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[personal profile] gaudior
Hey, folks. Does anyone have good advice on how to maintain friendships as an adult?

Because, like, I feel like I never see anyone outside of my immediate family anymore. And I am very lucky that immediate family includes not just my wife and baby, but also our other partners and Fox's grandmothers, so it's not like it's just the three of us all the time. We're a three-parent family and I've got a basic pack of like eight people, which I love and am really grateful for.

But... I spent my childhood with almost no friends, being bullied a lot. And then I went to college, and suddenly I could make friends! Lots of friends! It was amazing. And then, (after a few depressed and lonely years immediately after college) I moved into a collective household with college friends, and we were social enough to draw lots of awesome new people. And even after we moved to Texas with the core of that household, and then moved back, we were still involved with a creative project with most of those people, which meant that I was seeing friends multiple times a week.

But then the creative project ended, and so did my relationship with the people in that collective household outside of Lila. And I was pretty shaken up about that (even though it was my decision), and I spent about a year mourning (and working on my career, and trying to get pregnant), and saw very little of anyone else. And then I was pregnant, and then I had a very small baby, and was therefore exhausted. I kept seeing friends occasionally, from time to time, but though I missed them, I really didn't initiate. And I think that people, noting that I had been turning down invitations for, like, three years solid, stopped inviting me to things as much. Which is reasonable.

But now I have more energy, and I am lonely as hell. Or... not lonely, exactly, because I spend almost no time actually alone. But I miss the friends I used to spend time with. I want to know what's going on with them, and get their read on what's going on with me, and just generally leave my house and get out in the world and do things together.

But there are obstacles. One is that a baby (even as chill and portable a baby as this one) and running a small business do take a bunch of time and energy. One is that I now work evenings and Saturdays, which may change in the fall, but is pretty inconvenient now. One is that I'm not sure how to regularly see people when we're not doing some kind of structured activity together. One is that I haven't really figured out how to use social media to stay in touch with people, rather than just having a vague sense of their lives going by.

And one is the very old fear that nobody wants to play with me. Which you would think that the past twenty years would have talked me out of, but here we are.

I'm... working on it? I do host a monthly political-action party for people I don't see often, and those have been fun. But that leaves the other thirty-odd days when I don't have much contact with anyone outside my pack except for occasional "liking" them on Twitter and Tumblr and very occasionally Facebook. I don't want to just like people online. I want to like them in person. Or at very least, find a way to have more substantial online conversations despite the fact that I may at any moment need to jump up midcomment to stop someone from putting their hand in the humidifier. It's not a matter of meeting people-- I know which people I want to do things with. I just need to actually do the things.

Thoughts?

--R
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