I don’t know how to start this post, so I’ll just jump right in. 
As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up with 5 sisters and 4 brothers. That makes for lots of built-in friends. Over the years, I haven’t felt the desire to make/maintain many friendships because, honestly, I’ve had all my siblings and didn’t need more relationships to cultivate and nurture. It’s not that I didn’t want friends too but I just didn’t hardly have the time. And, more to the point as I’ve also written about before, I am just rather awkward and uncomfortable in social situations, so I’m not great at making friends to begin with. 

I’m at a really weird place in my life now though. 3 of my sisters and 1 brother are leaving over the course of just a few months to live in various places, some long term and the others for unknown lengths of time. They are all moving for different reasons but since they are all close in age, everything is happening all at once. One of my sisters already moved an hour away 10 years ago. I know it’s not that far, but it kind of is. The one sister still at home is almost 15 years younger than me. I love her dearly and we have good chats, but we are in vastly different places in our lives. The same with all of my younger brothers. 

In a word, I’m lonely. 

I never really thought I’d find myself in this place. Sure, I can still text and call them. But gone are the days of having them drop by to see us or play with the kids. Gone are the days of piling in the van and running errands together. It’s weird. I’m not at a place I thought I’d ever be. We were always going to live nearby and hang out. Our kids were going to grow up together and we were going to be each other’s babysitters. But now? …. Sure, they might eventually move closer but for now…. I’m lonely. And I don’t want my kids to also become lonely. 

So, I find myself sitting here, my best friend living 24 hours (by car) away… 4 siblings moving states away. And I’m wondering, can I make friends? Am I just too awkward? Too weird? 

I take my kids to storytime week after week and I don’t make friends. I have lots of “friends” who I very dearly love, at church, but we don’t really hang out much. Of course, I don’t try… I’m friendly but I’m not outgoing. I don’t generally strike up conversations. I’m always afraid I’ll bore or inconvenience people, so I don’t try to set up play dates etc. I’m not a “girly girl”, so I never know what anyone is interested in currently to talk about. (I’m the mom who takes her kids fishing for fun.) I’m not animated or interesting. And of course, there’s the nervous tripping over of words…  Basically, I’m a hot mess! 

I know that I can be a fairly cool person once you get to know me. I’m pretty chill. I’m acceptably humorous. I don’t pretend to have it all together. If your kid throws tantrums and eats their boogers in front of me, it’s not going to bother me at all. You don’t have to clean your house to have me over because I’m definitely not going to go out of my way to clean for you. I just want REAL friends… people who will be real with me and not put on an airbrushed front. But I don’t know how to get past the initial awkward phase and start making friends! 

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