This past year, I moved away from home for work. Well, I actually used work as an excuse to explore a side of the country that I’ve never seen before. When I made the decision, the draw for adventure and hurdling into the unknown exceeded the pull of lifelong roots at home.
I felt sufficiently confident in my honed social skills to create a new social network, anyway. Visit some of the popular joints, chat up friendly strangers, get a haircut at the local barbershop – those are quick ways to get the lay of the land. As I became more settled into my living space, I started to host dinner parties and bring together different groups of people to create new bonds.
Yet while the social contacts grew, I still felt that I hadn’t really made many friends – the kind of people that…well, I didn’t know what was that missing element was. How fitting that it was a text message that interrupted my time of reflection to provide me with an answer:
“Hey! Do you want to come join us for dinner?”
The people who are in my inner circle of friends are the ones who will invite me to hang out with them. It’s a meaningful gesture that let me know that my company is appreciated enough that they want to spend time with me. And while I certainly hope that I haven;t taken for granted my friends who’ve wanted to hang out, it’s nice to know that there are people who want to gather me into their circle of friends, too.