Is It Too Late?

Noticing that there are a few people in my peripheral life that are getting engaged, planning weddings, and having babies..it’s gotten me thinking. Again. I came to a very very sad realization that I won’t have the same exciting joys that they have due in part to my social circle or lack there of.

Getting married involves bridesmaids which usually include best friends and sisters, stuff like that. Planning a bridal shower, bachelorette party, spa days, dress shopping, ect. Having a baby; same thing. Best girl friends, sisters, family, and so on. A maid of honor helps plan everything. It’s one of the happiest times of your life. Your closest friend or sister throws you a beautiful baby shower.

That’s where I fall short. I don’t have that. I just don’t. The last time I had a best girl friend was in 11th grade. And my last best friend (whom of which was male) was probably four years ago. I’ve unintentionally secluded myself from the public eye of friendshiphood. Now, every time I enter a social situation, I feel awkward.

I’ve always had a tough time finding my “spot” in social circles. My peak was between ages 16 and 20. I had friends galore and was open and fun and happy. Looking back, that time in my life quickly plateaued and continuously spiraled down. There are many reasons. One of the most prominent was the period of time where my friends and I were. We went separate ways after high school. Different interests lead us into different directions. Then in college, I didn’t make a point of making many friends during the day because I already had my group of friends from work, whom of which ultimately didn’t go to college but decided to be couch surfers and content with minimum wage jobs for the next 5 years. I wish I had known this ahead of time. I love them and I cherish the memories I had with them but those kinds of friendships quickly become dead ends.

I wanted more so I did more. I moved to different cities. I got better jobs. But in order to do that I left people behind and even though it’s more of an excuse than a reason…time passed. Memories faded. People moved on. For being the 21st century, it’s not as easy to keep in touch as one might imagine. There are so many people I know that still keep in touch with high school pals or college roommates. Friends from old jobs and places in time. But not me.

I have rarely “cut ties” due to disagreements or fights. I don’t really think I’ve ever “broken up” with a friend. Things just…changed. And that brings me to where I currently am. Socially awkward and unable to make friends, I guess. I talk to people daily. I laugh, joke around, have a good time but that doesn’t mean I fit in. In each setting I constantly feel like the goose out of the flock of ducks. I just don’t fit in.

The older I get (yes I know, I’m only 24 but seriously consider it) the harder it is to make new friendships. I don’t live the college lifestyle where you meet people everywhere you turn. I don’t live the bar lifestyle where you can meet someone at the door and party the night away. I don’t meet moms at the park because I don’t have children. I don’t go to coffee shops because coffee is gross. I go to work and I come home. I go to the grocery store once a week. My hobbies include reading and doing artsy craft projects – all of which don’t involve leaving the house.

I don’t mean to be an introverted shut in, I love people. I yearn for a deep meaningful friendship. I want to go to the store with a friend and just walk around. I want to have a girls weekend and a spa day. I want to be the first one someone calls when something amazing (or terrible) happens. I want that. But I don’t have it and I don’t know where or how to get it.

I know it’s probably pity sounding but it makes me sad. It really does. I won’t have that baby shower you dream about through Pinterst boards. I won’t know the fun and memories a bachelorette party entails. I won’t have someone to call. I won’t have someone to share my deepest darkest secrets with. I won’t be that person either. I won’t be the shoulder to cry on or the maid of honor. I won’t have that “bond” that everyone should have.

Is it too late?

I Bought Shoes Instead Of Booze.

Last night a group of co-workers went to a local bar for some drinks and music. I heard it was a great time. I would have loved to go but I didn’t. Mainly because I didn’t want to spend the $25 or more on a taxi there and back, $7 on a cover charge, and who knows how much on drinks. And besides, I didn’t want to feel like shit today.

Although I’m ultimately glad that I chose to stay home, it bums me out. Am I that much of a loser? I’m only 24, am I acting like an old hag? Am I cheap? I mean, I wanted to go. I like my co-workers (most of them anyways) and it would have been hella fun but I didn’t want to waste my money on it.

Instead of dwelling on what I didn’t do, I went to Payless and bought some shoes. Good compromise? I think so. Although I missed out on some memories that were made, at least I have shoes to show for my money rather than a hangover. Right?

I Am A Social Hobbit.

Does anyone know what a social hobbit is? I’ve brought it up in random conversation over the last few years and I always get stopped mid-sentence. “Wait, what?” No matter how I explain it, you won’t get it. Some kind of made up, weird way of thinking term I’m sure you’ll conclude. A social hobbit could be someone that internalizes things. Someone that is not being social in a social setting. It could mean the crabby kid in the corner or your dad on the couch at Christmas when he doesn’t want to play a board game. In 10th grade, my best friends name was Sam. I don’t know when exactly or what was going on in our lives but at some point, sometime in that year, the term social hobbit was coined by her. History lesson of the day, folks. Spread the word.

Over the weekend, I was able to cross off one of my bucket list items: A Pub Crawl. Considering that the only time I’ve ever gone “out” since my 21st birthday three years ago had been the creeper infested dive bar in Thief River a few times – this was the Hollywood party of parties in my short lived inexperienced bar life. I guess I had gone to The Hub in Fargo and been to a few concerts but I never did the whole drink until you blackout thing. By the time I turned 21, I was out of college and barely making it paycheck to paycheck so I really didn’t have the opportunity I guess you could say but that’s a whole other story.

