Tag Archives: Friends

Why Is Making Friends as an Adult Weird and Kind of Difficult?

Verily Magazine posted an article last year with tips for making friends as an adult, and just yesterday, they added another one that compares adult friend-finding to dating. I’m glad I’m not the only one going on friend dates! Let’s blow this discussion wide open.

It’s going to be a girly discussion, though. Verily is a women’s magazine, and I’m a woman, so I don’t know if this advice (or even the problem!) applies to men. The dynamics of male friendships are beyond my scope. Both articles have great lists of strategies, but the second hints more at what my heart is still wondering: why it’s so weird (and kind of hard) to make friends as an adult.

I do have friends. I talk about this situation with them sometimes. The newer article highlights three critical factors for building a friendship: “proximity, repeated and unplanned interactions, and a setting that lets you confide in each other.” When you’re no longer surrounded by peers for the majority of your waking hours, you still need friends, but it’s much harder to find them. I managed to do it (and thus have someone to talk about it with; so meta), but why is it so difficult in the first place?

Me, with friends

Oh, hey, pretty ladies! This is me with my friends Sara and Rebecca. We met in undergrad. College is a great place to make friends!

When I moved to Austin (almost six years ago!), I knew a few people in the area from my grad school program, but they weren’t really my friends. Besides our collegiate affiliation, we had little in common. It took until about Christmastime for me to realize that I had no friends here. So I turned to my favorite resource, the Internet, and found a delightful non-parish-specific Catholic young adult group and my trivia teammates.

The Catholic YA group is no more, but I was always in it with the personal mission to make actual friends. I wanted to build connections with people so that I didn’t need organized, scheduled activities in order to see them. Since the group disbanded, I don’t see some of the people I met in the group anymore. No more proximity. No more interactions. Not surprising. But the ones I connected with, the ones who “got” me, the ones I cared about building a relationship with: we’re still friends.

My trivia teammates and I have a different relationship (mostly because I am very religious and they are very not), but I have actual friendships with a couple of them, too. When you’re invited to someone’s house, you know it’s for real.

But beyond that, it’s just me.

If I’m being perfectly honest about my efforts to make friends as an adult, it has a lot to do with my being unmarried and living far from home. There are no single men in my house, so if I want to meet any, I have to go out. (I’m taken at the moment; it’s not insignificant that he found me.) Many of my friends are married and have small children, so if I want to see them, I have to meet them where they are—literally. I’ve learned that private conversations with friends-turned-parents aren’t always possible, so I settle for semi-private conversations as we follow the toddler around the room so he won’t get mowed down by the bigger kids.

One of my friends-turned-parents asked me if there was a time when you stop wanting to make new friends. I replied that it was probably when parenting starts.

Think about the family you grew up in. Your parents probably didn’t actively make friends. They had old friends: college roommates, wedding party members, friends from their life pre-marriage and pre-kids. They had work friends, but they didn’t always see those people outside of work or maintain relationships after job changes. That’s possible, but it’s rare. They had your friends’ parents, mostly so they could keep track of you and your influences. Maybe they had a professional group, a church group, or sports teammates.

But can you remember your parents making new friends? I met one of my mom’s work friends at my grandfather’s funeral. She was touched by that friend’s presence, as was I, yet it was strange because I’d never met her in all the years they’d been working together. My dad had a buddy once he met at one of my brother’s sports practices, and it was weird because Dad had a friend. There was nothing fishy going on, but it was odd because, well, dads don’t make friends. Or do they?

I’m not saying that anyone who’s a parent is forbidden to make friends, but I wonder why they so rarely do. Families have to unite to form societies. Is it a good thing that those unions are driven by children or by the past instead of by current intentionality? Should friend-finding be more like dating? Can we work harder to turn online friendships into offline ones?

I don’t have any answers, but this is one case where I think it makes sense to raise the question, to start a discussion, to just talk without needing a defined takeaway. Am I just shouting into the void here? Am I finding a problem that doesn’t exist (because, after all, I do have friends)? Any ideas?

