Hi friends!

I’m sorry I’ve been MIA. I kind of got distracted, lost my direction, and wasn’t quite sure what to talk about on here. But, here I am trying again because writing is so good for me.

This topic has been heavy on my heart for a long time now. Making and keeping friends has never been easy for me. I think a lot of it comes from how I was raised but making and keeping friends is truly a skill not all of us just have. I’m here to open up because I don’t think I’m the only person struggling with this.

I thrive off of social interaction. I find myself going to the grocery store just to see other humans and talk to the cashier for a few seconds when I don’t have the opportunity to talk to anyone outside of my household. I just need it.

My freshman year of college was the peak of my friendships. I was finally out of my house so I could do what I wanted and be who I wanted to be. I would find a friend group, do some things with them, then I could pretty easily find some new friends just by walking down the hall in my apartment housing. Things were constantly happening and I was constantly meeting new people.

Then, my sophomore year, I met Lucas. When you find someone you love, you put everything and everyone else aside to give them your all. It suddenly isn’t just about you anymore. You worry about someone else’s emotions and schedule because they become your priority. That’s how it is supposed to be. But, during that process, people outside of your relationship -your friends- stop trying to have that relationship with you. They want to give you your space with your spouse and they know that they become your priority. It is not spoken, I happens naturally. Don’t forget that people move and change while this is all happening too. Also, its hard to find ways to meet new people to try to become friends with. You want your spouse to get a long with them and the opportunities don’t arise nearly as much as they used to.

So, I have had a REALLY hard time not allowing myself to get in my own head. Of course, some people just don’t jive and it’s time to move on… But what do you do when you aren’t given any opportunities to meet new people (especially with COVID-19), you feel like you have kind of lost yourself, and you making friends never really came easily to you in the first place?

Well, I really don’t have a perfect answer, but I think I might have a place to start.

Are you friends with yourself? Do you treat yourself with the expectations you would your friends? Do you enjoy hanging out with yourself?

For me, I have had to learn how to be friends with myself. I have had to find things I enjoy, things that uplift me, and things that really just keep me going. I have had to try new things and keep myself in check. Here are my goals and maybe they will help you too:

  1. Read. I’ve always hated reading but it’s a very healthy way to introduce your mind to stories that may interest you and keep you learning. Whether it’s a self-help book or a mystery, it allows you to feel included in something.
  2. Self-care!! Take that bath, paint those nails, drink that milkshake… Do what you need to do to make yourself feel loved and cared for!
  3. Have healthy habits and a schedule you enjoy. Make your bed, clean your room, shower, eat healthy, do some sort of physical activity, set time aside to plan your day and things you want to try… This is all unique to you but these few things are guaranteed to make you feel refreshed and accomplished everyday.
  4. Try something new. Doing this will allow you to have a little mystery in your life… you never know what you might LOVE! I’m an art geek so I’ve picked up embroidery, design, painting, and crafting. But I want to try rock climbing, more hiking, community involvement, and the list will continue to grow.
  5. JUST DO IT! If there is something you have always dreamt of doing, now is the time. Don’t sit back and wait any longer, the clock is ticking. I bought a camping trailer and am revamping the whole thing. It has been such a learning experience but has been so fun.
  6. Keep your head high but feel your emotions. It is so, so, SO important that you allow yourself to feel. Feel sad, feel upset, feel excited… but always remember time moves on. You won’t feel sad forever, especially if you allow yourself to feel it, then figure out how to get out of it. When I need to, sometimes I literally say I can cry for 30 minuets and then I make a plan of what I can do to continue on and make myself happy.
  7. Reach out when you need to. It’s not okay to hide your emotions. It is super unhealthy actually. So when you aren’t doing okay, reach out to someone who loves you and speak openly. I guarantee they will be there for you. A therapist is always a good option too. Or a fish, or a dog. All great options.

I think it is so important that we are best friends with ourselves. I mean, how are we supposed to be truly happy if we aren’t? My hope is, for you and for me, that as we learn how to treat ourselves like we are our own best friends, we will gain the skills it takes to make and keep friends but also run into people along the way. Because if we are doing what we love, we will find people doing the same.

For what it is worth, do what makes you happy!

With love,
Autumn LaRay

P.S. I’m here for you, too!:)

Here are some pictures of things I have mentioned in this post.

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