I hate the process of making friends. I’ve never been the type of person to strike up a conversation with a stranger or to have any semblance of a handle on small talk. Just thinking about the effort of getting to know a new person exhausts me and yet, I actually have quite a few friends. And a couple of Really Good Friends. The thing is, I can’t remember the point in any of my friendships where we crossed over from acquaintance to friend. This could also be because my closest friends have been around for over 10 years and who the hell can remember that far back…not me!
I digress. The reason for this ramble is that I seem to have made a new friend. In the space of 2.5 months we have gone from head nod hellos to breakfast and pedis, cat sitting and conversations about death and parenting and relationships. And it all started with a missing cat. (He has been found)
The thing is, I was happy not really knowing anyone and having two line conversations about nothing with the other Mums in the park. I was in constant contact with my friends back home and I’m married to my best friend. And yet, this new tenuous connection has improved my quality of living. It’s lovely having someone knock on my door to come over for a cup of tea and a quick chat. Knowing that J, A and I can make a trip back home for a week and a half and our cats will be taken care off is incredible.
Maybe starting a friendship isn’t about small talk or striking up conversations with strangers. Maybe it’s about being in the right place at the right time and having a chance connection with someone. Whatever it is, I’m going to make more of an effort this year to be more open to potential new friends. I probably won’t actively seek out new friends mind you, but I will be more willing to throw a third or fourth sentence into a conversation with a stranger.