There has been a lot going on in my head this past week… one of the most prevalent thoughts being how much I want new friends.
I don’t hate my current friends nor do I want to stop being friends with them. But I’m not stupid, I can see myself drifting away from some of them. I’ve undergone some enormous changes within the past year as have they. I’ve begun to wonder if this situation was inevitable.
Specifically, what I mean when I say I want new friends is, I want to find “my people” rather. You know? Those few rare souls that just get you a bit more than the rest of the planet.
It’s something that’s been in my mind even before my European adventure. However, it has begun to tug more and more on my heart since I’ve returned. This weekend was more of a pulling instead of a mere tug.
A friend – who is definitely one of my people – and I led a yoga and art retreat for our other friends on Saturday. This friend, my co-facilitator, if you will, is definitely, Leading this retreat with her was something I had been really excited about for the past couple of weeks.
We all had a fun time and I was proud of her and I. I taught my very first (unofficial) yoga class ever! I starting an abstract picture book about my life. I even created and performed a performance art piece titled, People Are Funny, where I made myself laugh uncontrollably in everyone’s faces.
While it was a productive and fun time for my friend and me, I felt a bit empty afterward. Maybe I had had too high for expectations from our attendees, after all, I know all of them. Regardless, I felt sad that there wasn’t as much enthusiasm and participation as I had hoped for. Of course, looking back, I am able to reason that most people aren’t as crazy fanatic as we are when it comes to being creative and stepping out of their comfort zones.
Today, with all of this at the forefront of my brain I went into Great Clips to get a haircut.
As I walked in, I was greeted by a perky hairdresser. She attentively smiled at me as I told her what I wanted. A few moments later, I asked her if she liked being a hairdresser. She smiled even more and went on to list all the things she liked about her job, being around people, being on her feet, having a pretty flexible schedule and so on. She continued and mentioned all of the setbacks too. It doesn’t pay a ton and sometimes she has to work on weekends were the only things she came up with. So, yes, she does like her job. When I ask this question to some people I occasionally suspect that they are lying. I could tell this woman was telling the truth just from her face.
She seemed so full of life even before our conversation had begun. I appreciated that. Maybe she enjoyed something about my personality as well (or maybe she was only being polite) because she asked me what “I do.” I proceeded to run through that borin’ ol’ script o’ mine, “Oh, I’m a community college student since I don’t know what in the world I want to study so I’m there taking general education classes. Additionally, I work part-time at a dog groomer’s.”
Afterward, I paused and hesitated to go on with the same crap story I tell all the “adults.” This woman’s energy made me want to spice up my monologue. I went with my gut, or shall I say heart, and I mentioned that I recently returned from Europe. I told her since coming back, “Everything has been so different, but I know it’s only me that has changed.” Turns out, mentioning the trip was a great eye-opening experience!
She asked me all about it. As she listened to me. Her face grew into an even bigger smile. “I love to travel, my boyfriend lives in Italy. We met five years ago when I was in Rome.”
I internally started freaking out, thinking to myself, what are the chances? Then the conversation really took way. She told me about how many places she has been all over Europe, Australia, Japan. She’s gone to so many places that she even has friends around the whole world that let her stay with them for free sometimes! How incredible is that?
I confessed to her that I love to tell people about my trip but I often regret it because many people reply with, “What a once in a lifetime opportunity” or better yet, the “I wish I could do that.” When they do say these things I feel alone and out of place near them. She agreed and went on to explain all the ways she travels without a huge salary. Yes! I thought, Yes, yes, yes! This woman gets it.
I left the salon feeling a bit better about my current friend-funk. I began to think that there might be a lot more people in this world like that hairdresser. Not everyone is so different from me.
But hey if everyone was “my person,” how could I possibly see how special my people truly are? Would there even be anything special about the people I choose to surround myself with?
Despite this refreshing encounter, I do think it’s going to be a while before I find “my people.” I may never find the rest of them. For now, I am thankful for the few that I have in my life right now.
At least, today I was reminded that they are out there. It is my mission to be myself and it is their mission to be themselves. I hope if we both do this, we’ll find each other.
So go be yourself,
PS. It is an honor to thank “my person,” Skaya Penneau for the photograph which she took at the reception of my wedding!