What To Do When You Find Yourself Friendless

Recently I found myself absolutely friendless. I looked around me and evaluated every relationship I have with everyone and came to the conclusion that I no longer have any true friends. You may be thinking I am an old woman who left friendship behind for a family and a 9 to 5 job, but my situation is the complete opposite. I am 19 years old and am a full-time college student with a part-time job. Most people who relate to me in these three categories would spend their free time at a party or with friends doing whatever it is social people do.

If you are like me and find yourself friendless at a young age, you’ll know what that moment of truth feels like. The second I came to terms with my friendlessness, it was like the earth quaked and a boulder twice the size of me rose out of the ground blocking my path. When I think about my current friendlessness, that boulder is still there, staring me down. I have never been one for a staring contest, so I’ve decided to create my own path around this towering issue.

I am a very antisocial person and I always have been. When I was in first grade, my teacher wrote a note to my parents saying I needed to be more sociable. You know you’re doing something wrong when you actually get in trouble for not wanting to talk to people. What can I say? People were scary back then and they’re scary now. My mom still tells me frequently that I should make more friends and stop living this “all work no play” lifestyle. What she doesn’t know is that this is how I cope with being unable to find friends.

During my senior year of high school, I worked two jobs and took some college classes at my local campus. It pains me how easy it is to type that sentence because my life felt like I was running on a treadmill at maximum speed even when I was sleeping. I worked so much I had dreams about it. But by working hard, I was able to make up for not having a social life. I didn’t have time to make plans with people except every once in a blue moon when I had the whole day off. Because I worked so much, I didn’t even want to get out of bed on my days off.

You may be thinking this is impossible for you to do for all kinds of reasons, which is why I have a backup plan. I don’t work two jobs anymore and I’m not in high school so I have a lot more free time. Once I started getting that free time, the boulder came back and towered even higher than before. I spent days on end trying to occupy myself by playing video games and watching reruns of my favorite shows. By now, I’ve logged 200 hours in Skyrim and seen every season of Supernatural at least 3 times. Then, one day, I had my eye-opening moment.

Everyone has a dream. You may want to be a doctor or an artist or a traveler. I have always wanted to be a writer that travels the world. I decided I wasn’t going to log another several hundred hours in Skyrim but instead use that time to achieve the dream I always had. When I was young, I wrote tons of poetry. With my new free time, I wrote newer and better poems and edited the old ones to be just as good. I also started working on short stories, both fiction and nonfiction, and I even created this blog. I want to start freelance writing soon and I have already begun researching websites that specialize in finding jobs for freelancers. Once this becomes my main source of income, I plan to start traveling and find opportunities in new cities.

All of this started with Google. Instead of scrolling through Instagram, hating everyone that had friends, I did research on being a writer and how to make money doing it. I read countless articles and even went to the library recently to get some books on how to write. I picked up “How To Write Articles That Sell,” a book by L. Perry Wilbur and Jon Samsel that is very detailed and extremely helpful. In just a few months of being friendless and bored, I have learned more about writing and traveling than I ever would have learned from school or friends.

My point is this: find something you love and stick to it. I can’t express how many times people told me I wouldn’t make money writing or that it is unrealistic. I kept saying that if it was that hard then I would just work harder. I didn’t care what anybody said about my passions because they made me happy and reduced my need for friendship. Please keep in mind that if by not having a social life you are extremely unhappy or unable to move on, you should not be listening to me.

Please keep in mind that if by not having a social life you are extremely unhappy or unable to move on, you should not be listening to me. If you have nothing else to lose, give your passions a go. Since I decided to pursue my dreams, I have made a few friends that share some interests with me. My tip for making friends quickly is to just casually insert yourself into their conversation. I made my first friend in college by eavesdropping on her conversation with another girl in our class and voicing my opinion on what they were talking about. This only works if the conversation is happening right next to you and if you talk to them casually. Don’t make it seem like you’re trying to talk to them. Act like you just happened to hear them and wanted to throw your two cents in. This may not work every time and some people might look at you funny, but if they do, they aren’t the kind of people you should be friends with. People generally adapt to their surroundings and if you start talking to them, they’ll talk to you instinctively. If that doesn’t work for you, you should start giving your passions some thought.

