Making friends with others was so easy for me as a kid. But as an adult, not so much. I don’t know if it’s my introverted nature catching up to me or if it’s because I’d been burned by friendships in my teens and in my twenties. Either way, while I craved friendships and connections, sometimes, it’s just easier to keep my guard up and not let anyone get too close.
However, things changed for me last year. Yes– in 2020, during a time of social distancing and stay-at-home orders. It’s weird how these things work out. But, let me back up a couple of years.
A few years ago, Rachel from the Hallmarkies Podcast reached out to me on Twitter and asked if I wanted to be one of the co-hosts for the podcast and I said “sure!” I don’t know what possessed me to say yes, because I’m very leery of stranger danger on the internet, but I did and I enjoyed it. Being a co-host caused my creative juices to flow and I pitched a spin off podcast recapping my favorite show, Signed, Sealed, Delivered. Jess and Kami, a couple of the newer gals on Hallmarkies, volunteered to co-host with me and thus Deliver Me a Podcast was born. And, we launched our very first episode the week the world shutdown– March 15.
At the time, I thought that this was strictly business. If I’m being honest, I wasn’t looking for friendships. Which is funny because in Signed, Sealed, Delivered, the main character Shane wasn’t looking for friendships either.
However, as we batch recorded episodes and as we planned guests for the podcast, the more invested we each became in each other’s lives. Despite having a virtual relationship through Zoom video chats and Facebook voice messages, Kami and Jess were there for me. We’ve shared so many moments together and they have encouraged me, laughed with me, cried with me, and have been there for me through some of my hardest times.
I can truly say that Jess and Kami are now a few of my closest friends and I am so grateful that a podcast, of all things, brought us together. And to celebrate Deliver Me a Podcast’s one year anniversary and 50th episode, Jess and Kami flew down to Florida for the weekend so that we could celebrate together and meet in-person for the first time. And, yes, meeting “internet friends” in real life was a whole other thing that pushed me outside of my comfort zone.
And speaking of “comfort zones,” I have to shout out another new friend I made in 2020– Rachel Fordham. I met Rachel through Jess and we interviewed her twice for the podcast. The best part was that we were able to meet Rachel in person during our “girls weekend of fun.” Rachel is the reason I’m reading fiction again (because her books are brilliant) and she’s been pushing me to write more. Writing has always been a hidden passion of mine and I’ve always wanted to write a novel. So, thanks to Rachel’s encouragement, I’m starting this new writing journey.
This past year, I’ve learned that making friends is a risk worth taking. To have friends, you have to be a friend. You have to let others in and you have to dig past the surface-level friendship. You have to be willing to invest in others and you have to be willing to let go if they don’t reciprocate. Making friends as an adult is kind of like dating. You just have to find the right fit for you.
To Jess and Kami– thanks for doing life with me. And happy friendiversary (give or take a few months). Here’s to many more podcasts, Zoom calls, Facebook voice messages, and more!