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Dear Diary: Re-learning How to Make New Friends

I just wish that things didn’t change as much as they did.

When I was a young girl everyone was my friend. My absolute trust in the world was unwavering. This is only slightly peculiar for a black girl who grew up in a bustling, smoke submerged city. After my days at the nursery, I would skip home on the chalk decorated sidewalks, holding onto a parent's hand, and find myself falling in love with anyone we passed. However, as I got older I realized that not everyone felt as I did. People just aren’t meant to love all other people. I’m in no way trying to justify hate but in order for the world to be balanced, we can’t observe one another through rose-tinted glasses. For every person you click with, there will be another you just don’t. I say this to you now but lately, I’ve been doing a pretty poor job of enforcing my own philosophy.

As I’ve moved from a young girl to a young woman my friend group has not expanded by that much (in fact it has decreased). Trust me that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a sharp increase in people I’ve marked in the category of ‘mandatory interactions only’.

Talking to new people includes smiling at jokes you don’t really find funny. It’s the fidgeting with my fingertips and overthinking every last word. It’s constantly trying to find the balance between caring too much and caring too little. Long time friendships feel like a pair of sweatpants you wear on a lazy morning at home. They’re comfortable, worn in and you don’t have to worry about them fitting you. I swear if people came with labels stating ‘this person will be in your life for at least 2 years’ maybe I’d fall in love with people easier again. I just wish that things didn’t change as much as they did. Some days all I want are for the girls I used to surround myself with at age 6 to say hi to me on the street. But if I’ve learned one thing as I’ve gotten older it’s that all change is a result of an action.

As I sit here daydreaming of this technicolor girl gang that probably doesn’t exist, I am starting to realize that I might be the own perpetrator of my impending loneliness. A good friendship is a sun just resting on the horizon. In the past year I’ve sat and accepted the lie that I was doomed to fail at even grazing one with my fingertips, but this upcoming school year, I hope I’ll run.

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