Making friends

One or more of my friends and colleagues have at least once said to me how difficult it can be to make new friends in your thirties. It never occurred to me that, once you leave education, making friends becomes that little bit harder. There are fewer occasions that put you in scenarios where friendships can be formed. Of course, jobs can be an excellent place for forging new alliances, but I often find that these fade away once you are no longer working together. A shame, but not unusual in circumstances where the only things you tended to have in common were a mutual dislike of management structures and a preference for long lunches…

Strangely, as I’ve “grown up” – so to speak – I’ve managed to acquire a number of very good friends. Alongside my best friend from college, mentioned in a previous post, I’ve become close with neighbours, dog-lover and my Festival friends. All of these have all come about for reasons I can’t really explain. Although I perhaps have to admit that my inherited ‘talk-to-anyone’ attitude (thanks, Mum) has probably played a large part. As has my dislike for small talk, so I’ll always try and get straight to the juicy parts about what makes people tick. Maybe that’s the writer in me…

Consequently, I feel that I’ve made some lifelong friends in my thirties that enrich my life and genuinely contribute to my developing attitudes about myself, my work and my writing. I think I’ll always be looking out for opportunities to make new friends, however many others I have, because I like people; how they tick, why they do things; and most of all how I can help them to be their best self. After all, when I’m with my friends that’s how they make me feel.

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