7 Quick Takes on Event-Filled Weeks and Jeopardy!

7 Quick Takes, hosted at This Ain't the Lyceum

— 1 —

I am about halfway through another big swing of events. I had a couple of Skype and phone dates filling up my weeknights. I was up early and out until mid-afternoon yesterday, then I did chores until I went back out again. An old friend came into town this weekend, so a group met up for dinner after church. This coming week, I will have another friend date, stop by the summer church history study at my parish, go to a work social event, and make a day-long retreat. All of this activity is crazy, but it is a blessing to have so many friends and to not be bored!

— 2 —

I was up early on Saturday for the saddest reason. Some dear friends of mine lost their son to stillbirth last week. They buried him this weekend. It was the most beautiful and terrible experience. It was beautiful because the Mass is always beautiful (heaven touches Earth!) and because it was at the same church where they were married about a year and a half ago. The church was about as full both times, which is a testament to the community they have built. It was terrible because the death of a child is always terrible. I could only express my sorrow and assure them of my prayers.

— 3 —

I’m still working through my Life Plan. It’s supposed to be a living document, so I’m doing my best to keep it fresh without giving in to my tendency to revise endlessly. I came across a quotation that I hope will help me focus my efforts:

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” —Peter Drucker

— 4 —

Also a Church Word: It's defined as a coherent, typically large body of matter with no definite shape. What is matter?

J!6 has so many Lindsay-friendly clues! As I said before, I am hoping that some of these kinds of clues actually make it to the show if I, too, make it to the show.

— 5 —

Whose What?: Dumbledore's Army is a fictional organization that held meetings in this school. What is Hogwarts?

Seriously.

— 6 —

International Days of the Week: Of dies mercurii, dies solis, or dies martis, it's Wednesday in Latin. What is dies mercurii?

Mr. Man works with Latin, so I was especially proud to share that one with him. I only know church Latin and what I can make out from my knowledge of Spanish. For this clue, I used the latter.

— 7 —

Mr. Man himself sent me this one, perhaps suggesting that this would be a worthy pastime if I become independently wealthy:

If you watch Jeopardy! backwards, it's a show about rich people paying money for answers to questions.


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

Recapping NaBloPoMo and Introducing 7 in 7!

nablopomo_january2015

January ends today, and with it, my second solid attempt at NaBloPoMo. November 2014 went very well. This month felt kind of blah but was a huge boost nonetheless.

I am still a big fan of link-ups and memes to draw in new visitors and give me ideas. I really liked this month’s NaBloPoMo prompts. Habits are a huge part of who I am, so I enjoyed the opportunity to stretch and focus a little bit.

My traffic is still on an incredible upswing. My total page views are up 25% from November after a small drop in December. I reached nearly 11,000 views for the year, and I did more than double my average views per day from 2013 to 2014.

Yet the goal of posting every single day eludes me. I think it always will, honestly. I have explained/not explained past seasons of scant posting by noting that I have to be out living my life to have anything to blog about. Sometimes I just don’t want to blog, and sometimes blogging is not a priority. I’m still not making any apologies for that.

I think it was my nomination for the Sheenazing Awards that made me realize (a) how far I’ve come as a blogger in the last year and (b) how much I want my other blogging friends to enjoy the same success. As I commented on Kendra’s Sheenazing post, since I regularly read so many blogs in the “Under-appeciated” category, we must have just been hanging out with each other this whole time!

In that vein, I would like to introduce you to the charming Christina of Waltzing in Beauty.

christinawaltzinginbeauty

Christina and I met (first by email and then in person) in the wedding of a mutual friend. Her kindness cannot be overstated. I have a mini superpower of being able to tell when I’ve found someone I just “click” with. I got that feeling with Christina. Fun fact: She is engaged to be married to her ballroom dancing partner (which is also how she met our mutual friend, I think)! Christina blogs about beauty, joy, and seeing the brighter side of life.

I love reading Christina’s writing. I can only imagine that planning for a wedding and then being married will probably change her posting pattern, but I wanted to take the opportunity to expose her to my audience (which isn’t very big!) and encourage both us to post more. When Jen Fulwiler hosted 7 Posts in 7 Days, I was on a big swing of not blogging, so I missed out. But no more!

