It’s not by choice, but it’s not something I protest either. I’m going with the flow of life, and this is just where I have found myself. And while my title is not entirely true, it’s true that my social life is a thing of the past.. for now at least, and that’s ok.
My phone sits quietly on my desk only giving me daycare notifications as I work and receives little to no text messages, likes, re-tweets or notifications whatsoever except from my mom or my husband, and on the rare occasion those one or two friends.
At the age of 14, looking back, I would consider myself “popular” by common standards. I had a separate land line so my phone calls wouldn’t block the main house line, and I had an address book that was filled to the brim with all my friends. That summer we moved across the country at a time when Facebook was nonexistent and writing actual letters would be the only way to connect, and would be found to be too cumbersome for my teenager self. I found myself in the midst of a new, clean, path. I remember going to Old Navy to buy new clothes for my “new look” since no one would know me and my Jinco Jeans could be a thing of the past, and khaki’s and “preppy” clothes could be tried on for the first time without being laughed at.
As the years went on I would acquire friendships through boyfriends, which, by consequence, would be immediately severed after the relationships ended, leaving me at square one each time.
At this stage of my journey since my move at the age of 14 I have realized something. Even though, to some, it might sound sad that I don’t have but maybe a handful of friends, the ones that have lasted are the ones that were worth working for. You see, it took work to maintain those friendships through the heartache of a romantic relationship ending. The sister of my previous relationship becoming my best friend, or the cousin who became a college roommate. Then the ones that are through my husband but I know we’ll be friends for life. By not growing up here I haven’t had the luxury of growing up with people thereby creating a foundational friendship with people with whom I went to grade school. But the friendships I have acquired aren’t fluff because they required effort, and though we’ve not seen much of each other as of late (because life happens and people move, have kids, etc.) I know I could call them and they’d be there and I’d do the same. Sure, I have acquaintances but I think it’s known and respected mutually that they are just that.
On the journey of simplifying, it is part of the practice to simplify relationships. Before this concept I would be reluctant to call it like it is. I would make it a habit to pretend that many acquaintances were more than just that. I would beat myself up for not reaching out, or for not being closer with people that really didn’t align with my life or my interests, just for the sake of having more friends.
But as you grow, you become more aware and more honest with yourself. You learn to be real and to not be sad over losing something you truly never had. And you learn to be deliberate about who you bring into your life and who you do reach out to and make that effort to maintain a good friendship. For me, after coming to this realization and being at peace with this, I’m happy to say, that I’m not over capacity. My phone sits quiet each day and I’m not bombarded by texts of small talk or inquiries of obligatory get-togethers.
For this quiet, originally shy, introvert, the category of my social life is just right for my “right now”. I am a wife, the mother of a 2 year old, and a career women, and honestly, that’s a lot to do. So my social life is in the backseat, right where it belongs, and I am truly unapologetic about that. My time is spent with my husband and my daughter making wonderful memories as a family. We have our routine and we savor each and every moment together. And when those social outings do occur, it makes me enjoy them and savor them that much more. They are rare, so they are special. And while this might not be for everyone, this is right where I want to be… nowhere.