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“A friend is a gift you give yourself.” ― Robert Louis Stevenson

I NEED FRIENDS!!  This is very hard for me to write.  I pride myself in being independent and not needing anybody for anything.  I have learned a long time ago that if I want to do something I should go ahead and do it and not wait for anyone.  Waiting for others always led me to nothing and nowhere.  So I always did everything alone, from taking vacations to taking classes.  But at this point in my life I have been noticing this empty space that only friends can occupy.

This fact became abundantly clear to me on 4th of July as I watched the fireworks from my balcony.  (I attempted to invite someone, but this person didn’t respond)  As a particular beautiful and big display appeared in the sky I felt the want/the need to share with someone the beauty of the moment.  At that moment I realized that my wanting was not for a boyfriend but just for a friend. I guess my perception (real or not) was that the fireworks could have been even more amazing had I shared it with someone.

Until now I suppose I never realized that huge void in my life.  God is my friend, my family is my friend, books are my friends, entertainment is my friend.  oh yeah, food is my friend.I never noticed anything anything missed, and when I did, I thought I missed a romantic relationship.

Do you know what I am talking about?  That person that you can meet on the spur of the moment and just spend time together and talk.  It doesn’t have to be deep conversations and confidence, it could just be laughs over the absurdities of life, or the latest gossip, or take a walk, go shopping, etc.

I guess the fact that my entire family lives in Brazil and I live alone in the US makes being friendless more noticeable.  One would think that because I have no family here I would have made tons of friends here, but instead, having no family here made me cultivate the dependence on only myself.

It may also be odd to you, if you read my post the other day where I thank God for the friends I have that I am now saying I have no friends.  The truth is I have great friends, but they are not available.  I NEED AVAILABLE FRIENDS!  The friends I currently have either live far (Brazil, Boston, etc) or they are too busy with their own lives.  They have commitments, family, work, other friends and all of a sudden I realize they have no time for me.

I love the friends I have, I feel blessed to have them in my life and I know that in an emergency they would come running (well, I hope :-). I also think I should make more of an effort to see them.  Perhaps I should be more pushy and let them make it clear that they don’t have time, instead of assuming that that is what the silence means.

I question now if it is better to have a few great friends that are not available or several no so great ones.

“A friend to kill time is a friend sublime.” ― Haruki MurakamiA Wild Sheep Chase

So how did I get here, 48 years old and no friends?  I am fully aware of who is the person to blame in all this: ME!  But I am a combination of my circumstances, environment, nurture,  personality, etc.  It is a combination of facts, starting in childhood.  Well, perhaps even before that, I guess it started in the womb.

  • I have an identical twin sister, so I was born with an immediate best friend, not needing any others
  • My mother instilled in us the need to be self-sufficient and not rely on others
  • Some of my Aries traits can work against me: stubborn, opinionated, honest to a fault, impatient. Always telling people exactly what you think is not always the best way to keep friends. Is a friend that want to hear lies instead of the honest truth a friend worth having?  Well, from my lonely couch at this moment I am going to say yes.
  • I relied on significant other’s friends and when those relationships failed, I made it easy on those friends by just leaving so they would not be put in the awkward position of having to choose sides
  • I always loved being alone, it always felt natural to me.  I guess I was always proud of the fact that I was never needy (that is why this post is extremely humbling and painful).
  • I was always focused in work, school and getting things done, results, leaving a minimal amount of time for friends.
  • Taking friends for granted and not really cultivating friendships. Letting silence reign instead of being the first to reach out.
  • A tendency to want people to go at my pace, and as I raced friends and potential friends fell by the wayside.
  • Nursing only a couple of friendships, instead of letting more people in.

I believe that focusing on the Shoulds, Coulds, Woulds now will not help, but being aware of how I got here will.

Please don’t feel sorry for me when you read this post.  There is nothing to be sorry about.  This is actually a huge opportunity. This is a great chance to open my life to others, to give more of me and to be accepting more of others. I love the fact that I realize that is not a man I am missing, but a person!

“We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.” ― Robert Louis Stevenson

How great it would be if I could meet my readers and fellow bloggers?  I have gained so much support, motivation and understanding from you all that I consider you a great friend.   Why couldn’t you all just live right here in NY, more specifically South Westchester?

So now I am embarking on this new friend finding mission I am setting on a course of finding new friends.  I am looking into Meetup, book clubs, physical activities, etc.  I will keep you informed of my progress or lack of it.

“Did you ever dream you had a friend, Alec? Someone to last your whole life and you his. I suppose such a thing can’t really happen outside sleep.” ― E.M. ForsterMaurice

ps.  Brazil lost again.  This time I was emotionless. I expected it. We needed a wake up call, and nothing like losing twice in a row in spectacular fashion in our own backyard to cement the idea we need a change. This was epic record breaking losses. We cannot afford to ignore it.  I predict that with great failure there will be great rewards.

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” ― Truman Capote

pps. guess what? I just got an invitation to go out and perhaps do some dancing.  I was tempted to say no, it is late (almost 10, and I hate last minute date invitations) and my hair is dirty, but I don’t have to work tomorrow and I happen to have shampoo and water :-), so I am going out of my comfort zone and will meet this guy.