Let’s be real: friendship is magical. It’s the stuff that trust is built on and it’s probably necessary for human survival — don’t quote me on that! In all seriousness, friendship blows my mind all the way into outer space and back again. But, like any relationship, it’s also difficult.
“Friendship blows my mind all the way into outer space”
Growing up, I always had a best friend. Camille was first, and then came Shawn, and eventually Emily and Sarah, and so on and so forth. Once I started school, best friendships were often forged with my closest classmates, and when we weren’t in the same class those friendships faded into the background to make way for a new friendship that was on the rise. As I got older and my friend groups became more defined, I found my need for new friends dwindle. I became satiated by the friends I held close, but by the time I made my way through the education system and found myself graduating University, I realized something had changed. I didn’t really have a best friend anymore.
It’s not easy to actually pinpoint when it happened, but the fact of the matter is that five years later I’m still searching for a BFF. That may seem like a lot of time to make a new friend, but in my defense, I had just moved away from my university friends and then a year later I moved to a whole new country. Add in a dash of social anxiety and – BAM! You’ve got a recipe for loneliness! Congratulations!
“As I got older and my friend groups became more defined, I found my need for new friends dwindle.”
But, if I’m being totally honest, my lack of a best friend wasn’t entirely down to my inability to make friends. Over the last few years I’ve lost quite a few friendships that meant a lot to me — some fell apart due to bad communication, and others were just completely unhealthy and needed to end — and it’s taken a huge toll on my self confidence when it comes to making new friends. Nowadays I’m so much more guarded than I used to be, and while sometimes that can be an asset, when it comes to making friends I think it’s far more of a hindrance.
Right now I’m working on opening myself up to the possibility of making new friends, and let me just say, it’s no walk in the park! It’s not like I’ll wake up one morning and say, “Whelp, I’ve shed all of my anxiety and doubts; I’m going to be best friends with the next person I meet!” As much as that would be amazing, I know it’s going to take time for all of that to happen, but when it does it’ll be great.
Sienna Mooney is a photographer, graphic designer, writer, and film fanatic living in Surrey, England. Sienna co-hosts the Make New Friends podcast with new episodes airing every Wednesday.