I squeezed into the generation the media refer to as the ‘baby boomers’ and I never fitted into that age group either.
I have younger and older friends and few the same age as me.
I don’t behave like someone of my age and I certainly don’t dress like a fifty something,
I am an antisocial extrovert.
I was more mature than most of my peers because I had friends that were at least four years older.
I preferred the company of older people and ended up wise beyond my years.
I was ‘Auntie Caz’ taking the last taxi home after clubbing, holding friends hair back whilst they threw up under the excess of alcohol and made sure they got home safely.
As a teenager, I was continually in a state of angst I was heavily involved in my gymnastics spending what spare time I had training at the gym club.
This meant that I never really forged close friendships at school but did so at the gym.
When I entered my teens I began to get involved with my age group because I felt I was missing out; the old adage, seen but not heard rang true and so I tried really hard to get accepted into my peer group.
Although I was always welcomed I never felt comfortable, never felt I was the right fit and whilst I was willing to bide my time I was always just on the cusp of being accepted.
I wasn’t bullied and my peers certainly weren’t nasty I suppose I felt inept at being part of the teen culture that I did not fit into at the time.
Is it harder to make friends the older you get?
Our working lives consist of long days, busy weekends and then repeat leaving little time for much else.
Friendships are instrumental to good health and we need friends people whom we can talk to and share our problems with, after all, it is comforting and reassuring to have that ‘friend’.
Friends give us support and help when we need it and true friends stick with you through thick and thin.
When we were children it was so much easier making friends because there were no formal rules to follow.
Enter adulthood and all this changes. It becomes a challenge to make new friends.
When my children started school there was familiarity with other mothers.
We would stand outside in the playground and talk waiting for our children to rush out of the classroom.
Over time these groups became cliques, you knew which ones made you feel welcome and other mothers that made you feel like you were a spare part.
As a working mother that was difficult.
I had two priorities and with kids at different schools there was never any real time to stand and have a chat.
And so the friendships I encountered were more acquaintances than real friendships.
Whilst lunch dates were set up and enjoyed no real long term alliances endured.
We have less free time and our obligations are based around our kids needs as they grow so our friendships shift and change.
It was easier making friends when we were kids because we consistently saw the same friends at school day after day but with adulthood and working lives comes change as other priorities take over.
When I sit and talk with my children I can understand why sometimes they too feel like they don’t ‘fit in’.
Both love hip hop music, clothes and the PS4 and like most kids their age have quirks that drive most parents mad.
They are mature above their years and have found friends who are two – three years older than themselves.
Like all kids they worry about what others think of them and I point out that they haven’t found ‘their people’ yet; a group of friends that ‘get them’ and who want to know them on a deeper level, who have the same interests and immerse themselves in the same way they do.
Neither are introverted or shy and can hold a conversation with anyone of any age they connect easily on snapchat and are great fun without taking themselves too seriously.
Communication is done largely online and so we have a generation that doesn’t really know how to talk to each other in the way we did.
My children have not been pampered or cosseted like some of their generation but, their lives are easier because they are digitally aware and tech savvy.
They don’t know a life without social media or the internet and, like many kids of their age they are technological whizz kids.
They can multitask but are impatient requiring instant gratification because they are familiar with having information at their fingertips.
Their generation is characterised as being narcissistic and entitled, yet they are smart, creative and ambitious, they want things now not later and the lives and friendships have been shaped by technology and social networks.
Now, friendships are more transient than when we were young where communication was face to face or via a telephone because we didn’t have the wonder that is modern technology.
Making friends takes emotional and physical commitment and it can be hard to make friends at whatever stage of life we are at.
There are obstacles such as work, family and spousal commitments but it doesn’t make us failures.
As we get older we become cynical, more reserved when it comes to meeting and making new friends.
Life dishes out a whole host of knocks and setbacks so we stand back when it comes to friendships rather than just accepting the relationship for what it is it is.
The biggest challenge we face as we get older is accepting that fostering and communicating with friends will largely be on a social media platform and I find that disheartening because there is nothing like sitting in a tea room or coffee house having a good natter with a mate.
Taking comfort in the surroundings and listening to your friend share her news, I prefer that any day, don’t you?