Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Wednesdays have become my favourite days. G and I go to this playgroup downtown. It's a short bus ride away and when we arrive, the staff greet both of us by name. We go into the room, which is filled with toys and crafts and lined on two sides with comfy benches. G is in LOVE with a stuffed dog and hippo that are bigger then her, so they always get first hugs. I am greeted by the smell of coffee and I pour myself a cup, heaping it full of sugar and cream, it's not that great quality, but it wakes me up and warms me. G happily plays - mostly by herself, sometimes interacting with other kids. I am free to chat with other caregivers (moms, dads, grandparents, nannies) and the staff. They ask me how I am, how the pregnancy is going. I am slowly getting to know names - kids names come easily, since they're always being said - other names are starting to become familiar too.
Many in this group are newcomers either to Canada, or just to St. John's like me. The room is warm and inviting, the talk casual and I never feel like I'm interrupting a friendship group's conversation by joining in. I'm always a little nervous at first, and tired from the lack of sleep the night before, but as more people become familiar, it is more and more comforting.
Making friends from scratch is hard and slow work. I am insecure that I'll come across as desperate, that I'll be forcing myself where I'm not wanted, that people have plenty of friends, so they won't need me. Those feelings are hard to fight. It's hard to say more then a simple "hi" sometimes - especially at the drop-in gym on Tuesdays.
But, on Wednesdays, I feel secure. I continue conversations that started last week, I remember faces and names and I am hopeful that I can build some friendships out of this.


  1. I totally understand how hard it is to make friends. I had the same friends all through school. When I got to University, suddenly I was expected to make new friends. It didn't go so well. But university is a very transient place, so I was mostly okay with that. Also, I had Andrew, which was enough at that point.

    Over the last ten years I've gotten better. I've learned that I have to make myself vulnerable, share about myself and be myself. It's not always easy. I'd prefer to guard myself. But that's what I did in University, and didn't work out so well.

    Mostly I've realized that everyone else is just as insecure and in need of friends as I am.

    It does take time, but I'm sure you'll soon have lots of friends!

  2. I totally get this. When I moved to Vancouver, I already had several pre-made friends, namely people who were Aaron's friends, but it's definitely not the same thing.

    I remember taking a First Aid course and really getting along well with my randomly assigned CPR partner. We even ate lunch together at break time. But at the end of the day, I thought I would come across as totally lame if I asked her to go for coffee sometime, so I just said goodbye. And that was that. And I still sometimes wonder what Isabel is up to.

    I've also realized that making friends with women is scarier for me than making friends with men. At least with men, I can impress them with my nerdiness, and if we're not BFF's then I can just shrug it off due to gender difference. Whereas with women I'm more nervous about intruding on an existing set of friendships, I just assume everyone has all their friendship positions filled.

    Anyway, I hear ya.

  3. I totally understand where you're coming from too. People are scary sometimes and making friends is hard. Remember - everyone needs more friends like you because you are awesome and a terrific friend. If you don't make friends with them they are missing out and you are depriving them of your friendship.
    Love you and hope it gets easier soon.

  4. Hi,

    I stumbled upon your blog tonight via Twitter and the #metrobus hashtag. Your picture looked familiar so I clicked on your profile and noticed that you are not from here. I'm always curious why people would move to this place and started reading your blog. I found it so interesting that I've just finished reading the whole thing and now I am way past my bedtime.

    I understand what you say about making friends. I can so relate to "I'll be forcing myself where I'm not wanted, that people have plenty of friends, so they won't need me". I thought it was just me who felt that way.

    I wanted to welcome you to Newfoundland. It's not a bad place if you can get used to our weather - rain, rain, and more rain...until the snow starts. ;-)

    In an earlier blog entry, and you probably already know the answers now, you wondered why we have bed sheets on our lawns. That is indeed to keep the seagulls from ripping the garbage apart. And the salt beef is cooked with our Sunday dinner to add extra flavour to our potatoes, turnips, carrots, and cabbage. A lot of people don't use salt beef because it's not healthy for you.

    Anyways, I'll finish here in case you think I'm a complete nutcase. I'm chipmunk1304 on Twitter if you'd like to chat.