Wednesday, March 4, 2009


“Friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief.”
- Sweedish proverb

I found a friend, maybe two. This is the fifth time in my life when I have needed to make new friends, and one of the hardest. In preschool, I just asked Lauren if she wanted to be my friend, she said okay, and that was it -- best friends for 16 years.
In kindergarten, I think my teacher was my best friend. I cried my eyes out on our kindergarten graduation day (foreshadowing perhaps?) because I didn't want to leave her. In fourth grade, when I moved, I was lucky enough to be handed a best friend -- Sarah, another shy girl, in my grade, in my class, who lived down the road, and had also just moved to Galway, who I met at oreintation and we've been friends ever since. Then I had the same friends for the next 8 years. Some new ones along the way, and some left behind, but the same core group; I'm sure we'll always be close. Which was why making new friends in college seemed so unappealing. Why would I want to make new friends? I already had best friends. And then, again, a best friend was put in my lap. Well, not quite my lap, but in my 10x10 college dorm room, so yea, essentially in my lap. Not only was Kelly the best freshman year roommate anyone could ask for, she introduced me to some of my best friends at college. The rest of my best friends came from the decision to join the Literary Arts Society and snap my fingers on Wednesday nights. So I made a whole new group of life-long friends (if you're catching on... I tend to keep friends around for a while)... And all of this time, I've had my sister as a built-in best friend.
And now, I'm here, in a foreign country, in the hardest friend-making situation I've been in yet. I'm here with a group of four guys, zero girls. Which is why, when I met Petra and Isabel, it truly made my day. I overheard them speaking in accents (not Australian or American) at the bus stop near my road on Tuesday morning on the way to work. Something made me think, "Hmm... I should talk to them!" So I casually butted into their conversation and asked if they were studying at Uni here. It turns out they are foreign students, from the Czech Republic and Spain, and are here for an intensive language course to learn English. They are staying in a homestay together, on my road, with other foreign students! We talked the entire way to our stop and exchanged numbers; after talking to them this week, I'm going to hang out with them on Saturday and got to the infamous Mardi Gras parade with them! Who knows if we'll end up being close friends, but at least I know I have the capability of making friends. I almost felt like I was back in nursery school again, and simply asking someone to be my friend. It really should be that simple...


Anonymous said...

I agree, it should be that simple! Of course, that's basically how I got Tonya to be my friend. Haha. But yay! Good job. :-)

Anonymous said...

You are wise beyond your years and will be given many opportunities to add to your network of "friends" as you move forward. (make sure you keep their email addresses so that if they become really wealthy, they can hire you to write stuff for them, and hire me for insightful tips for continued success.) love, dad