Christina and I have pledged to write 7 posts in the next 7 days. That is ideally once per day, but you’ve seen how well I do with that. “7 in 7” leaves some wiggle room for those days that are so ridiculous I wonder whether I am secretly being filmed, like in The Truman Show.

So go check out Christina’s blog, subscribe here and there if you haven’t already, and brace yourself for the awesomeness!

7in7_llwib

Year in Review: 2012

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I have not given up on this blog. If my two years of teaching stress didn’t stop me altogether, then I don’t think anything will. I’m not going to declare myself to be “back” again, though. Today will just be another post and just happen to be my annual recap. I’ll make a good effort at Booking Through Thursday this week, and we’ll see how it goes from there.

I only drew this in the cards of people I knew were Christians (and some of the ones for my friends with new babies, tee hee).

I only drew this in the cards of people I knew were Christians (and some of the ones for my friends with new babies, tee hee).

When I sent out my Christmas cards last month (happy octave day of Christmas, by the way), I couldn’t decide how to personalize them. Last year, I drew Christmas-themed decorations in each card with sparkly gel pens. (That inspired the baby Jesus from last year’s Ash Wednesday commentary.) This year, I had originally thought about writing a Christmas letter. My life feels boring and average, but I knew it couldn’t actually be that boring, so I went through my Google calendar month by month to see what had happened to me that was exciting.

You’ll only know what my top seven items were if you got my card, but the full list follows here.

January: I went to my friend Jess’s wedding at Notre Dame. It was a fantastic opportunity to see my friends from my second year of teaching, have a friend date with the lovely Sarah, and attend my very first Catholic wedding. (I know, right?) My blogging was definitely weak, and I hadn’t yet latched on to 7QT to help me keep track of my week.

February: At work, one of my coworkers and I formed a subcommittee to redevelop an old position into a new one. We hired someone just before we closed for Christmas, which is exciting. I also attended the Rite of Election as the RCIA director. It was such a blessing to see all our RCIA catechumens and candidates taking that step. Here at Lindsay Loves, I reflected on my initial experiences with the revised translation of the Mass, which remains one of my most popular posts (because of Catholic Ryan Gosling, I think). Come to think of it, I ought to update that reflection. It’s been over a year. I have a few different thoughts now.

The flowers were pretty, I really liked my outfit, and I wanted a good #lookingdown shot. Did I get it?

The flowers were pretty, I really liked my outfit, and I wanted a good #lookingdown shot. Did I get it?

March: I went on my annual work mission trip again, to Nicaragua, where I got my first ever sunburn. (Review that story in parts one and two.) I picked up a few old “to blog” articles (on moral relativism and Glee), and I gave blood for the last time before going to Nicaragua put me on the deferral list.

April: It was Easter, finally! I heard Lino Rulli, the Catholic Guy, speak at the local Catholic Charities luncheon. I took notes and planned to blog about it, but you know how that goes with me. At work, I started shadowing marriage preparation, and I hosted Dr. Ed Shirley for what was probably his last ever “Harry Potter and Christianity” presentation, because he died suddenly in August.

May: I saw see Twelfth Night at Zilker Park with some friends to kick off the Zilker summer. I reported for jury duty, but I didn’t have to serve! That was a sweet break. My friend Theresa invited me to the Paramount for the first time; we saw a restored print of To Kill a Mockingbird, and it was amazing, of course. Here on the blog, I reviewed October Baby. At work, I officially started saving for retirement. That’s not exciting, but it’ll pay off in the long run, I hope.

June: Sarah came to visit! It is always good to see her. I don’t really like traveling, but I do like hosting (or at least hosting her, I guess). I started the Great Adventure Quick Journey Through the Bible, which was incredibly eye-opening. I love Bible study. On the blog, I listened to and reviewed Vice Re-Verses, and I also unfortunately had to attend a funeral for a child.

I was cold, but it was so worth it! (For comparison, Google an image of Pocohontas from the Disney movie.)

