23 and …
on the hunt for a BFF – more specifically of the female persuasion.
I should probably explain that last part … Being the older sister of two younger brothers I find that I can better relate to guys – or maybe that’s just something that I’ve been telling myself since … well, forever. Of all the Spice Girls I liked Sporty Spice the best, thought glitter was annoying, and much preferred my sneakers when I was younger (read just until college) so I would perpetuate that I was a tomboy and that’s why I didn’t really have tons of close girl friends. But I think it goes a little deeper than that and that’s something I’ve been hashing out recently.
I really can’t believe that I’m writing about this now… but this topic has been rattling around for a while and hey isn’t this blog for sharing? So, here it goes!
All of this self-aware discovery type stuff has stemmed from my fortunate discovery of HelloGiggles.com – a website all about celebrating BFFness, creativity, and pure awesome – which led to finding and quickly purchasing MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche.
In her late 20s she finds herself married in a new town without any close girlfriends to call “just to say hi”. She takes on the quest to find a local BFF with 52 girl dates in one year and provides a witty, informative, and totally relatable memoir. I love the fact that she includes the newest social research to kind of ground the stories of her girl dates and the insights that she’s taken away.
I haven’t gotten through the whole book (but am rapidly working my way to the finish) and I’m floored with how close she is hitting to home. Though her story starts a bit differently than mine (which I’ll get into a bit later) I can’t count how many times I have had her thoughts in my real life or just sat and had my “A-HA!” moment.
I would have to say that my string of surface friendships started when I moved from Texas to Maryland in the middle of elementary school, with another move to happen a short 2 years later before middle school. Being the glaringly new kid (southern accent with slightly brown skin and darker features in this area was a novelty) coupled with my shy demeanor did not work in my favor for those first couple of years. Not to say there was any racism but I just wasn’t like everybody else and that’s never a good thing at that age. By that third year of middle school I finally felt settled enough with a group of girls just to have us go our separate ways to various high schools in the county.
I wanted to use high school as a fresh start – I would know some people but had the chance to make a new impression on an entirely different group of people – I felt more comfortable in just putting myself out there. But hey it’s always one step forward and two steps back – at this point in time my parents were my main mode of transportation and kind of put the kibosh on some of my new friend making activities. They were all about studies first and you can have fun later … maybe – as long as those activities don’t involve drugs, alcohol, etc.
There were no objections to those stipulations on my end but they always seemed to find one road block or another when it came to my social life. In hindsight I know all of their worry and precaution was for the best but that wasn’t really clear in high school. It was just difficult to explain to potential new friends why your parents expected phone calls upon arrival/departure, insisted on a 10pm maybe 11pm curfew, among other restrictions. And the surface friendships remained just that as we moved onto college.
My college experience definitely was not traditional. I spent two years living at home while working full time and attending a local community college full time. The community college didn’t inspire that close knit community with loads of school spirit so – again no real connections there. I finished out my last two years in North Carolina again juggling work and school full time. Sad to say but I didn’t put forth too much effort in establishing/maintaining deeper friendships at this time because I knew I would be done in two years and move back to Maryland.
I met the boyfriend during my second year of college and got to know his group but with all my moving and wacky work schedule, those have remained mainly surface relationships. Work friends have remained work friends – no keeping in touch once someone moves onto another job. All of my hesitation, laziness, and cautious guarding stops now.
I’ll end the post here with Part 2 – Solving my lack of BFFness to come. If you’ve read this far kudos to you – it is much appreciated. I promise that regularly scheduled posting of fitness and food will commence later this morning.