Last Saturday I attended the National Book Festival. An idea hit me while I was listening to Jacqueline Woodson’s panel discussion with Jay McInerney.
The exact words fail me, but she was talking about Another Brooklyn and how the main character, August, went from having a close knit group of girl friends, to having none in adulthood. The book is an exploration of girlhood and friendships and Brooklyn – Bushwick to be specific. And without being spoiler-y, it’s clear in the story how this type of progression can happen, friendships breaking or fading off until nothing is there. It made me think of how my friendships have evolved/dissolved and it made me question how one creates a new friendship as an adult.
When I was young, I became friends with the people who were at my school. It was an organic process which didn’t require much effort. The core friends I made in elementary school, were still my friends by the time we graduated high school. In college, it was a similar situation. My closest friends I met because we were all a part of this group of STEM majors for Blacks and Latinos, and even after two of us switched majors (myself included), we still did everything together. It’s been hard to stay connected to those friends though, since I moved away from California.
How do you create a new friendship as an adult? The way that I’ve seen a lot of adults do it is by forming bonds with coworkers, but that’s not my cup of tea. I like to keep work at work. For reasons. Good ones.
I’m going to try doing it with a book club. It worked for me in the past, it couldn’t hurt to try it again. I reached out to handful of folks that I met from featuring them as a highly textured librarian to see if they were interested in joining. I’m excited! Let’s see what happens.