I Hired a "People Walker" to Walk Me Through a Sketchy Neighborhood, And It Was a Lot Less Weird Than I Thought It Would Be
Talking and walking is fun, whereas straight-up walking is super-boring and hurts my feet.
As an adult I’ve always had a hard time making friends. I met my core group of friends when we were nine and twenty-three years later, I still consider them my best friends. I made a handful of friends in college and figured I was all set.
Sometime around 2008 I started a temp job and during my down time was reading Jen Lacaster’s Bitter Is The New Black. After cry-laughing my way through the book I went to Jen's blog and checked out her blogroll - yes, this was back when people had blogrolls - and found a blog called MooshInIndy. The name caught my eye, because a) I wondered what a moosh was (her daughter's nickname) and b) why it was in my hometown of Indianapolis. So I proceeded to spend far too much time reading her archives before I decided Casey and I should be friends. She was funny (me too!), she loved to write (me too!), and she loved photography (hey, me too!)
I sent a few awkward emails to her trying not to try too hard. I think I even told her where to find cheap gas once (I’m not proud of that). I commented on her blog here and there and kept an eye open when I was out in public (it’s less stalkery than it sounds) and when a local blogger organized a cupcake crawl around the state, Casey and I finally met. (Knowing she was going and hoping we might run into each other may have been the only reason I willingly put myself in a room full of virtual strangers.)
A month or two later, we had our first official friend date which put us in the car alone for three hours en route to see Jen Lancaster speak about her new book. Let me tell you, being in the car with someone new for more than an hour is a sink or swim moment.Thankfully, we swam. As I backed out of her driveway, she broke the ice with, "I think a friend of mine is dealing with depression but won't talk about it." There was no warm-up; no lead in. She just started talking about a topic I've struggled with since I was sixteen, a disease that Casey is all-too-familiar with. That ice breaker was enough to jar me out of any introverted weirdness I could already feel myself retreating into.
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