This year, there’s been one recurring problem and theme in my life: Making friends. Or rather, not making friends. Gosh, does that sound sad? I don’t know. Just being honest.
OK, let’s go back. Look, I guess it’s been a recurring theme for a while now. When I had my first Real Job, at a web design company, I made some fantastic friends. I even recruited a friend to join the company, and found a boyfriend, and became housemates with friends from there! Then… I went to a new company and I guess, to begin with, I made friends, but the staff turnover was incredible. With each passing season, it became harder to make friends there. Maybe because I was less invested (the people come and go so quickly!); maybe because of the “culture”; maybe because I was busy hunting for love (in all the wrong places) and getting my heart broken; maybe because I was thinking about a career change. After a while, in a world-weary kinda way, I basically gave up on the idea of making colleague-friends there, and I think I was viewed as some kind of stone statue… some weird quiet employee. It was not a healthy situation.
Then I became a freelancer, and I thought, if I wished for it enough, I would make freelancer buddies. I thought, “There must be loads of people out there, doing what I’m doing, who want to freelance around buddy-freelancers!” I went to coworking spaces and meetups. I got in contact with other freelancers in my city. I even tried to build a mini directory of local freelancers. But nope… I couldn’t find My Tribe. (Originally, I typo’d “My Tripe,” which probably fits as well.)
Lala! Then — onto a new job. Mumsies. Parentcraft. (Sounds like some kind of space ship. Anyway!) Same dealio: I thought, “So, there must be other adults nearby who are at home and looking after babies. Surely they want to make friends, and so I will look for them, and they will look for me, and voilà! It will be perfect!”
Oomph, not so easy, kiddo. I was assigned a mums group by the local council. We started out as seven. Two people went back to work. One stopped coming. One moved away. One found it difficult to come, because her babies weren’t sleeping well.
I went to the library nearly every week, to the children’s section. Nope, can’t make friends there. Same with the local toy library. Same with the nearby playcentre. I joined a class at the community centre, but everyone else was much older than me. I joined Gymbaroo – weekly group play sessions with parents and bubs – and the other adults avoided chit-chat and eye contact. I’m not kidding. (By now, I’m feeling like it’s something I’m doing… Do I look scary? Super ugly? Is my parenting style cavalier, and they don’t want me around their kids?)
Oomph. I don’t know. Some people I know say that it changes once your kids start attending kindergarten… But that won’t be for another two years! I guess I’ll just keep trying… and trying… (as my mum and James would say: “Yes, Fox, you’re very trying.”) Or put my babes into childcare and go work at some amazing company where I make loads of amazing friends. ?????? Uhuh.