Monday, September 28

Waiting some more and wondering how much I should settle myself here

I just spoke with the dream job. They have done two more interviews, and will probably do two more. They have not called my references or any one else's, and he said it hasn't really moved forward much. Which means I get to wait and hope some more.

But in the meantime....

Yesterday I went to a Stitch n'Bitch meeting. Stitch n'Bitch is pretty much what it sounds like. You knit and talk. I'd been putting it off, for, well, about three months now, saying I would go each week, then chickening out or ending up having work at a temp job.

I don't know why I had been so nervous. They were all knitters. Knitters who liked to drink coffee, and, on some nights, have drunken knitting nights. What on earth made me think I would not fit right in?

These women were not my age, but they were not all the same age either. Some of them were close to the same stage of life as me — recently married — although they all had jobs, which is more than I can say. One was retired, and another had two young sons. We knitted and talked about whatever happened to come up. Sometimes it was knitting. Sometimes it was our families. One of the women, Devin, seemed to be the closest in age to me and talked like she, too, recently had temped for a year while searching for something her degree qualified her to do. Unconsciously, I decided to focus on becoming friends with her.

I don't know why I do this. When I was young, finding friends just happened. In grade school, I just played with whoever. In high school, I developed closer friendships with a few girls. In college, I developed close relationships with the girls I had class with and worked with. But now, I do not go to class. I do not have a job. And so finding friends has stopped being something that naturally happens and something I feel like I have to work at. I fear that students will soon leave, but I don't feel old enough to be a townie. And my friends, who are in the same status as I am, live far away.

I definitely think this mindset of having to try to find friends is ridiculous and unnecessary, but I can't seem to shake it.

It is not that I have a shortage of friends. There is a group of about 8 of us who hang out on a regular basis. We go out to dinner or have a potluck every Tuesday. We hang out once or twice every weekend. And we entertain each other a lot, and so we have fun.

Stitch n'Bitch is one of my attempts to find friends who are girls. Don't get me wrong. I love hanging out with my group of boys that keeps growing, but sometimes I just wish there was a girl who was always there, too. We have acquired two wonderfully sweet and funny girls who are from Austria. They hang out with us quite a lot, though I still find myself the girl hanging out with the guys fairly often. I just don't want to be the only girl all the time. No offense guys.

International friends are fantastic. They are interesting, have fun accents and, more often than not, are just like us, even if they call things by weird names and are accustomed to hanging out until way earlier in the morning than I'd like to, or, let's face it, can stay awake.

One of the drawbacks, besides the fact that you cannot fairly play board games like Cranium or Mad Gab that involve American customs and phrases, is that they do, eventually, leave. Last year, my fiance befriended a German student, Bernhard. Unfortunately, as I prepared to move to Urbana and start a fun and relaxing summer, Bernhard prepared to move back to Munich. We have made dear friends who will no be at our wedding because they must go back to their respective corners of the globe before then. And some of our friends who are not international will be in the same position. They will graduate and move to all corners of this country.

I not only hope, but know, that I will speak to many of these people for years and year to come. We will visit, although not frequently, and enjoy it as much as we enjoy each other's company now. This does not make me want to make more permanent friends any less.

But for now, I will enjoy these people's company. I will get to know them. I will share beers and I will share laughs. I will not think about how, after this next year, I may not see them ever again. I will just think about how fantastic they are, and how lucky I am to know them.

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