Hair Clip

We grew up together. Our relationship was basically pretending to know each other without really knowing anything about each other. I met her in the fourth grade. We were best friends in the beginning. We played with a basketball during recess on her first day. Standing on the sideline of the basketball court, we passed a basketball back and forth. I guess I wasn’t really paying close enough attention, or maybe her toss was a bit too hard, but my pinky finger on the right hand got jammed that day. It must not have been too bad, though, because it healed correctly without me even doing anything to it. You know, sometimes my memory doesn’t serve me correctly. I might have done something to fix it. After all, I do remember carrying a broomstick to school as a crutch when I pretended to twist my ankle. I remember that because I left the broomstick at school and my parents made me sweep the floor with a feather duster.

Apparently she had a lisp. I can’t recall ever noticing she had a lisp, but everyone always tells me they heard it. Now, I do remember when she would talk in this pitch that we called her “baby voice.” It was sort of like the pitch you’d talk in if you were talking to your dog, but we put this spin on it to make it sound more babyish. I don’t know a better way to describe it. We were kids and kids do weird things like that.

We didn’t really start to drift as friends until middle school. We had assigned seats at lunch because everyone got too rowdy and it upset the lunch lady. She sat with a group of girls in the grade above us and instantly hit it off with them. I don’t really know about her life during middle school. We didn’t talk at all, or if we did, it usually wasn’t about her. We did have a reconnection in the eighth grade. Whether or not that was because everyone else hated us, I don’t know. I revealed my deepest secret to her that year and she told me it was okay and she would always be my best friend no matter who I had a crush on.

She started wearing glasses with black frames and a gray jacket with black leather on the front in ninth grade. I think she started smoking weed that year. I only know because I asked her that summer if she’d ever tried it and I told her I had wanted to know what it was like. Maybe even try it for myself. I never did, and I still haven’t. “I only smoke it when I’m stressed. I keep some in my room all the time,” she said. I don’t know if that was true. I always felt she kept a part of that from me. She made friends with people that year that I’d never meet. She made friends with college kids or college dropouts. I don’t know what happened to her the next two years. She went to a lot of parties and talked about them in school. I heard the same stories over and over again as she told anyone that would listen. “This kid showed up and was doing donuts in her yard! People were jumping over the fire!” She’d say. She always smiled really big when she talked about the parties. She always said she hated alcohol and had no tolerance for it. Something else had to have been in her system those nights. Maybe it was weed. Maybe she just felt alive.

She never caught me up on her life. During senior year, we both took Calculus. It was a small school and we were the only two in the class. She poured her heart out to the teacher and I almost every day. One of those days was the first day I’d seen her cry. She had been talking to her boyfriend or ex-boyfriend outside and her eyes were wet before she even came into the classroom. Every time she rambled about her feelings to me it felt like a new hole opened in my heart. Where had I been all this time? I was never there to help her through any of it. I was never there to keep her on the right path. I was never there at 2:00 A.M. for her to tell me the things she never told anyone and I was never there to give her advice. I was never really there for her at all. Here I was, growing up with a girl I didn’t know anything about. Every day that she poured her heart out, every day that she told me things in private, they never could add up to the time that I already missed.

At the very end of the year, during the senior luncheon and graduation rehearsal, we sat next to each other and didn’t say anything. I never really understood what was going on that day. She tried to tell me what happened, something about her boyfriend, but she spoke quickly and not clearly. Her eyes seemed to be permanently looking at the floor. I didn’t know if she’d be able to smile for a week. She even disappeared for twenty minutes that day and our teacher sent me to find her. I found her outside standing by her boyfriends car, talking to him while he sat in the driver’s seat. She was crying so much and trying so hard to make it go away. She was always really strong, even in that moment of weakness.

She took her hair clip out of her hair that day and attached it to the strap on my purse. I reminded her it was there before she left, but she never got it back. That brown faux suede purse with the brown fringe is hanging on the hook on my bedroom door with the little black hair clip still attached. Two of the teeth on the clip are broken off. One on either side. Maybe that’s why she took it out of her hair. Maybe that’s why I’d never really know her. Maybe that hair clip is the reason she bottled everything up inside. Maybe it’s the reason she didn’t keep things bottled up.