Anyways, it was a great time. Our goal was to reach all 10 bars on the list by 6:00 PM so naturally we started at 11:30 in the morning. Believe me, it’s nothing to brag about! I went with some co-workers and a few of them also brought friends along. I won’t bore you with the classic alcohol induced stories but I’ll chalk it up to a good experience. It really was a great time. I met new people, everyone out and about was so warm and welcoming. I’m sure that the green beer helped with the unusual amount of friendliness but nevertheless, I enjoyed it.

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I didn’t get sloshed. I started coming down with a cold on Friday so I knew that I didn’t want to go all out. I wasn’t interested in spending $100 on booze and was conscious of the fact that I was downtown on a Saturday so I wanted to be aware of my surroundings. I found myself asking my inner voice if that’s weird. Was I being overly conscious? Am I really becoming an old maid because I don’t want to live like the world is my oyster? Deep down I was worried that I’d lose my keys, wallet, and ID. I was worried that my phone would die and I wouldn’t be able to call a taxi. I was worried that I’d spend more money than I wanted to. I was worried that I’d drink until I passed out cold.

None of those things have ever happened to me so why was I so aware of it? Through reflection from my first and probably only pub crawl experience, I had to remind myself that I’m more of an observer than a participant. Although I had a wonderful time I felt like I was on the outside of this secret invisible sheet of people. It brought me back to feeling like I was the outsider that got invited to the popular kids party.

It was almost like watching the huge party scene in The Great Gatsby. You felt like you were there but you really weren’t. You were just watching it from someone else’s point of view. It’s odd isn’t it? I wonder if this is a thing; if other people think like this. In a screwed up way, this has always prevented me from truly fitting in. I’ve had so many great moments and people in my life but I’ve always overanalyzed and over-thought every single detail of every single thing.

Somewhere inside it’s actually quite amazing. My mini-me hiding deep in my thought center keeps me safe but it also limits how I act and react in a social setting. I should visit with my mom and see if she had ever noticed this when I was a child and/or how I acted when I was in groups with other children.

All in all, I think it’s pretty cool that I crossed off a bucket list item even if some people had done so within hours hitting their big 21. Even though I doubt half of the people will remember the shy girl hanging around on Saturday night; I’ll never forget any of them. Their lives remind me of those having the time of their lives. Living in the moment, loving life, and experiencing everything. Kudos to being memorable!

Are you an observer or a participant? I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

Who Inspires You?

It’s hard to fathom the amount of inspiring people that this world holds. Although I don’t have a lot of people in my inner circle of life; the people I’ve met along the way are all different kinds of inspirational.

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In my journey to adulthood I’ve met people that have had cancer and survived it – multiple times. I know a chick that never let her size prevent her from having the time of her life. I went to college with a girl would one day go on to spread awareness about the victimized within the Catholic church. I know mothers and fathers with beautiful (on the inside and out) children born with disabilities and embraced it. I know LGBT men and women that have stood up to and defended themselves in the presence of bigots. I’m in love with a man that was forced to stay strong through a very painful criminal case. I know a woman that could have easily died while giving childbirth. I know a kid that dropped everything to better his life and succeeded in doing so.

There are so many people that have passed through my life, in what some cases only seemed like a two minute span, but that doesn’t make them any less inspirational. If you demonstrate any quality from strength to power to controlling your own life to never giving up than you too are an inspiration to many. There is no predetermined mold for what will define you in life and there never will be. But if you face your fears and never give up, you’ll form your own mold and path in life in whichever way you choose.

The people that have come and gone in my life continually teach me to be kind and empathetic. They teach me to reach for the unreachable and strive for the best. They show me on a regular basis that they matter and so should I. They prove the discouraging wrong and stand up to what’s right. They hold the key to the many definitions of what I strive to be.

Who inspires you?

Heavy Hearts And Open Arms.

Anything going on in my life is nothing compared to the sorrow of the families of those lost in the last 24 hours. My Facebook wall and Twitter feed has been flooded with quotes, sayings, and memories of three different deaths in the surrounding area. I lost a good friend a few months ago and up until that point, I didn’t have a terrible amount of empathy or relatable experience to anyone suffering loss. Not because I was a complete asshole but because I didn’t understand. And I still don’t. I don’t think anyone can completely understand the meaning of mourning and grief. It’s different for each and every person.

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I didn’t keep in touch and I didn’t know what was going on in anyones lives. I didn’t bother saying “Hi” to people I knew in stores and I didn’t go out of my way to extend a helping hand. I was just doing my own thing in my own world by my own self until Aron died. Even though I hadn’t seen her in such a long time, her death put my life into perspective. I realized that I needed to show people that I care not just assume that people know it. I needed to reopen friendships of people that I’d pushed away and books that I had closed and most of all, I needed to appreciate everything.

I’m very fortunate that the most important people in my life are still on this physical Earth. But I am reminded on a daily basis that even though we are alive, happy, and well; that doesn’t guarantee us a lifeline. Any single one of us can be taken in an instant and although it’s only pointed out when a loss has happened, we all need to learn from it. We really do need to appreciate the people around us. Love them and tell them and show them and be with them. We need to reach out even though we haven’t spoken in weeks or years. We need to cherish the memories and the moments yet to come. Because it can all be gone in an instant.

I want to take a moment to extend my absolute deepest condolences to the families and friends of those lost. I don’t know exactly how any of you feel (none of us do) and there are never any words that can be said to console everyone in the same way but know that every single one of you are in so many peoples hearts and prayers.

So tonight, hug the ones around you, reach out to the ones far away, and never ever stop making memories.