An Order of Friends, With a Side of Adventure

When I set out on this quest my sole purpose was to make new friends. Now that I’ve been at it a while, there have been some side effects. I’ve become friendlier. I’ve grown more self-aware regarding my own relationship shortcomings. I’m more appreciative of my alone time and of time spent with my husband.

And I’ve become more adventurous.

If a person is serious about making new friends, she has to look outside her comfort zone. She has to put herself in situations that lend themselves to bonding. Situations that make her uncomfortable. Situations that make her so uncomfortable that she wants to crawl into a hole and hide in embarrassment because she has no idea what the hell she is doing.

Situations like improv.

I’ve mentioned my improv class before, but it really is the best example of how this search has changed me. A year ago I would have laughed in your face if you suggested I do something that involved performing in front of other people. I signed up because I knew it would force to me to connect with potential BFFs, and since I repeatedly said I’d do anything in pursuit of friends, I had no choice. If I was going to talk the friendship talk, I wanted to walk the walk.

After my first day I had thoughts of never returning. “I’m so awwwwkkkward,” I told Matt.

The awkwardness continued. But as I got to know my classmates I cared less and less. Six months later, we’ve met once a week for 24 weeks. I’ve made some real friends. We’re kind of like a dysfunctional family.

And tonight? Tonight I will actually do improv. On a stage. In front of strangers. Who will pay for tickets. (Only $2, but still.)

That’s right. It’s my first show. Er, demonstration.

I’m totally nervous and excited and terrified. But I’m also impressed with myself for having the courage to do it. Let’s be clear, I’m no comedian.

There was a time (like, yesterday) when I would flat out refuse to make a fool of myself in public. If I wasn’t good at something, I wouldn’t do it. Period.

But things have changed. I forced myself to do whatever it took to make friends. And when those new friends said “You should take the second level of classes with us! And the third!” I couldn’t resist. And now I’m performing on a Second City stage.

And that, my friends, is the power of a BFF search.

Have friendships ever forced you out of your comfort zone? New Years Resolutions are around the corner, anyone thinking of launching a search of their own? You never know what the side effects will be!

9 Comments

Filed under The Search

9 responses to “An Order of Friends, With a Side of Adventure

  1. Suzannah

    With the New year approaching, I have thinking about my search to find new friends…something I have been rolling around in my thoughts since summer, and have pretty much no new friendships to show for it…
    so this post hit right on the reason for my lacking progress…. I don’t take any risks…I think about it, then decide a perfect reason to NOT do anything….

  2. Betty

    Around New Years is when I start to think about what different things I can do to meet people. I think I’ll finally sign up for girlfriendcircles and see what that’s all about. A friend of mine wants me to try it first and give her a detailed report about before she makes a decision about whether or not to sign up too.

    • Jean

      Betty- I tried Girlfriendcircles a few months ago. I’m in an area that doesn’t have enough members to officially get a circle, but those of us who had signed up planned a meeting of our own. I met a new friend there. We now go to Zumba classes together. So I would definitely recommend trying it. Good luck!

    • Jean

      Betty- I just remembered that I have this. If you use the code PEACE when you sign up on Girlfriendcircles you’ll get 6 months for $11. Definitely worth it. AND it could be a holiday present for your friend and you could both do it together. : ) Hopefully, the code is still valid. Happy New Year!

  3. Lorrie Paige

    REALLY seeking friends have definitely made me more social, but I’ve been doing that since October 2009 (and always looking out for new friendships since I was in my early 20′s).

    With seeking outside myself to seek others, especially in the last year or so, I’ll be seeking within myself more next year in REALLY pursuing my passions in learning new languages, studying a newfound philosophy (that goes along extremely well with my religious beliefs) and reading a book series from a new favorite author of mine (Dolores Stewart Riccio). That will be part of my New Year’s Resolution. The other part of my NYR will be a new way to be social but my main intention is not in seeking friends. I will give of myself more in charity work in giving time, items and money to 3 different places, which will be an ongoing thing in my life.

    So my New Year’s Resolution is a combination of selfishness and unselfishness. It will leave a lot less time for being more direct in making new friends, but I’ve been there and don that so now it’s time for a change in direction and I’m really, really looking forward to that. I’ll elaborate in my blog in a couple weeks, but you heard it first here!

  4. Jean

    One of my friends once convinced me to sign up for online dating (eHarmony), so we could go through the experience together. I’m fairly certain that I would never have done it on my own. It was definitely worth the experience. (I added a few funny stories to my repertoire.) It made me think about what I was looking for and I ended up meeting my husband a year later. (Not online though. We met through a mutual friend.) I have done lots of activities that were out of my comfort zone, because my friends took me along with them and I always had a good time. No regrets!
    Rachel- Good luck tonight and have fun! I bet most of the audience will be friends and family of your fellow classmates. I know when I go to live performances I’m always sending out waves of goodwill. You’ll be so proud of yourself once it’s done! Hopefully, you’ll tell us about it here on your blog… or maybe Facebook…. Good luck!

  5. Pingback: My Hopes for a Friendly New Year | MWF Seeking BFF

  6. the best lesson i’ve learned in the last decade is to enjoy doing things i’m bad at – even horrible at. i used to take myself way too seriously to realize this was possible.

    currently, my hula dancing class falls in that category. somehow i’ve even managed to dance with our troupe in front of real people. for money. i’m still awful – but it’s tremendously fun, good for my parts and starting to get me over my awful dancing stage fright.

  7. Pingback: Some Things I Love Reading About Frienship

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