My post almost two years ago about finding friends after 30 still gets hits. It’s not got the highest total (I’ve a few that have spikes thanks to links from others), but every few weeks, I’ll get someone who stumbled across it, almost always after a google search.  Apparently, I’m not alone in my angst about the difficulty of finding close friends after the school years and heady 20s end.

 Following up on an exchange from the comments to that original post (yeah, two years later, who said I was an efficient blogger), one thing that I’ve noticed as I’ve settled into my new community (five years in May –eek!) is that the age range of my friends has broadened significantly.

 

I remember as a kid being totally mystified that my mom’s closest local friends (we moved to northern CA when I was ten) were 10, 20, and 30 years older than her.  When you’re a kid, virtually all of your friends are your age or pretty close to it.  You might occasionally do stuff with the kid 3 years older who lives down the street because everyone else is vacationing or something, but for the most part you hang out with kids in your grade or one-up/one-down.

 

Even as a younger adult, in my twenties, the overwhelming majority of my friends were within a few years of me.  But now, the age range goes from 20 (former sitter who is now married with her own baby) to almost 60 (a woman who used to be in my bookgroup). 

 

Part of that is the fact that finding kindred spirits in a smaller community requires some branching out.  In the city, you could find dozens and dozens of people exactly your age who you clicked with for one reason or another, and they would sporadically have parties where you would meet more people your age, etc., etc.

 

Nowadays, it seems we do smaller gatherings, dinner parties, bookgroups, etc, all of which are great, but decrease the number of people you meet.   As a result, you have to be more tenacious in getting to know people – you have to make plans to see them for lunch or dinner as opposed to knowing you’ll see them at the next regular bar gathering.

 

I think blogging also expands the range of people one becomes friends with – electronic friends, anyway.  You find people with similar interests and outlooks that you would never otherwise meet in a million years.  It’s nice.

 

All of which is a long-winded way of saying that now that we’ve been here almost five years, I do feel like I have a community: real and virtual.  So I wasn’t horribly disappointed when a potential opportunity for mr. jolt didn’t go anywhere this past fall because I know how hard it is to start over in a new town, again.  But I’m sad that one of my new good friends is moving across the country next summer.  It’s fabulous for her and her spouse, they’ll be closer to family, but I will miss her and our grousing about the small city we were both transplanted to here.  They are the couple that we’ve gotten into the habit of calling on Friday or Saturday and saying, hey, come over!   That’s kinda hard when they’re 3000 miles away.

 

Advertisements