I just finished law school. I had never been happier. I loved my school, I loved my teachers, I loved my fellow-students (ok, I loved most of them. It was law school and I am not a saint) and I loved learning the law and playing with all the ideas. I didn’t want it to end and I didn’t want to leave. But there was the bar to occupy my time. So all summer I studied for the bar, worked to pay rent and stayed on with the ACLU just because I loved it. And that was, if not fun, okay too, because we were all suffering together in that hell that was bar.
But now it’s over. And I find myself working full time. I know I’m one of the lucky ones: I have work, it’s legal work, I work for a nice lawyer, and I’m okay. And he lets me have a day each week to work at the ACLU as long as I work 10 hour days the other days of the week. But now? I sit alone in an office, all day. I’ve never worked in a small office before, I’ve always worked in places with lots of other employees. I like it that way, it keeps you from getting to be what I am now: lonely.
My friends are disappeared. Two moved in together and moved to further away. So where when one of us would want to hang out they would call the others and we’d all hang out, now I suspect they are happy enough the two of them that the extra effort seems unwarranted, especially in light of the distance. So I see them when I go to the ACLU. Essentially, I have one day a week to be a normal social person, during which I go to the ACLU (which is always full of fun and interesting people) work all day there then hang out with my friends afterwards. Which is great for the one day, but means that I spend the rest of the week alone and lonely.
I want more. I want people to talk to, I want friends, and I want romance
So, the question becomes, what is a friend and how to I find them? It’s not easy. I make friends slowly, and I find that I am rarely initially attracted to the people who make the best friends, and am frequently initially attracted to the people who turn out to be nuts. For instance, my dear friend Sparkles. When I first met her, I looked her up and down once, concluded she was a dangerous, insincere cheerleader type ala Mean Girls, and resolved to avoid her. She took one look at me and promptly forgot I existed until talk like a pirate day when she first remembers meeting me. (This is not true. She talked very nicely and friendlily to me despite my utter lack of encouragement. She just doesn’t remember meeting me until pirate day). The coach made us debate partners. We spent a year becoming friends and learning to work together well, and the rest is history.
Sparkles also destroyed my previous ideas of what sort of common interests are helpful to friendships. It is true that we both have geekery, but not that much in common. I like Firefly, she likes Star Trek. I like fantasy, she likes trashy romance. We’re friends because we can talk and understand each other, and because we have a lot of other things in common.
But I can’t just ignore initial attraction either! Because i have friends who I thought were awesome right from the start! Like my girl Ster. I saw her and I thought, wow, that girl is cool. She just looked like someone you could trust right from the start. And so she was (although a lot more than that, including one of the best that’s what she said joke makers I’ve ever met).
So the point is, friendship is complicated. And doesn’t fit into very good rules. I don’t know what I’m looking for, I just know that finding it takes time, luck, and the right situation. Not a lot to go on.
So I plan the following: I will go out into this world. I will try things and attempt to meet people and make friends. I will frequently fail. The plan will alter to fit the situation. The current plan: every other week at least, try a new group until I find one that suits. Tell the story about it here to make Sparkles happy.