It’s no secret that I don’t have a ton of friends in this small town. It doesn’t help that I’m typically a very solitary person and keep to myself in most situations. I love the friends I have, but it’s not been easy to make new friends, especially ones that are in the same stage of life as I. It’s not that I mind being friends with marrieds or parents, but I worry often times that we won’t have enough in common to really relate to one another.
Recently, a neighbor and work friend has sort of taken me under her wing. I don’t know why this has happened now, but it’s started to open my eyes to how closed-minded I’ve always been. She’s almost 50, divorced, and has 2 teenage children. On the surface, we are polar opposites. But, in reality, we have much more in common. Through her own persistence in inviting me over for supper, out to eat, over to drink wine, I have gotten to know someone with so much more life experience than I have. And, I could not be happier.
It’s so often that we pigeonhole ourselves into thinking that we can only be friends with certain types of people, and by doing so we often close ourselves off to great experiences. We lose out on learning from other people’s mistakes and hearing their life stories. We give them one less person that they can relate to and learn from. What a tragedy life would be if we all only had a limited number of people with whom we could be friends.
So, here’s to making new friends this week: young and old, married and single, parents and childless. Go out and listen to your neighbors. Learn the story of their lives. Learn how much we all have in common.