I have not updated my iPhone in almost a year and a half because change stresses me out. I do not like it. Change I can control is fine, but change I don't have a say in is scary. I know, I'm missing out on the middle finger and upside down smiley face emojis.
I just joined spotify a week ago, not because I have strong principles about paying artists for their craft, or because I want my children to be able to make fun of my old music tastes (which is what I told people [upside down smiley emoji]); but because change.
Anyone that thinks I have glided smoothly into young adulthood with graceful bliss is sweetly mistaken. I've recently had a lot of people tell me "it looks like you're having fun!" I am. I also almost cried at Trader Joe's yesterday because there were a lot of people, and I was hungry, and I wanted to buy a new duvet at IKEA, but that stuff ain't cheap.
I say this, not as an irksome "lol if you think I'm perfect" blog post. No one thinks that, I know. I recently told someone that exactly zero of the Pitt RUF students are under any illusion that my life is "all together." You're welcome kids. But I think it's valuable information to know that the sixth months after graduating college were some of the most challenging, least cute months of my life.
Like senior year of high school, college, motherhood, probably retirement (but those people don't write a lot of blog posts...) post-grad is a season life is often glamorized and often under-delivers for a little while. However, that doesn't mean it can't be super sweet. It doesn't mean it you can't have fun. I am living in the golden era of friendship in my life thus far, and that's after telling my college friends that I felt confident I would never have "real" friendships in Pittsburgh.
Living in this golden era, I fail at friendship pretty regularly, but I've got a good little squad that let's me quirk it up anyway.
I have the following thoughts for making the most of the hardest season for friendship.
- If you move to a new city, don't immediately insult what appears to be a core value of that city. I did this with cargo shorts in Pittsburgh. I am still living that down. There are people that know me as "the girl that hates cargo shorts" and I know them as the boys that wear cargo shorts. We're all sinners living in a broken world.
- Acknowledge the hardness of the situation. It is totally ok to ask God for better friends. We are made for community. The weird thing about not being in school is not seeing your friends every day, or even regularly, so it's harder and takes longer to make meaningful relationships.
- Ask people to be your friend. Almost every young adult I know is in a place where they want more friends, but it's like we've all agreed not to talk about it. Hop over that foolishness, and tell that new cool person that you need more friends and you want to be friends.
- There's only so much friendship that can grow in one hour meetings every few weeks, sometimes this is all you're going to get, but fight against it, hang out with the same person twice in the same week. It's gold.
- Go to the trampoline park. Last fall the guys are now my most dear neighbors invited me to go a trampoline park with a group of people on a Friday night. Looking back now, I have literally no clue why they invited me, and I don't really remember why I went, but I do remember feeling self-conscious about not being able to do any cool trampoline tricks beforehand. It turned out to be totally ok that I'm not a super jumper.
- I've said this before, but hospitality is invaluable. Host a regular dinner/brunch/porch drinking. Make it an open invitation. Keep it going. Fellowship happens best over the breaking of bread together. Be a gatherer.
- Let go of unfair expectations. Really this goes for every area of life. But you're life will not look like an episode of "Friends." Because it will be better, because it's yours and hopefully you'll have a job you actually go to.
Last night I was playing the fast-pace locomotive strategy board game that is "Ticket to Ride" and I had a moment of "if I was watching a video of my life now a year ago I wouldn't have believed it." We can't know the work God is doing in our lives. You can't know the foundations you are laying on awkward coffee meet ups, or when you introduce yourself to the girl next to you in spin class.
Sometimes you'll be friends with more guys that wear cargo shorts than you ever thought possible. And God is good in that way.