends. Find people who share your interests and can take part in activities you deem fun. However, if you’re anything like me, this is one of the most difficult things to achieve. I’m terrible with meeting new people. I want to meet people and usually after someone introduces me to new people, I’m totally fine with talking to them and having a good time. But my crippling fear of not being liked stops me from approaching anyone new. Not to mention, I’m not very funny. I mean, I can get a couple of pretty good one liners in here and there, but I’m not someone anyone would classify as “the funny one”. And it takes a while for me to be comfortable with someone to even start showing my true self. All in all, meeting new people is really hard for me.

           I’m invited to this open book club thing every month and I want to go, every single month, but because none of my friends will be there, I stop myself. I need back up in case I can’t speak to anyone and then I’m just standing there awkwardly and alone. Being awkward and alone is my worst nightmare and you want to know why? Because awkward and alone is embarrassing.  Anyone who knows me or follows this blog knows, to me, feeling embarrassment is the worst thing in the world.

           So what do I do?

           I would love to be able to walk into a room full of strangers and start talking to them. Several of my friends would have no problem with this. I’m not that girl. I need a friendly face with me, at least the first time, for me to become comfortable and to start branching out a little bit.  

           So what do I do?

           Unfortunately, I can’t offer up any solutions to people in a similar situation. I know from talking to my best friend, she feels this on a completely different but equally depressing level. She doesn’t have any money to do anything she would love to do because she’s back in school and has to pay her bills. She has no time for fun because she has massive amounts of homework and when she finally doesn’t, she’s exhausted. Also, like me, she doesn’t find the same things as fun as she used to, we want more culture, more excitement in our lives.

           So what do we do?

           I could say I’m going to go out by myself. I could say I’ll go to the book group on my own and talk to people. But the truth is, I can’t even fathom that at this point. For now, I write about it because writing always makes me feel a little better.

           I hope one day I can go to the book group. I hope one day to take a vacation with my best friends. In the meantime, I work on my fears of insecurity around new people, and I work on trying not to feel embarrassed at the drop of a hat.

           I wish someone told us though.

           I wish someone mentioned we don’t always grow up at the same time.