If you're a pretty hardcore social media user you may have caught that near the beginning of 2013 I read a book called 'my yearlong search for a new BFF'. I heard it about it on Goodreads and thought, 'that looks good' but I honestly didn't expect it to teach me anything. But as I read Rachel's story of her yearlong search for a new best friend after relocating to Chicago I figured out - I really related to her.
I spent more time than ever preparing for 2013. Really analyzing where I'm at in my life and where I want to be and getting some ideas down on paper to get there. Every year I get a little closer to building the life I want and this year it's back to relationships. One of the things I really recognized about my life is that I'm surrounded by great people and I've found some amazing ways to pour into other people's lives but where I'm slacking off is investing time in people that will pour into me.
What do I mean by that? What I don't mean is that I'm imparting some kind of awesome wisdom onto other people - so don't read that in what I write. What I mean is that I've got a few people who are maybe a step or two behind me in their adult life that I'm talking through some of the big decisions I've already made (moving away, buying a house, getting debt free, launching their careers...) but I even though there are plenty of people in my life ahead of me (married, kids, traveled the world, started businesses... etc) I haven't invested the right amount of time in soaking up some of their awesomeness. And even more than that, I've only let a VERY limited amount really know me.
And so, as I read Rachel's search for a new BFF I thought - I need to take some of her advice about finding friends. I need to give this a shot. Well, Rachel went on 100 friend dates in a year. She literally courted friends. She called them up, asked them out, met them places, and tried to figure out if they were the right fit. Gosh was she brave! Some of them had hilarious outcomes and some were just kind of blah. She even asked/allowed people to set her up and tried finding friends on the internet! But she learned what she did and didn't want and she kept going until she got some desirable results.
During the week I spent reading this book at the gym I got invited on MY first friend date in quite a while. The funny part is, after reading this book, it actually FELT like a date. I put entirely too much thought into whether this girl I'd actually wanted to hangout with would think I was 'cool' and I even spent a solid 20 minutes picking out my outfit (then thought: who am I?). I believe I even tweeted about this.
Since you're probably dying to know - it went well. And we've continued to hangout since. And I've continued to take initiative to spend time with and get to know new friends with the potential to be great or lifelong friends (I hope).
I share this because from reading your blogs, facebooks, etc I know that I am far from the only one who finds herself feeling like she's back in elementary school from time to time wanting to say, 'so, do you want to be my friend?'. Being from the facebook generation I think we sometimes get lost thinking 'well I KNOW all these people' but feeling like we still don't really have people we're sharing our lives with. Finding the right people to 'do life' with on the day to day is huge. And even though I have had some of those people for years now, I really needed to pursue more of those kind of relationships, with the right people, here in Tampa.
And so, I'm trying out this whole dating friends thing, and I admit - I'm kind of digging it. And for those of you who will undoubtedly ask if I don't tell - yes, the book was worth reading. But whether or not you're a reader, give the principle a try if you're finding yourself in need of a few new friends or even a new BFF.