I was cold, but it was so worth it! (For comparison, Google an image of Pocohontas from the Disney movie.)

July: I watched Independence Day fireworks with friends at Auditorium Shores, which was delightful even though I was hot and dusty all evening. I went back to Zilker for The Sound of Music, and I started working with my first couple for marriage prep. Here on the blog, I finally remembered to share my love of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. (It’s still going strong at nearly 80 episodes, and Lydia has taken off. It’s about to get real!) I had one of my most popular posts ever, about my favorite love songs, thanks to jumping in on Hallie‘s link-up right when it started.

August: I went on my annual retreat; that is, the one I get to participate in rather than running in some way. I got new glasses, and at work, I started preparing people to be godparents.

September: I shared a fantastic prayer method, and then I fell off the blogging wagon again. At the end of the month, my friend Sabrina got married, and I was invited to the wedding. I can now say I have even been to a Catholic wedding in town.

October: I went to what I think was my third football game ever (all on the high school level), and for Halloween, I dressed up as Hipster Pocohontas. My costume went very well with my new glasses.

November: I was invited to speak at a youth group retreat at Holy Cross Parish across town, which validated my public speaking skills and general knowledge of campus ministry. I was finally able to actually do some volunteering with Pure Fashion, and I had a quiet Friendsgiving in Austin.

December: As a great follow-up to my summer Bible study, I attended the “Psalms in a Day” seminar presented by Jeff Cavins. We got off schedule, but I had a good time, and then I attended a friend’s birthday movie marathon. It turns out that Newsies really is delightful. To be honest, though, I rang in the new year hoping that next year, things will be different. I don’t know what’s to come, but I hope it’ll be amazing.

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters in Real Life

Last week was an epic blogging fail, so, here’s my Top Ten…Uh, Sunday?

Top Ten Characters Who Remind Me Of Myself Or Someone I Know In Real Life

  1. My camp counselor Nicole and Jane Bennet: I don’t think I’ve met anyone before or since that is just genuinely nice. I only knew her for that week I was at leadership camp back in high school, but she was so sweet. She was also engaged, though not to Mr. Bingley.
  2. My friend Jess’s mom and Mrs. Bennet: While I’m still on P&P, let’s go here. Jess was a year behind me in ACE. During her first year (my second), her mom pointed out to her that, when she was Jess’s age, she was already married and had given birth to Jess. Three years after that conversation, Jess is now married and expecting her first child in the fall. Sure, that’s rather different than trying to save your house and keep yourself and your five daughters out of poverty, but the pressure was still there.
  3. My old housemate Michael and Nick from Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist (as played by Michael Cera): That was a long identification, but it was critical at the time. We took a household outing to see Nick and Nora. As the movie began, Michael watched and said, “Hey, look, this kid lives in my house. Hey, he drives my old car. He listens to my music. This kid is me!” The rest of the movie was just mediocre, but I’ll never forget his reaction.
  4. Me and the teacher from The Wave: Don’t overreact; I didn’t accidentally start a neo-Nazi group. I tried more than once to overstretch my still-developing skills, though, and wound up in over my head. That’s in the past, though, and I’ve learned from it.
  5. [Edit] Me and Mary Ann Spier from the Baby-sitters Club: this should probably be one character per person, but I am a complex creature. Many people would probably want to associate me with bookish Mallory Pike, and Claudia Kishi was always my favorite, but I think I’m most like mary Ann. I’m generally quiet and I keep to myself a lot, but every now and then I suppose people. This is not by having a steady boyfriend in eighth grade (or now), though. So unfortunate.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll sleep on it, and maybe I can find a few more character matches in the morning. The tough thing about matching people to characters is fighting the inclination to pick characters that make you look good instead of the ones that make you look real. Am I right?

7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 177

— 1 —

I am going to volunteer with Pure Fashion in Austin this coming school year! I’m not into modeling, but i am into character education and spreading the positive message of modesty, and this seems like a great way to do it. Don’t tell any of my former students, but I kind of miss working with high schoolers.

