As you get older, sometimes you take a stock of your life. This happens especially when things are going absolutely nothing the way you thought it would. Of course, there’s that whole best laid plans thing blah blah, but really when you’re hit with no, no and no, especially when you could really use a win, you find yourself wondering just what happened. Or maybe that’s just me.
Anyway, as a child, I used to be friendly and outgoing. I am still really good at faking it. But I used to genuinely want to connect with people. As I got older, like most teenagers I wanted to be “popular” and in some ways I was, looking back on it. I had friends from all sorts of different “cliques”. People at school knew who I was—there were people who would tell me hello in our neighborhood, from our school, and frankly I did not know who they were. But, I was never popular as in “hang out with the cool kids and go to a bunch of parties” popular—though I wasn’t exactly a homebody either.
Then, when I started college, I really realized, I just didn’t care about popularity, fitting in, whatever. But really, who cared in college? The most “cool” I did was when hung out with one of my friends who was pledging a sorority, plus I knew someone from high school who was in a fraternity at the college by the time I got there. Fraternity and sorority rows were a way of partying for me (but just one way). And frankly, I didn’t really care that they were frats or sororities. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I loved to dance and drink and meet new people like most people in college. But by then I was doing it on my terms. I didn’t pledge the sorority and they knew I never had the intention to and the only fraternity guy I dated was my old friend from school.
I also worked while in school, and joined different social clubs and went to meetings about issues that mattered to me.
I was still outgoing, but not really friendly. I wasn’t a bitch though. I just didn’t make a conscious effort to make friends. I did the things I wanted to do, I hung out with who I wanted to hang out with, and I accepted the fact that I was the type of person who, unless there was an instant “click”, it was going to take me awhile to warm up to you.
And I was okay with that.
It was when I entered the workforce that things really…changed. I was no longer outgoing. I would go to work, and sure, I had work friends, people who I would have lunch with when time allowed. A lot of times though I would meet Mom for lunch because we worked in the same part of the city, and I had long accepted that in many ways Mom was one of, if not, my best friend.
Friends I had made through the years, and some still have, they of course grew as well and started to have separate social lives with boyfriends turned husbands and girlfriends turned wives and they became parents and did all of those sorts of things. They moved out of the area into the suburbs and some moved out of state all together. Hell, I left the country for a number of years. I managed my own romantic social life too though it got harder, but in the end, I think finding who I did wound up being a whole force of fate and will kind of making us each think outside the box in order to happen.
When you have two people who aren’t really outgoing…let’s just say that at first, I got used to doing things by myself after awhile.
Then I got used to just not doing anything.
Work was tiring, and people sometimes made me feel…crowded. And why go out when I can relax at home?
A lot of stuff happened between friendly and outgoing, to maybe not friendly but outgoing, to I can just do things by myself, to hey Sweetheart what’s on TV tonight? If I really think about it, I could probably pinpoint the main things that made me change throughout the years—some of them are coming to me right now, right off the bat. But…maybe other posts.
I’m not saying all of this change was bad. The fact is, that you can only be so trusting…you need to have some sort of walls up, because frankly people will take advantage of you if you don’t. And honestly, that drive to be “in” and “cool” or whatever will drive you crazy. Have you watched the Real Housewives franchise? I used to, but one day it hit me, these are a bunch of beyond grown women still trying to fit into some sort of clique—complete with bullying, and…really?
But, sometimes, like today, I just find myself wondering, how exactly could things have been different for me if I had kept that drive to be more social. And how do you go from “ack no thanks…too many people”…to, hey, maybe making new friends may be a good idea?
Perhaps I will find out. Perhaps I won’t. I never know with me.