Friends after 30.
Can you read that out loud without feeling a bit faint or sad or disappointed? Probably not. I’ve struggled with the idea of friends after 30 for a few years (4 years and a half, to be specific). I am not sure when it went down hill – maybe after kid #1? Or was it kid #3 that marked the turning point? All I know is that I was FUN. You hear me? I went dancing at the club. I had a drink of choice and my friends knew what it was. And I could have multiple before looking sloppy.
But then life got in the way.
I stopped calling, they stopped calling. “We need to get together soon!” Uh huh. I was busy with life. Kids, husband, school/work. The house doesn’t clean itself, you know? All my friends, they sort of vanished. Sure, they were still around on social media. I saw their families grow, but I felt the pang of distance burning between our friendship. And so…
Friends after 30 become a commodity for which so many of us yearn. But why not just make new friends whose lives fit ours? A soccer mom at the fields, a mom panicking about their kid started high school, or one who is just as worried about her baby starting kindergarten in just a few months. Those are my people now. Yet, I don’t know them.
But here’s a thought: Have you ever watched kids at a playground? They want to ride the merry go round, but they can’t spin themselves. Instead of waiting around for life to fall into place, kids will just ask another kid, “Hey, wanna play?” And there you have it: a friendship is born.
Why not be more like kids?
Well, I tried it, and it worked.
I was on social media, following a silly thread where we had to guess each others’ middle names by only providing the consonants. (Mine was ln, by the way). This led to the most unusual chat: 2 other girls and I started talking about being tired, needing wine/margaritas, snoring husbands, sneaking-into-your-bed-kids, and from the outside looking in, you would have thought we had been friends forever.
What was most interesting was finding that these two random strangers felt the same way. “Y’all need to move to Texas just because I need friends.” So I wondered, how many others out there feel this way? Who feels alone in such a busy world? We are connected, but so disconnected all at once. Who wants to ride the merry go round? Who is willing to take the challenge of making a new friend?
The three of us spent over two hours messaging back and forth about everything. It felt natural and joyful. I felt connected. Could you imagine if we did this on a regular basis? If it was ok to strike up not only a conversation, but a friendship?
Are you ready for that challenge?