Maybe you actually are busy, or maybe you just wanted to stay in, watch Netflix, and paint your nails. Either way, there is no judgement here. There are plenty of people in this world so I am not going to sit here and tell you that you must be one of two types; you don’t have to either like going out or like staying in, its okay to enjoy both. However, I want to tell you why I want to stop saying “I’m busy” to avoid doing something I do not want to do and to simply be upfront with others.
Since moving to Minneapolis I have truly become the person that I was waiting to become while in middle school, high school, and college. I never was really certain what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be, but moving away from everything and everyone that I knew really forced me to figure it out.
When I started this new journey I was fixated on making friends and trying new things and living this completely alternative lifestyle than ever before. It wasn’t because I was unhappy with who I was before, but this was the first time that I was truly given a chance to start fresh. I had a new job, a new home, and so far, no new friends. In this industry you cross paths with a lot of different people and some you like, and some you don’t, however, you rarely will cross paths with these people again. Everyone in this industry either lives in another state or has a different schedule than your own, so making friends can be very difficult. When I started I was going home a lot. I was hanging out with the same friends I always had and doing the same things I was familiar with. Eventually though, I wanted to make more of an effort in my new home.
As I stated, making friends as a flight attendant can be hard but it is not impossible. I started getting to know the other flight attendants who were my age and who had also just moved here. It was still a little tricky working our schedules out to see each other, but after a while I had a group of “friends” in Minneapolis. I had friends who liked to go out, get drunk, dance, spend money frivolously, and meet guys every night…none of the things that I typically like doing. But hey, these were the friends that I could find, so these are the people I tended to hang out with. So I spent my money, I got drunk, I went out clubbing on Tuesday nights because thats a junior flight attendants Friday, and eventually all this got me into trouble.
One night I went out with some flight attendant friends and we only had a couple drinks, but the next thing I know I ended up in the hospital with a $1,200 and a snarky doctor lecturing me about watching my drinks while I am out. According to my blood alcohol content I should have never ended up in the hospital, but I learned taking a free drink from a guy in the bar can end up costing you a lot more than a $4 beer would have. This by any means wasn’t my friend’s fault, and honestly I am lucky that they were there and noticed me before I ended up going home with someone else for the alternative ending, but after that night my friendships changed drastically.
I realized that I didn’t want to go out and meet guys in bars and I wasn’t having fun getting drunk on all my days off, so when my friends wanted to hang out and I told them I didn’t want to do that anymore, I quickly started realizing that I actually didn’t have many “friends” after all. For a while we had a strained relationship where we would still invite each other to do something and either party would always end up being “busy” but the truth was that we just didn’t have anything in common anymore if it wasn’t for drinking.
Similar things started happening at work where I was missing out on the things I wanted to do so that I could hang out with my crew members even though all they wanted to do was sit in a bar. After a while I really started to feel like I was in high school. I was constantly trying to be something that I wasn’t in order to fit in and have friends but these aren’t the friends I wanted anyways.
It took me a while to figure it out, but after about a year and a half, I finally started to get in the groove of things. I didn’t care if I was losing the friends that I had made, and I didn’t care if the complete strangers who I call “coworkers” liked me, because I was going to do the things that I wanted. On my layovers if I wanted to go shopping, I’d go shopping. If I wanted to bike, I’d rent a bike, and so on. I didn’t care that I was alone and every now and then there would be a crew member who wanted to do the same things as me and we would go out together. This also applied to my days off in Minneapolis. I stopped going out and drinking as much and I started finding other ways to spend my days that more often than not consisted of volunteering.
I discovered that volunteering was a great way to get me out of the house, meet people, and also a way to keep me busy without having to spend money. I have yet to find a coworker or friend who enjoys doing this with me, but thats okay. I realized that I am a loner and I am okay with that. I would rather cross paths with like-minded people while I am doing the things I enjoy, rather than meeting others and changing my personality to suit them.
So do I have a lot of friends in Minneapolis? No, even after two years this place doesn’t feel like home, but I also feel more myself than I ever have before. I am more confident in my decision making, my goals, and my dreams and I don’t let mere acquaintances make me feel bad for not enjoying the same things that they deem fun. Instead, I find myself busy. I am busy reading my books, writing blogs, painting my nails, volunteering, and spending my days doing nothing other than the things I want to be doing.
“Be a loner. That gives you time to wonder, to search for the truth. Have holy curiosity. Make your life worth living.”