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Laundry On Sundaes

Every beginning is only a sequel, after all, and the book of events is always open halfway through.

The truth is, I don’t have any friends.

Well, that’s not entirely accurate. My Facebook profile page says that I have 540 something, but we all know that doesn’t mean anything. There are people in my life whom I consider good friends. They’re mostly high school friends that I talk with online once in a while and see twice a year. There’s my friend in China who’s known me since third grade. Then there’s my wonderful boyfriend, whom I love very much.

I guess what I mean is that I don’t have any girlfriends where I am right now. Any close friends. Any group that I’m a part of. Any BFF’s.

I was constantly moving around when I was younger. I was always the new girl. But when you’re 10 years old, making friends is easy. Back then, I always had one or two best friends wherever I was. That is, until high school, where I was the only person from my elementary school to go to the school I chose. In fact, I was also the only person who didn’t know anyone else there at all. This time around, making new friends wasn’t so easy. I didn’t have any close friends for the first 2 years, but by the end of grade 10, I’d made quite a few good friends, most of whom I still keep in touch with and see a few times a year when I’m home.

And then came college, and once again, I left behind my existing friends who stayed back home to come to New York. I never really thought much about the fact that I was going to have to make new friends. Isn’t everyone else in the same boat? Surely I’ll make friends. But, as I’ve increasingly realized, I didn’t.

I guess you can call me an introvert. I don’t open up to people easily, but once I do, I’m a different person. Large groups don’t do it for me; I much prefer small groups or one-on-one interactions. I’m not extremely social; I don’t want to go out clubbing every weekend. I’m also not extremely wealthy; I can’t afford to go shopping on fifth ave all the time. But there are things I enjoy: watching chick flicks and animated movies at night when it’s raining out, having long chats over coffee at Starbucks, sitting on a beach reading magazines and building sand castles, going to art galleries and museums, shopping at vintage and second hand shops, baking, crafting, gossiping. I just don’t have anyone to do any of those things with.

I know I’m partly to blame for this predicament. Looking back, I wish I had opted for a double room my freshman year and had a roommate. I wish I had joined more clubs instead of taking 20 credits each semester. I wish I had been more proactive and reached out more. But I didn’t. And now I’m not quite sure how to start. Already in my third year, nearly everyone else around me has already settled into their own group long ago.

I’m okay with it most of the time. After all, I consider myself a solitary person. Growing up as an only child, I’ve had a lot of practice coming up with ways to entertain myself. And I do sincerely enjoy my own company. But once in a while, there’s that pang of loneliness. I look on with envy as I see another picture of an acquaintance surrounded by a group of beautiful, smiling girls. They’re best friends, I can tell. And me? I don’t have any. I don’t have any girlfriends that I can just call up whenever I feel like talking, plan a weekend outing somewhere in the city, or have Sunday brunch with. No one is close enough to me to throw me a birthday party. And even if there is, who would they even invite? I don’t have any friends. Sometimes, the idea fills me with panic and dread. Who am I supposed to sit with at graduation dinners next year? Who’s going to be my bridesmaids if I ever get married?

I wish making new friends was as easy as it was back in fourth grade. Sometimes I wish that I had just gone to a university back home along with my high school friends. Sometimes I even wish that my ideas and interests were more like those of my peers, just so that I can fit in more. I feel like such an old soul at times. But maybe one day soon, a kindred spirit will come along, and I will no longer have to be a lonely girl.

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