For the majority of my life, I've never been the person to belong to one friend group, but instead floated between several as a visitor. In my small high school, I was friendly with all sixteen of my classmates but only really close to two girls. Other friends came piecemeal, through extracurriculars, sports, boyfriends, and my neighborhood, and while I never had a hard time making friends, or felt at a loss for them, I missed the experience of fitting neatly into one group. I always expected to find my group when I went to college—but then that didn't happen either.
In college, I joined a sorority and was a member of a sports team, but while I was friendly with all of the women, I only made real bonds with one or two from each group. In other words, I've crowded around plenty of Wellesley banners at weddings (it's a thing!), but won't be having one at my own. New York was the same—I had friends from work, friends I ate out with, friends I went on weekend adventures with, but nothing close to what SATC told me to expect.
Weddings are a petri dish for emotions and big realizations, but one of the best things to come from this crazy ritual is the ways in which it's made me take a closer look at my friends, in the invitations and seat assignments, but also at the events around it. At some point during my Bachelorette party on Saturday, I looked around and realized, "I'm in a crew!" It happened so quickly, but also gradually?, I almost didn't realize it, but over the past three years of living in Los Angeles, I've found my group.
And here's what's probably the biggest surprise to me: It didn't happen in the way I expected it to. In college, I had been waiting to fall, seamlessly into a crew, but as an adult I've realized sometimes you have to make your own. Yes, there's a huge element of luck, but just like it takes work to make friends in a new city, every one of my friends is always making an effort to get together: We plan girls' trip, go across town to see each other even when we're tempted to flake and keep our group text active every single day. I call my friends when I don't see them for a few days, group Facetime when something exciting happens, and send notes and packages "just because."
If I'd listened to pop culture and movies, I would have expected to form my group in high school or college, not at 28 from the friends of friends, readers who became friends, and neighbors-turned-friends my group is a hodgepodge of. But I'm so glad I didn't.
When I think about the fact I won't always live in L.A., and will someday need to make a new crew in a different city or even country (!), I don't feel intimidated anymore but proud, excited, and prepared to put myself out there, knowing I'll always have group Facetime calls with the women I have in my life now.
I'd love to hear - were you surprised by the stage of life you made the most friends in? Is it yet to come? Or is your friend group straight out of a college rom com? Tell me in the comments!
And here are my tips for making friends in a new city!