Some of my friends have a blog and it’s fun to keep up with what they are doing with hardly any effort at all. Well, as I was going through posts the other day, it hit me that most of my friends that have blogs, and maintain them (this is a key requirement), have them for one of two main reasons: to promote a business or to post pictures of their young children. The ones that don’t fall into one of these two categories usually only post like once or twice a year, if that often. The fact that my blogging friends’ blogs (wow, that sounds odd) fit so neatly into two categories got me thinking about the types of friends I have. I realized that I have a narrow set of friends.
First of all, let me start by saying that my friends are great. In fact, my close friends are my family, along with my immediate family. They add richness to my life. Life would be so empty and boring without friends. But, I don’t want to get into this at this time. You just need to understand that my friends mean a great deal to me. OK, so I have a narrow set of friends, or maybe it is more accurate to say, I have a narrow variety of friends. Why is this so? Well, part of it is environment. In general, I live around and work with a very narrow range of people:
- Middle to upper-middle class
- College educated
- Two or more generation American
- Same religion
- Non-smoking, non-drinking, non-partying
- Married with children
- Mostly conservative
- Thirties to fifties in age
Again, I need to reiterate that I am not saying my friends or people in this grouping are bad. Not at all. I am just trying to describe the average friend in my life. I also need to say that things are not quite this neat. I do have friends outside of these groupings too. I want to be clear on this because I don’t want any of my friends that do not fit into this list to think that our friendship is not real.
So, I am wondering what I am missing out on by not having a broader group of friends. I use to have a broad range of friends when I was in high school. Maybe I am wondering how to get a broader group of friends, because the benefits are fairly obvious.
Let’s continue by understanding why I don’t have a broader group of friends. If I look at my life, it is fairly obvious. It is the state, city, and neighborhood I live in and the place I work. My neighborhood is made-up of the same type of people I work with, which are listed above. During the week, I get up, go to work, and come home from work. On Saturdays, I do things I often don’t get a chance to do during the week, such as house work, yard work, shopping, personal business work, and special events. I guess I do some of these during the week also. On Sundays, I attend church and spend the day with my family. Hmmm, I can see now as I write this that there is an obvious issue. I am either home or out. In either situation, I am not really interacting with people other than the people I went with. In other words, I am not going out and meeting people. When I am interacting with people in my neighborhood, work, or church, they are the same ones listed above again.
OK, here’s the solution. I need to do something outside the home that gives me a chance to interact with people from a broader range of backgrounds than I normally interact with. I could take a community class or join a special interest group. Yes, this sounds good. So, what am I missing. This seems too easy. Hmmmm . . . .thinking . . . . thinking . . . . thinking . . . . thinking . . . . I think I need to let this stew some more.
OK, I let this go for two weeks and am back now. Last week, I was actually in some special meetings at work where people flew in from all over the world to attend – a whole bunch of them. Now, these people fit my usual friend age, education, and financial level, but not all of the other items. It was really fun interacting with them about business and just socializing. OK, this post has been all over the place, but not all things in life are neat and tidy, and sometimes my thoughts for a blog work out and sometimes they are kind of scattered. It doesn’t matter I guess; it is all about being real. I often need to remind myself of that. I am a technical writer by profession and sometimes we are not real enough. This needs to be real. OK, so the reality is that I do not know how I want to solve this problem at this time. I want to broaden my group of friends, I am just not sure how. I do know that I like photography and maybe I can start by joining some others in the community on photography related activities. Not as real as I would like, but it is a start and definitely better than nothing.