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!