On a vaguely related note, Ive been seeing the ad for Trendy Top all the time lately, and I kind of want one. It seems like a great solution to the low-rise waistline, and it doesn’t encourage you to switch back to immodest like the Cami Secret.

— 2 —

Can I please have this tote bag? We’ve already got “Baby Got Back” adapted for the Bible-lover (“Baby Got Book”), so why not for book lovers in general?

— 3 —

Did you catch the USCCB’s announcement of a new online-adapted Catechism of the Catholic Church? It’s pretty sweet. I love the look, and I especially like that the footnotes and cross-references are pop-ups so they don’t take you away from the section you’re on. Who says the Church can’t get with the times (when appropriate, because some things are timeless)?

— 4 —

I started a new Bible study program this week. When I was in college, I started a Bible study on salvation history. Our leader left at the end of the school year, leading me to decry (as a joke) that I’d never know how it ended. I’ve been looking for a good opportunity to join another salvation history study then, and I stumbled across The Great Adventure Quick Journey Through the Bible just in time to register (3 days before it started). It’s at a church one town away, so my commute is super long, but I’m very excited for this study, and at least driving is a productive way to spend those thirty minutes.

— 5 —

This 7QT is posted late because Sarah is visiting me, and Getting Things Done before her arrival was much more important that typing this. But now it’s Saturday morning, which sounded like a good designated computer time to me.

— 6 —

I stumbled across a National Catholic Register article lamenting the transfer of the Ascension to Sunday across the U.S. I have been complaining about that since I started paying attention to it. The Pentecost Novena is still the only official one in the Church, and it starts on Thursday. Thursday is supposed to be the Ascension so it makes sense to start praying that day! It’s not even like asking people to go to Mass two days in a row (which will actually happen with the Immaculate Conception in 2012; that day never gets transferred or loses its obligation). Can we be that surprised that people don’t know what a novena is or when Church holidays are if we don’t even do them on the correct day? </end rant>

— 7 —

In other NCR news, Steven Greydanus cautions against reading any reviews of Brave. I tend not to read reviews precisely because they are spoilery (and I tend not to loathe what reviewers often do). I had such a tough time with my ACNM series on the Hunger Games books because I wanted to preview each book without revealing too much, but I’d read all three before I started writing. This leads into a bigger discussion of media discernment (again! It’s important!), but I’m glad I got the warning. I knew Mandy Moore’s character was going to marry Shane West’s in A Walk to Remember, but I didn’t know she was going to die, so perhaps that’s why I still love that movie. Among other reasons.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday Five: Growing Up

Hey, there’s a new F5! It appears to have been posted midday, but it didn’t turn up in my feed reader until 1:06 a.m., so I can only wonder what happened there.

  1. How many schools (up until college) have you attended, in all? Does that include college? I attended three elementary schools, one middle school, three high schools, one college for my undergraduate degree, and another college for my graduate degree.
  2. How many states have you lived in before the age of 18? How many countries? That would be past tense for me. I lived in just one state (Maryland), but three countries (the U.S., Japan, Germany, and then back to the U.S.). Since I turned eighteen, I’ve lived in two more states (Alabama and now Texas).
  3. Have you ever seen the hospital where you were born — where is it/what’s it’s name? I have, although I’ve never been in it. It was Malcolm Grow Medical Center on Andrews AFB in Maryland.
  4. Do you plan to live in the same state in which you were born, or somewhere else? Is that even possible if you’ve left the state already? I will always be a Maryland girl, but I don’t know if I’ll ever go back.
  5. Do you still talk to people from elementary school, middle-school [sic] or high school? I talk to no one from elementary school. I have a few friends from middle school I keep in touch with and other who I’m just superficially connected to on Facebook. I have exactly two high school friends I would actually want to see and spend time with, and they’re twin sisters. Most of my current friends are from college, ACE, or Austin.

Maybe the F5 moderators ought to edit the question submissions anyway. The Internet has made people more widely read, but if this is what they’re reading, it’s no wonder they can’t write. I would offer my time as an editor, but I’m not always reliable even with writing original posts my own blog and ACNM, so I guess I can’t really complain. I still want to complain, though.

The Friday Five

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