Week 44: Surprise friends in adulthood

This week’s article is proof that when it’s the right time to write about something, the inspiration will hit. Most articles for this blog series have been written in the moment. I remember a story, come across an article, or find a way to articulate something that’s been rolling around in my head and create the post.

I’ve also written down a handful of titles, knowing the content would flow when the time was right. Here’s the chronology of the day I wrote this article:

8:00am: Open text from SV with a link to this article: If you’ve wondered why you’ve lost friends in adulthood, this is probably why. She thought it seemed like something for Small Town Leadership.

8:10am: Open my weekly email from Katie Rasoul of Team Awesome (you know her from week 10) and she included this:

8:30am: Facebook memories remind me “On this day” one year ago, I was visiting my friend Gina during a business trip to Birmingham, Alabama. (The same friend who, just a couple of weeks ago, published this blog post about childhood. I smiled widely when I saw the image, as it is one that I used in this post: Reflections on the word “girl”: Summer moments from my girlhood.)

8:45am: Hit “Publish” on Week 43 and look at the next title on my list: Surprise friends in adulthood.

8:45-8:55am: Smile broadly that I had all of the inspiration I need to write this post.

Each of these women are surprise friends in adulthood. We met at work and in coach training and could have kept our relationships surface-level. However in each of these cases, we’ve dug into friendships, found ways to stay connected over time-zone differences, new jobs and phases in parenthood. The beauty: we can pick right back up from where we left off the last time we spoke.

For a long time, I thought I was set in the friends department. I’ve got 619 on Facebook, and a few hundred more across Instagram and Twitter. Plus, when you add in a busy family and professional life, who has time for more friends? As Luo points out in her article, it takes effort and emotional commitment to form – and sustain – friendships in adulthood.

Now that I’ve overcome a limiting belief that I can’t have any more friends in my life, I’m always thinking about the connections I’m forming with new people. In some cases, there is no desire to move from surface to meaningful connection. When there is a spark or a realization that we have things to learn from one another, I’m willing to get creative and make sure we find the time to connect. Sometimes it is a 20 minute catch-up call during a commute. Other times it’s sneaking out of the house during the kid’s bedtime routine to grab a glass of wine and a couple hours of conversation.

When have you been surprised by new friends in adulthood? What do you do to nurture and sustain these relationships?

Finding it difficult to form new friendships in adulthood? I came across this post: Where to meet new friends: 25 Places and ideas. In addition to his list, I suggest starting right where you are with work colleagues, people you are connected with on social media and would like to get to know better, parents of your kid’s classmates, or even friends from childhood who you’ve lost touch with.

Still don’t feel like you are in a place to expand your friend circle? Perhaps it’s time to focus on YOU. If you are ready to work on yourself so that you can show up even more fully with your friends and family, reach out to me at natalie@smalltownleadership.com


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Natalie
Small Town Leadership Founder; Natalie believes everything she needed to know to succeed in her career she learned by growing up in a town of 600 people. As a Certified Professional Coach and award-winning public speaker, she helps her clients and audiences make wherever they are feel like a small town. She lives in Dublin, Ohio with her husband, Rob, a professor at Ohio State and two little girls.

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