Thursday, August 8, 2013

Making friends

I'll fully admit this painful experience: making friends with Don has been rough.

In a not so graceful attempt to level with the rather impenetrable wall everyone seems to put up here (everyone loves to keep face and hide behind their image...I get it but I don't like it), a few months back I wrote a rather soul-bearing confession to those I had just met here plus some who I've known for years. It was my way of getting away from everything that had happened so far and hopefully erasing everything that I had done since moving here that maybe could have been perceived as offensive.

Everyone responded except two people on the list. I know everyone read it (the beauties and drawbacks of FB - please take note everyone, there are people watching your every move, and not just your government, harhar).

It made me rethink about who would eventually pan out to be friends and who would not. As more time has passed here and I come upon my 5th month of residence I've begun to wonder - will I ever make friends here? Surely, life doesn't pass that way for me and if I try hard enough things will come around (this is how I've always thought). But it is shocking to me how seemingly difficult it is to meet and make friends with people here. Why are people so closed? What about one society's worth of people make them want to be this way versus another? Why does one, very homogeneous society allow people who just move there allow them to make friends while a very diverse society not? You'd think it'd be the opposite but somehow it hasn't been the experience of most people I've met. So I'm generally not alone in this.

Anyway, finally my number was up. I've been here long enough to:

  1. Stop worrying about when it will happen. Eventually fates will collide and I will meet the appropriate people who click with me, as long as I keep doing the things I love.
  2. Know people who understand me and understand others in order to recommend me to others and introduce me. At the beginning this was just a shot in the dark; more recently it's become targeted and much more specific.
  3. Just embrace the fact that it will take time. This isn't Helsinki; there isn't an embracing expat community that will come together and unite as one in the knowledge that we are, in fact, small in number and can think as one. 
  4. Know that London just isn't an inviting place in that way. If you already have friends here then it's the most exciting place in the world. If you don't, well, it's just sort of another large, dirty city. It goes back to what I've always said: it's the people that make the place.
So I think I'm finally at that turning point. And I look forward to the turn and reveal.

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