As I walked into the restaurant to see 10 of my closest adult friends, I could hardly process what was happening.

This state of social disarray transcended graduation and held steady until the end of college, which is when I realized how isolated I’d become.

I’d made a few friends there, but many did not stick.

When I sank into my seat at the head of the table, I waded out into the feelings of gratitude.

It was in moment that I realized I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m also well aware there’s no guarantee that I’ll meet my life partner in early adulthood, or The social sphere with the most potential for immediate impact is the one I overlooked the longest, amidst family history and the constant get-together-breakup cycles of dating: friends. But maybe I should have been, because my life changed dramatically when I was wholly intentional about the friends I invested in. Sometimes, they have a corrective effect on our stories, bringing a certain kind of support we once lacked to our lives.

In May 2015, I broke up with my boyfriend on a Tuesday. I remember tracing every detail of the sky, over and over again in my mind until I fell asleep.

But as I walked to my car on the way back from delivering the news, I noticed the sky was beautifully split; splashes of cloudy, orange-pink warmth overwhelmed a backdrop of gray-blue.

My dad and I were also tight; he served as my unofficial cheerleader/driver to practices and games, where I spent a great majority of my free time.

My brother and I were both crazy-different personalities, but enjoyed (tolerated?

But I did look her up, and she seemed utterly normal. She wrote fiction, and even live-tweeted For most of said life, I was convinced I wasn’t a “people” person.

I grew up in a smallish Midwest town with a population just shy of 10,000.

For me, it started to sink in when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia at 19 and was basically homebound with symptoms for the next year or so. It was a vulnerability I hadn’t wanted to face for a long time. There’s no obvious way to meet different kinds of people outside work colleagues and your former school peers. You have to keep looking for those “clicks,” taking opportunities and making them, feeling slightly uncomfortable and lonely, even , throughout the entire process.