In recent years I have come to discover some things about myself that I never realized before.
I always considered myself a “people person” based on the fact that I am polite. That midwestern hospitality runs deep in my veins. I thought that was enough. I smile. I say hello. I participate in pleasantries.
I have been informed that is not that same and that there are people who LOVE those actions. They thrive on them.
Huh, weird. I do not.
As I have grown, learned, and been allowed to become who I really am, I have found that I am actually fairly guarded. I would not say closed off, because I do not feel that I am unreachable.
I am selective about the people that I allow close. The people in my tribe are carefully chosen.
I do not do it intentionally. I would honestly love nothing more than to have a “close-knit group” of a dozen friends. I enjoy backyard BBQs and tailgates with the group.
It just doesn’t seem to happen for me.
What happens for me instead is the development of 1-3 close friendships at a time. These are the people that I pour into, as they pour into me. I love these people, and they are most definitely my tribe.
I say “at-a-time” because what happens is that they move. If all of the people who hold portions of my heart were in one place, there would be most likely to be the full party feeling.
They rarely are though.
My recent wedding came close, though a few were still missing.
The people who are that close, the ones that simply being around them makes you feel grounded. These people see me at my worst. We have walked through terrible times together.
They are my people.
They are spread far and wide. Portland, OR. Denver, CO. Sioux City, IA. Richfield, UT. Oskaloosa, IA. Richmond Hill, GA. Some are considering moving even now. The map of where I would love to spend a weekend just to catch up is ever expanding.
There are many who still live locally. I love them all. As adults who have families and jobs, we may not be able to spend as much time together as we would like.
Making friends as an adult is challenging. Making friends as an adult who doesn’t love small talk and craves real connections is terrible.
My heart seeks connection. My brain cries out for deep conversations. I am not satisfied with surface level friendships. I need more.
It is sad. It can be lonely.
My personality is a mixture of extrovert and introvert. I want to be at the party or the concert, but only if I am there with people that I know.
Breaking into a new group is hard, as there are years of shared experiences that are unfamiliar.
Finding people who understand what makes your spirit burn is scary. What if you show someone your passion and they don’t get it? What if they criticize the thing you love and work so hard for? Will they want to stand on your soap boxes with you?
There is one dear friend of mine who makes fun of me for a text exchange years ago. I sent her a text that a random mother at the park was talking to me, and I was not sure why.
My friend, ever the extrovert said, “She is trying to make friends, talk to her!”
My ever slightly cynical brain could not get behind friending a random person who I may or may not have had exterior connections with.
That is the great challenge of adult friendships.
We want them. We crave them. We need them. We are sometimes afraid of them.
For people who “don’t like people,” it can be even harder.
Some people we meet and click immediately. Some people we grow to have relationships with.
Relationships, friendships, all of it, is hard.
If you need me, I will be researching a way to purchase an island in the middle of the ocean to put all of my tribe in one place.