All the She-Fishes in the Sea

I’ve never been “one of the guys.” When I younger, I longed to be called me a “tomboy” – but now in hindsight, I haven’t fit that nickname once in my entire life.

And because I’m not coined as a guy’s girl, I’ve gladly and proudly accepted being a girly girl. Being a feminine lady has a lot of perks, in my opinion, and the best of all – is having a ton of lovely girlfriends. My friends have helped me cope when nothing else could get worse, when my heart was crumbled, and when I felt far from beautiful. They’ve also been there to celebrate my victories with champagne, hugs, squeals, and night’s out on the town. There is nothing more sacred, precious, or beautiful then the bond between two women who were meant to be the very best of friends. Like I’ve said before, my group of closest ladies are my soulmates, through-and-through, 24-7, forever-and-always, and no matter how ugly or old we become one day.

Before I moved, I knew I’d have to find a job and a place to live. I was prepared to live off of Ramen noodles and PB&J sandwiches for months or take a waitressing gig if that’s what it took to stay in this magical city. But what I never anticipated was how insanely difficult it is to make friends.

Making this transition in my life meant I would have to leave behind everything I’d ever known and everyone who had meant everything to me. I knew by chasing this dream, I would go alone, far away from the rolling North Carolina hills – and pounding that city pavement would be my own personal quest, without a companion. In many ways, the decision to move to Manhattan was a selfish one, and something that I did just for me, and in no way would I ever go back and make the jump with a friend or boyfriend. Part of the victory beauty, and accomplishment to me, is that I did it as a single woman.

And while I’ve learned how to enjoy dates with myself and evenings in solitary confinement – sometimes, I just get lonely. And this loneliness doesn’t stem from needing or desiring a man – but from needing and longing for my friends. I miss laughing and being ridiculous. I miss getting all dressed up for no reason other then its Tuesday and we feel like it. I miss parading around to powerhouse woman songs and someone (or me) asking twenty times “Do I look fat? Now, really, tell me if I do. You’d tell me, right?

Don’t get me wrong, being the go-getter I am, I have wasted no time in attempting to find women with similar interests. I’ve gone to happy hours in my industry, joined volunteer groups, signed up for the gym, and tried to get some of the many gay men in my life to introduce me to their “wives.” And yes, I’ve made a few amazing and dependable friends this way – but I still find myself sitting alone with a movie and a dustpan some Friday nights, wondering where in the world my social life has gone.

I realize building everlasting friendships is always a work in progress and that no one on this planet could ever replace my core group of friends growing up. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want someone here to vent my life to, share our mutual achievements and difficulties with, or go get fruity drinks and flirt with boys we’re not interested in at bars…simply because they’ll pick up the tab (sorry, it’s the sad truth, guys).

So what’s a gal gotta do to find her group of friends in a brand-spanking-new zip code? If we all want the Sex & the City lifestyle – no matter how far from the actual reality of New York as it is – you can’t have a Mr. Big without a Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha to talk about him to.

In some way, I think my love addiction intensifies when I’m bored at my apartment and feeling un-friendable makes me reach out to men that I’m not even remotely interested in. Or it makes me consider texting those Mr’s from my past simply for the attention I know they’ll give me. And meeting new men almost seems virtually impossible, unless I want to sit alone at the bar alone, which makes me look like I have a different type of addiction. Right?

Finding friends feels like a chore and a part of my recovery that I never thought would be such a critical component. To overcome something that’s so insanely burned into your DNA – you need support and guidance. And while my friends from home are constantly emailing, texting, messaging, and calling me with their endless wisdom, honesty, and kindness – sometimes all I really need is a hug. Or a night out without any male interruptions.

Is it possible to be heartbroken because you simply can’t find a best girlfriend in the very best city in the world? If it has never been hard for me to meet friends, why is it so difficult now, in a city with millions of people?

What part of the friendship puzzle, secret handshake, or girl code…am I missing? If there are so many friendshe-fishes in the sea, why can’t I find a few who fit me?

 

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22 thoughts on “All the She-Fishes in the Sea

  1. Awww Lindsay I wish I could give you a hug right now :(
    I’m sorry your feeling blue, everything will fall into place. My core girlfriends are what make my world keep turning. I cannot wait to catch up with you December 20th :)
    Much love, Emily

  2. You have always been so approachable and easy to be friends with. I remember growing up with you and seeing you just reach out to people like it was so easy. I was jealous of your ability to make friends with anyone, because I certainly do not have that ability. I hate that you are missing everyone so bad. I miss it too and I still live her in the mountains. I miss the girls I hung out with in high school..you. It is hard to make friends, but if anyone can do it that would be you. You are a gift to people. When I think of best girl friends I think of you and all the nights we sat up talking and laughing. You are a great friend and so much fun to be around. It will take time but people will flock to you.

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  4. As someone who recently moved to a city myself – on my own, suitcase in hand and heart pounding – I know what you mean. The first thing that you miss, before the boyfriends and (yes, I’m saying it) the family, is a good night with a great girlfriend with whom you can be brutally honest about the good and the bad in you… I have found a couple of friends like that after months of desperate loneliness…I can only hope that you find her soon!!

  5. Lindsay, I know how you feel. I stayed home quite a bit last year, but I think I needed to. As basic as it might sound, the trick is to just go to places you enjoy. Eventually you should meet people that like the same stuff you do and that is how you find your friends. Have you tried meetup groups? I had to go to several things before I found my magical girlfriends, but I finally did. It’s like falling in love, but thankfully it is easier because we can have many friends of all types and closenesses. But meetup is a great way to find likeminded people.

  6. I can relate and I believe it is true no matter what new city or town we relocate to. It has taken me 8 years to get just a few close gal pals and they still don’t compare to the ones I had in school. Fortunately, I have been labeled a “tom boy” and made some pretty awesome guy friends along the way.

  7. I love your blog and have begun following it. Since it’s relevant to my previous blog topic, I shared it on my Facebook page.

    New York is a tough city on many levels. Kudos to you for your courage.

    Hugs from Portland,

    Rachael

  8. I understand this…and feel like I’m going through a transitional time in my life (and the lives of my closest girlfriends) that has left me feeling and thinking the same thing. Even tonight (a saturday night) as I sat at home alone, I tried to think about how in the world one connects and finds friends (not just acquaintances, real friends) when you are out of school. It’s easier when you’re young because you have school and clubs that help foster friendships. If you figure out how to do it in a big city, you should write about it…I guarantee there are a lot of other women sitting at home with Ben&Jerry’s by their side asking the exact same questions.

  9. The tab part and this
    ” In some way, I think my love addiction intensifies when I’m bored at my apartment and feeling un-friendable makes me reach out to men that I’m not even remotely interested in. ”
    is my favorite parts of this thing. Yes the trial and trepidation of moving by yourself I can get behind that its tough/rough.

  10. I know how hard it is to make friends-good friends- in a new city. It took me a really long time to make friends in Austin, and I know it’s going to be the same issue in Seattle. It’s hard finding a new girl friend that doesn’t already have a core group if friends. Not that it’s not ok to find a girl that has that, but it’s hard becoming a part of that group. It’s sort if like being the “new girl” in high school! All I know is, just like with men, never ever settle….

  11. Wow, you always hit the nail right on the head. I moved 1000+ miles away from my family and close friends I grew up with, away from the town I grew up in. Even over a year later I still have too many evenings spent sitting on the couch thinking “Why isn’t this easier?!” I have definitely found that I have allowed myself to become involved in some not so smart relationships because I’ve been lonely. It’s so much easier to wait for a really good guy when you have a few really good girl friends to hang out with and just spend time with.

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