It could be because I've grown up and am no longer that College kid who thought she knew everything about the world, or it could be that I've just completely changed and have lost all of the confidence and bubbly personality that I once had. It could be a combination of both.
It makes me pretty sad when I think about the last five years in this country as 'friendless.' It's been hard not having another person to turn to to invite shopping or to go for dinner or wine dates. It's been hard looking for like-minded people to make friends with and coming up short. The first three years here were definitely like that. It's really only been the last 2 years that people have started to stick around. Protip: don't invest heavily on friendships with people on working holiday visas -- they leave after a year anyway!*
When I first moved here I was invested in making new friends, but for some reason nothing stuck. It could have been that I was looking in all the wrong places, or maybe it could have been that people didn't want to let me into their tight-knit friend circles. It could have also been that I was awkward or loud or people didn't understand my sense of humor. Whatever it was, that year of searching for friends was futile and it ended up robbing me of my confidence.
I couldn't understand it. Why would no one want to be friends with me? Did I say/do/see something wrong? Am I that weird girl that shows up to the party uninvited? I couldn't stop these thoughts from entering my mind. I felt pretty lonely and sad about it too. Even when Miguel arrived in the country, I was happy to have him here, but I still felt a void by not having any other friends.
What was even harder was that all of my friends back home were hanging together, and thanks to social media, I watched my friend circle grow closer without me. It was pretty hard stuff.
So the months and eventually years pass, and my attempts at making friends lessen. I focus on my relationships with Miguel and my family, and I think that it's all I need to have a good life. Still deep, down inside I was sad about not having a girlfriend to hang out with. Three years pass like this, until finally random, but good friendships start to build from unlikely places. Work mates become friends and randoms I've met at a party actually want to hang out after the party is over. Little by little, I build with these people until a solid friendship starts to exist. I was SO HAPPY! It was an amazing feeling to call a friend up and go on a dinner date sans Miguel or family member.
Fast forward to right before I started typing this post, where I am super hesitant to go to this spin class I just signed up for. The class is happening in 1 hour and 15 minutes and I'm still deciding if I have the guts to show up. Why am I feeling like this? Where is this anxiety coming from? I think it boils down to the fact that nearly six years ago in Australia, I lost my confidence.
...and now I need to get it back.
I figured the best way to do it was to really get out of my comfort zone. So I did the unthinkable and enrolled in some fitness dance classes. I have zero coordination skills and fitness in general makes me feel queasy. Also the awkward 10 mins before a class starts is the worst! But I gotta start somewhere right?
So I'm taking these random workout classes, and I'm standing outside of the workout room before class starts without my phone, and I'm looking people in the eye, and smiling and chatting and remembering what I was like in College, High School, Elementary School! The confidence has to be in here somewhere. I just have to keep reminding myself -- I can do it.
Any tips? Any advice? I'd love to hear.
*Millie and Emily, I am not talking about you! ;)