My journal had a prompt recently about “a new friend” and it totally threw me for a loop.
Maybe because we just passed the one year anniversary of the death of my “oldest” friend. (That’s him in the featured image. (Jan 2019)
It got me thinking about how we make friends and keep friends and who exactly are our friends.
The prompt about “a new friend” made me wonder, Who is my newest friend?
Thanks to Facebook co-opting the word, I have many FB “Friends” who I have never met in real life, are more casual acquaintances, are family members I have secretly unfollowed, are business or networking people I want to be loosely connected with, and are people I met a very long time ago but don’t really interact with currently.
And, before anyone gets upset, no, I don’t think you HAVE to have met IRL to have a good connection/relationship with someone.
They aren’t all friends, but I still find some value being connected to them.
My most recent 6 FB “Friends” would fall into one of those categories.
I had to really think about my last / newest Actual Friend. How do we even go about making new friends nowadays? We meet someone (or encounter them online), we connect via conversation, (or “friending” or shared experiences), we continue to have interactions… At some point, we realize that we like them and are curious about them and want to know them better. We might start seeking out their feed or texting them or inviting them to things.
BUT it is really easy to just hang back, keep the friends you have and not really open yourself up to new ones. I get that. It’s scary. What if they don’t like you. What if your current friends get jealous that you are hanging out with someone new?
It’s hard… but I think it’s worth it.
I’m very lucky to have the friends I do. I have some amazing close friends and some pretty spiffy not-so-close friends. And I like making new friends. But that shouldn’t stop me from being open to new friendships.
Anyway, after careful thought and racking my brain, I realized my “newest” friend was a very cool lady I met at a mutual friend’s baby shower, bonded with, “friended” on FB, invited to join my book club, and hung out in zoom with a few times.
According to my journal prompt, I should invite you to hang out. Hanging out is, it’s true, one of the best ways to cement and continue a friendship 🙂 So I swallowed my anxious awkward feelings and messaged her about a phone date. (It is the time of covid after all) We have a phone date on the books and I am very very glad.