BY JENNY WILSON
When you’re young, making friends is easy. You just walk up to a girl playing in the sandbox, plop down beside her, grab a shovel and say ‘hey, wanna be friends?’ and just like that, you’re friends for life. Doesn’t matter if you have anything in common at all, you just happened to be in the same sandbox at the same time.
My best friend and I weren’t really given a choice in the matter of our relationship. Our mothers were best friends and therefore we thought we must be as well. We are different in almost every way imaginable, and if we had met today, we probably wouldn’t be friends.
Now that I’m older and have moved away from home, I’m finding that I’m a bit lazy when it comes to making new friends. At home I’ve always had the same ones. When I moved to Windsor for University I was truly alone for the first time, but even then I didn’t actively seek out others. I just became acquaintances with the girls I shared a bathroom with and they introduced me to some of their friends.
Now that I have moved again I find myself doing the same thing. So why can’t I make friends on my own? Is it because I’m shy? Awkward? Smelly? Boring? Maybe a little bit of all of those is true, but I think the biggest reason is that I have a hard time trusting people.
It’s not easy for me to tell others certain things like enjoying indie music, and liking Taylor Swift, still watching Disney movies and cartoons. That I’m not attracted to Zac Efron and don’t understand what the big deal is, that I read all the Twilight books and I liked them, that I have a wedding board on Pintrest and read wedding magazines, even though I’m nowhere even close to getting married. That I had my first kiss when I was drunk in my first year university, and have never been kissed when I’m sober. That I actually really like my small town and I love being a farm girl, but I think that there is something bigger out there for me.
Making new friends as you get older is tough. You actually have to carry on a conversation with that person, and have something in common other than sitting in the same sandbox or having your parents be best friends. Not everyone will accept everything about you the way a best friend does. But you just have to learn to be brave enough to start up the conversation. After all, we can’t play in sandboxes forever.