When I was 24, I moved countries. On my own. To a city where I didn’t know anyone my own age already. I had some family friends that I stayed with for a while, but no friends. No one to socialise with, to show me the cool places in town, or just to hang out with and chat about things we have in common. I had to start all over again, from scratch.
It was sort of a bit of poetic beauty perhaps. I also arrived to a new country, on my own with one suitcase. Everything I owned was in that one suitcase. I needed to completely start all over again, in every aspect. I needed more than a suitcase of belongings to make a life that I was comfortable with, I absolutely needed more than one pair of shoes, I needed a job to be able to purchase such items and I needed friends to make my life enjoyable, people to share adventures with, as much as I am independent and love to do things on my own, I love having fulfilling friendships.
I had been in my new city for about a week and took the 1st job that was offered to me, just to get some money coming in. It was for a very small recruitment agency. There were 5 of us. Including the manager. Thankfully there was this beautiful blonde bubbly girl who instantly took me under her wing. She was so warm and kind and made adjusting to working in a new place so easy. It wasn’t the most fun place to work, however having someone like her to hang out with made it so much better.
This blonde babe invited me out with her and her friends for Australia Day, I remember being so nervous and not wanting to go because I didn’t know anyone. I remember really having to talk myself into it. But I also remember having a wonderful time once I got there. And I met people that day that I have become the best of friends with.
Someone once said to me “You’re so lucky you have such a nice group of friends”. Yes its true, I do have a great group of friends, and they are wonderful people, however its not due to luck. I had to put a lot of effort into forming these friendships, put myself in uncomfortable situations, like asking to go along to things with people, and creating events for people to attend and contacting people I had only met and asked if they wanted to catch up for dinner or coffee without coming across as a weirdo. It was certainly not luck, in those days my self confidence levels were at an all time low, but I still had to push through. it was hard, and sometimes I cried and got super anxious, but eventually I didn’t feel like an outsider tagging along, I felt like part of the group. I felt like these wonderful, varied, beautiful people actually accepted me.
I recently asked 2 of my besties (These are two friends i have made since moving countries)to be my bridesmaid’s, and as excited as I was about asking them to be part of my day, I was overwhelmed with anxiety and fear and doubt. were we really as close as what I thought? Were the feelings of friendship mutual? I was adamant they would think it was really weird of me to ask them. But of course the moment I asked these wonderful women to stand with me I was at ease, their reactions put me right at ease. They are my friends, my wonderful people, who are my heart.
Making friendships after school / university can be really hard, especially in a new country, these are completely new people, there is no mutual friend in common to start with, its hard and confronting and uncomfortable. But you also get to make friends with people that you actually find interesting, not just people you happen to be in the same class as. Some times it can take more effort, but more often than not, it really is worth it.