When I arrived in Melbourne ten years ago I made a concerted effort to go out and meet people and begin the journey of making new friends. In fact the friend I was staying with would set me a daily challenge that required me to meet and chat with people. The only rule was the conversation had to flow beyond the polite, ‘hi, how are you?’ I can tell you, even for this confident, outgoing woman, it was a challenge. Even back then it got me thinking;
“Why is making friends so important?”
Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my friends, but why can I not wander through my days dispensing the considerate ‘hello, great to see you’, or ‘hi, how is your day?’ I’m one of those individuals who can get lost in time in her own company. I LOVE my own company. I can amuse myself for hours, days even. How you ask?
How CaAtherine Amuses Herself:
- Reading in bed – all day,
- Talking to the furry feline children,
- Sipping coffee at my favourite cafe,
- Watching the world go by at my favourite cafe,
- Reading at my favourite cafe,
- Playing Bejeweled on my phone,
- Painting (usually getting more paint on me than the canvas)
- Computer games and Wii
- Writing – scripts, short stories (that may never see the light of day)
- Knitting or sewing
- Giving myself a facial (while reading)
I’m not going to list how I amuse myself while travelling. You get the point. You will be happy to know that I love all my friends and couldn’t imagine life without them. After ten years I have met some amazing individuals that I would never have met had I not taken a (small) risk and moved to Melbourne. I bet you are asking yourself, what any of this has got to do with Platform of Women.
When deciding to launch Platform of Women I thought long and hard why women would be interested in sharing their stories and meeting new friends. So I turned to the experts in my life: my friends. I asked some of them to tell me why they thought making new friends was so important. Here are some of their responses;
‘M’- 30+yrs: “Making friends is important because we all need to feel connected to others and friends give us a sense of belonging and acceptance. We need friends to help us grow and learn, to lean on in the tough times and share the good times. Making new friends helps us get to know ourselves better and we have to put ourselves out there and tell our story to someone new”.
‘D’ – 20+yrs: “I believe you meet people at certain time in your life for a reason; whether it new-found friendship or guidance you need you may find it in your new friend. At the same time you may be changing someone else’s life too, without even realising it. It’s important to meet new people and make new friends because you never know how much you may need one another”.
‘N’– 40+yrs: “We enter this life alone and leave alone – friends help us make the most of our lives in between these critical junctures. They laugh and cry with you, they help you navigate your way – as best you can – through the inevitable tough times and are there to celebrate, the sometime, elusive good times. They are crucial for my sanity at times and hopefully I am there whenever they need me”.
‘G’– 40yrs: “New friends offer new perspectives, new experiences and can either make you appreciate your old friends more or make you realise you need to lose destructive ones”.
‘M’ – 20+yrs: “They help connect/resolve and deal with life issues, – e.g.; people of similar ages go through similar things and need connections to talk and resolve issues like death, marriage/partners/boyfriends, understanding others reactions to actions you make, children, work, choices of movies etc. We develop from each other’s experiences.”
I love it when I ask my friends for their comments/opinions/insight as they never cease to surprise me. When I began exploring the topic of this post I had intended to share a list of solid reasons highlighting the positives that making new friends is so important. Without a doubt I think my experts have shared some passionate and sound reasons. However, I would like to leave you with the comment my gorgeous 23 yr old home stay daughter, Tiffany, shared with me when she saw me writing this up:
“Your old friends get left behind and making new friends helps me share the journey I’m on.”
We can all do with new friends – so by coming to the monthly Platform of Women gatherings not only will you get to listen to some amazing and inspiring stories you may just meet your new friend.