Making Friends. As An Adult.

 It's so hard to create and maintain friendships when you're no longer in high school or in a college. All of my friends I've had were in my classes in junior high and we lasted until graduation, or they were exes' roommates. Friends that are local of course, I have a lot of international friends but they can't go on a hike with me at the park down the road...
 You're no longer huddled in the cafeteria at long tables with people you had Algebra II or American History with. You're maybe no longer in a sorority or fraternity and so your brunch/drinking buddies have gone home after graduation. You are no longer surrounded by people of the same age, with similar interests as you.
 I know with social anxiety when someone tells me to go to events to meet people, I feel overly nervous. We never let ourselves think we have a good first impression anyways so why do I want to go introduce myself to a bunch of people over and over again when I can just stay home- and not do any of it? Well- because we are humans and we need connections. You can't be alone forever, even if you're like me and more of an introvert. Even though I'm an introvert (maybe more of an ambivert but leaning towards intro) I still know I need human connections and friends, I also still yearn for them. I adore my friends that I have now, they are so intelligent and I wish them the best for everything. But I'd love to have a few girl friends that I can have a glass of wine with on a Thursday night while watching Grey's Anatomy. I'd totally go to brunch on Sundays and talk about my week and theirs while sipping a mimosa from a little glass. It would be so nice to have someone text me asking if I wanted to go down to the banks for drinks Saturday night. Or to go see some chick flick for the fourth time! I know I just need to buckle down and go out and do what I already know. I've done it before and made a few friends for a bit before I moved, so I just have to go out and do it again.
 I made sure to stay with what I enjoyed and went with that. I hate crowded bars by myself, so I stayed away from there, but I do enjoy coffee shops! Many times last fall and winter I'd go to my friends coffee shop he worked at and he would introduce me to people he knew that were customers. Or even his friends, which we always just as lovely and intelligent as he is. Those are the kind of people I want to surround myself with so obviously I'll be going back to coffee shops a lot this fall and winter. Or walking in the park, I live closer to Ault park now than I did before and I am so happy about that. I walked their paths a lot with my mother over the past few years, I've been wanting to go more recently now that it's starting to cool down. I was just there last weekend and saw a group of people exercising by the stairs, that would be a perfect place to start as well. If I met someone who liked to hike or even just be outside as much as I do then that would be the most perfect thing!
 I know not all friends are life long things, the friends I have now don't know all the inside jokes I had at the age of twelve. And you shouldn't solely say that your friends are just the people you hangout with on big things. I always say "friend" when referring to people in the likes of constantly commenting on each other's Instagram, you're a friend of a friend of mine, or we text each other everyday even though you live across the country or world. But I'm really looking for local friends that can do local things around Cincinnati with me. So I stick to talking about things I love, not only going to places I like. I talk about my interests with others and things that make me feel really good or happy! If you do that, you'll find people with similar interests! This podcast I listen to, My Favorite Murder was not only created by two girls who were just talking murders at a party- but has also given me the chance to connect with people who have the same weird interest of that podcast! I was inebriated and telling the typhoid Mary story at a party one night and made a new friend just from rambling on about the story itself. Weird, I know- but it worked.
 If weird little me can find friends online, and a few in person, I know I can find even more out there IRL too. But of course, I'll never shy away from a message in my inbox asking to be friends, even if you live in Alaska. My social anxiety may make it harder for me to actually get out to meet people, but if I stick to my strengths I know it'll all work out.

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