Conscious Aging: Making a New Friend

In Rochester I kept many of our couple friends after Jerry died, although not all. I even made some new couple friends, as I still had a business platform and a role and a way to meet new people as something other than “the widow”. On moving to Seattle my friendship group has been almost entirely female. It’s fine — I’ve long been sustained by rich relationships with women friends. Women my age meet men these days through dating services, mostly. I have great role models of several women whose judgment I trust who have lovely relationships with emotionally healthy men that came about through online dating. I’ve just never chosen to go down that route myself.

When I moved here people told me to volunteer, that it’s a good way to meet people, or join a church just for the social aspect if not the religious one. But if you volunteer for the purpose of meeting people you meet people who like to volunteer, and that’s not me, especially. Ditto for church. I think you meet people in a more organic way doing what you do, although the process is slower.

So no surprise when a woman about my age initiated a conversation at the gym where we both work out, and we made lunch plans. This first encounter was promising; I think I’m on the way to having a new friend.

Those who know only my social, public side — at which I’ve become quite skilled over the years — would be surprised to encounter my profound inner introvert. Normally I keep it well under wraps, like my intentionally provocative Evil Twin.

Within the last few days I read about radio transmissions that were supposedly overheard around the time Amelia Earhart died, stranded on a small deserted island in the central Pacific after her plane crashed. I’m sure Earhart died of starvation and exposure, but also from loneliness and desperation. I’d have done equally badly trying to survive eating grubs and having my skin peel off in large swathes from sunburn. But the isolation part, I think, would have been OK.

All of that is a roundabout way of saying that making a new friend for me is quite effortful, in ways that are probably not visible at all. No matter; I shall persist, thinking that good things will come. Comparing my inner introvert to Amelia Earhart’s isolation makes me sound quite like the drama queen, but it’s just what popped into my mind. 🙂

 

 

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