I’ll Be There for You

Several weeks ago, I had an epiphany. I was sitting in a practice room, studiously going over some pedal charts, when an idea hit me like a bolt of lightning. It was time for me develop some sort of social life. “It’s time for me to find myself some friends here.” I muttered to myself as I finished writing “MORON!” above a measure that I always screwed up in the harp solo I was working on.

Frankly, the desire to get myself some friends was long overdue. Earlier in the day, I found myself driving around Lansing, talking to myself. I was discussing politics, music, my academic life, and what I should eat at McDonald’s for dinner. This was a regular occurrence. I had been losing it for quite a while, and I thought it was high time for me to take my insanity public.

The fact is, I enjoy spending time alone. I don’t see a need for carrying on meaningless, tautological conversations with my peers. I don’t drink, so the idea of me attending parties was pretty pointless. However, I’m told that humans are social beings, and that they should spend time together in some capacity. So, it was decided that I would take some concrete steps to create some sort of social life. Nothing too intense, nothing that would take any time away from school or The Muppets. I didn’t do anything too exciting. I greeted pleasant-looking strangers with a mumbled: “hey.” I let conversations with random people who work at McDonald’s or who accidentally bump into me at store last for a couple of minutes. No, I didn’t make any friends this way, but hell, I was enjoying being friendly.

All of the things that I’m mentioning sound dumb. That’s because they are. However, strides were being made in Natalie Pate’s social experiment. I was making more connections even within school, and met some neat people. I even developed a bit of school girl crush on someone, and went out on a limb and gave the dude my number! (He never texted, this part of the social experiment didn’t go so well. ha.)

Besides getting myself to loosen up a tad, the best part of this little social experiment of mine was the opportunity it gave me to become more aware of the awesome friends I already have. Yes, my two closest friends are now in two different parts of the country, rendering me without a hopping social life. However, I don’t need to physically see them all the time to feel their presence in my life. I’m grateful for today’s technology that blesses me with the ability to text, call, and snapchat these awesome people who don’t live around me anymore. Ya know, I’m more happy with the solid relationships I have with these people, even though I can’t hang out with them much, than I would be with some random lazers.

That being said, I do actually have some friends here in East Lansing. There are some pretty amazing people that I get to hang out with, and I do go to McDonald’s with other humans sometimes. The harp studio is especially amazing, and they have blessed my life in inexplicable ways this semester.  One of them has even aided me in my social experiment! (Thanks Em, I appreciate the coaching.)

All in all, it was refreshing to engage in a little social project for a bit! I learned some things about myself, had some time to appreciate my existing friendships, and I like to pretend this process has turned me into a somewhat more friendly human being. If I go through patches of feeling friendless, aren’t there other people feeling the same way? Maybe I should step out of my bubble once in a while and try to spread some of the peace.

Maybe you got a kick out of my little blurb for the day. Maybe you decided that I’m an ignoramus. Either way, thank you for taking the time to visit with me this evening. I hope karma blesses you with lasting friendships, and that you are also a friend to yourself. If you are ever in need of a pal to grab some chicken nuggets or a coffee with, drop me a line.

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