So there’s this really awesome thing that seems to happen as you move through your twenties and find yourself in desperate need of a rejuvenated social life: you get over yourself.
I’m an introvert. I’ve never felt comfortable initiating conversations with people I don’t know (who am I kidding, I’m not particularly keen on starting conversations with people I do know!). I don’t especially like asking people to hang out with me because I’m petrified that I might become an inconvenience to those closest to me. Long story, short - I have a tendency of isolating myself a touch.
But as the years go by, and as I am faced with more and more responsibilities in maintaining my household, I’ve come to realize that separating myself from other adults is not an option. Call it survival instincts, but I’m slowly finding myself more and more comfortable with the idea of reaching out, and that is exciting for a few different reasons.
First, I’ve also always thought of myself as kind of a loner. Like, I kind of liked being independent and not having to rely on anyone other than myself. But trust me, there is a huge relief in having a network of people willing to help lighten the load on the days that you need it the most. As a result of making spending time with adult friends a priority, I’m learning that I am more of a people person than I thought.
Second, I love that hanging out with friends at my age usually seems to be more purposeful. We get together to have “work” parties, to bake, to take kids to the park, to actually do things other than just “hang out”. And that is totally up my little must-be-productive ally!
Lastly, iron sharpens iron people. If we want to grow in any area of our lives, we have to have someone else to encourage us and guide us along. Want to learn a new skill? Why not make it a weekly thing to hang out with someone who already excels in that area and take advantage of an opportunity to learn and grow that skill together?
I have experienced substantial personal growth this past year simply by setting aside time to spend with people who I know will bring a little spunk and spontaneity to my sometimes droll life. I’m working toward goals with people that I care about and that I know care about me.
And it gives me a sort of confident reassurance that as long as I continue making those relationships a priority, I’m going to achieve my goals. No doubt about it. And that, in itself, is a huge burden lifted.