I’ve been writing this blog for just over three months now, and in that time I’ve made much progress in my search. I’ve met new potential BFFs, given my card to unsuspecting but nice-looking strangers (just this weekend to the girl next to me on the plane after we realized we both went to Northwestern), signed up for classes and social networking sites I once would have scoffed at, and said yes when I wanted to say no.
And then, yesterday, I hit a wall. After being out of town three weekends in a row, I was straight up exhausted. Wiped. I had a girl-date scheduled for yesterday evening, but Sunday night she emailed to cancel. I was disappointed (we’ve been trying to meet for a few weeks now) but also relieved, as I have plans every other night this week.
Yesterday, I overslept. And even after waking up, I never really woke up. And as I thought about the emails still unwritten to the would-be BFFs, what I really wanted was take to my bed and hide under the covers. To scream “No more friends!” To nap for, like, weeks.
I’ve seen this wall coming. Over the last week or so, I haven’t been able to approach my girl-dates with the usual vigor. I’ve shown up reluctantly, and though I’ve had fun, I’ve been longing for one—just one!—night for myself. And who wants to hang out with someone who doesn’t want to be there? Needless to say, my search was stalled.
So, yesterday, when my coworkers invited me to a free outdoor concert, one that sounded like a fabulous outing on a perfect summer evening, I broke my cardinal rule of friending. For the first time since I’ve been on the BFF train, I said no.
Then, of course, I felt such guilt about the no that I spent the rest of the afternoon sending out emails and trying to plan more friendy get-togethers. (That I wrestle with paralyzing guilt whenever I say no to anyone or anything is an issue for another day. Or a shrink. But, for now, let’s pretend it’s normal.) This is beside the point.
I’m usually the first to tout the importance of showing up. After a night with the girls—any girls, really—I’m always happy I went. Had I gone to the concert, I would’ve picnicked (they brought Stacey’s Chips—my fave!) and boogied (swayed, maybe?) to She & Him with the rest of Chicago. It would have made for a great blog post. I could be a step closer to BFFdom (out-of-office coworker playdates are a hot commodity).
But I just couldn’t do it. So instead I went for a much-needed run and got my ass kicked at yoga sculpt. And today I feel human again. Reinvigorated and ready to befriend anyone who will have me.
My most favorite of Gretchen Rubin’s Secrets of Adulthood says that the opposite of a great truth is also true. Saying yes is the key to any friend search. But today, saying no was the key to mine.