Twenty-seven.

There are 27 cubes on a Rubik’s Cube. An elephant has 27 pairs of chromosomes. The planet Uranus has 27 moons. I know how to google random facts about the number 27.

As of today, I’ve also been alive for 27 years. I feel like there is some weird change between 26 and 27. I’ve officially made the move from the mid twenties to the late twenties. 26 still feels young, and then 27 comes around like “pass me the collagen repairing lotions and Advil, ’cause skin elasticity and drinking with no hangovers are a thing of the past”.  I’ve heard of 27 being referred to as the age of weddings and new babies every weekend, and I can confirm that 90% of my Facebook feed is chubby cheeks and engagement rings. Instagram is flooded with wedding dress ideas and tiny little toes. Twitter is still a political shit show, but that’s Twitter for you.

I wanted to celebrate myself today, and I thought for a while about what to post. I considered 27 facts about myself. I considered 27 things I’m proud of (but to be honest, I could only think of 5), and I thought of just posting a bunch of pictures with 27 objects in them. In the end, I’m going to keep it simple. 26 was not the greatest year of my life – I left a toxic work environment but ended up struggling financially because of it, and I had a period of time where every doctor’s appointment ended with a new diagnosis – but I did have a few good things come out of it. I found a work environment where I actually feel like a valued employee, and after a minor surgery I got a cleanish bill of health and a newfound resolve to really get myself in gear and get healthy. I discovered new passions and causes that are near and dear to my heart, and found that I’m a lot tougher than I ever gave myself credit for. I realized that I was unhappy, and that I alone had the power to change it.

So here’s to learning and growing and working towards being the best me that I can be. But first, I’m going to go watch 27 Dresses and eat 27 cupcakes with 27 candles because I can. It’s a known fact that calories don’t count on your birthday!

I failed Socializing 101.

I’m pretty convinced that 90% of my problems would be solved if I could just learn how to socialize better. Communication has never been easy for me, unless it’s spilling my guts for anyone and everyone who stumbles across my blog to see. In person or even on a more personal, 1-on-1 level, though? Forget about it. Which is why I’ve turned to online apps to make friends. I have been on the Hey Vina! waitlist for  at least a year (why does Android always have to wait so long for apps?), and I’ve tried Bumble BFF. If you’re not familiar with those names, don’t worry… I’ve only ever heard of them being discussed on Reddit. The basic idea for both is that it’s Tinder for finding friends. Women make profiles, match with other women, and bam, best friends, maybe? I’ve only actually managed to get onto Bumble BFF, which is also a dating site, which is weird to me. I mean, I get it, it’s basically the same thing and makes sense, but there is a glitch or something in their system and choosing the option to disable dating and use only the friend finding aspect doesn’t actually always remove your profile from the dating side. So you can’t see any guys, but they can all see you. Creepy, right? Anyway, the only thing I really got out of using the app was that I discovered that I have absolutely nothing in common with a vast majority of the women in my city who use Bumble BFF.

I feel like there is a prerequisite to live in my hometown that I missed, and it is illegal to live here unless you enthusiastically and unquestioningly love hiking. You’d think in an app with what I believe is a relatively decent sized pool of participants, there would be at least one other woman like me, who laughs at the word “marathon” when it’s used in the context of athleticism instead of movies. Every girl I looked at boasted about her love of spending days out on the mountain trails, taking in the glorious beauty of the outdoors… apparently with a massive wine glass in each hand, given that more than a few of them also felt the need to mention their love of day drinking. I mean, on one hand I’m glad there are apparently so many women in my local area who have the same interests, because clearly this should be a breeze for them. But not me. There my profile was, in a sea of young professionals who would rather be attending hot yoga, with an about me section filled with things like “I think Cards Against Humanity is funnier than I’d like to admit”, and “Let’s bond over tea and cheesecake”.

One brave soul dared to like my profile. I was elated – someone likes me! And she seemed really cool, too. If I remember correctly, she was a theatre major, and liked geeking out and  drinking tea just as much as me. She also liked hiking, but I suppose beggars can’t be choosers. I stared at her profile. I hovered over the “send a message” button. I promptly deleted my account and hid underneath all of my blankets.

This is what I do. I talk at great length about how I want to make more friends, and even go so far as to kind of initiate a process that could lead to me actually making some. A part of me never really thinks that anyone will like me, and then when someone does, it’s like every single alarm bell in my head fires off at once, and I panic. I shut that shit down so fast you can barely even see it happening. And even with my “this is my year, I’m going to make some serious changes” attitude, I’m doing it again. The only difference is that this time, it’s kind of like watching myself from an outside perspective.

I heard about another website. It’s an actual site, not just an app, and quite a few people seem to have really good results on it. Enter: Girlfriend Social. I signed up. I verified my email. I panicked and avoided filling out any  information because that would mean people might talk to me sooner. After a day of thinking about it, I sucked it up, and finally made a real profile. And then I waited.

And someone liked it.

And I am now considering deleting everything and pretending it didn’t happen.

Because yes, someone likes me. Someone could potentially want to discuss mutual interests or actually – *gasp* – hang out with me, like, in person. They might want to socialize, and I think that I want to, until it actually comes time to do it. Because socializing is hard, and I worry too much about what people think about me. I filter myself in conversations too much, or not enough, and I come across as weird. I don’t know where the happy medium is, and I hate feeling like an idiot, which is something I’m all too familiar with. So I avoid talking anyone other than the 3 people I currently talk to (and that includes my parents). And now I’ve avoided it for so long, that I’m afraid to start again.

But I have to, because otherwise I’m just going to keep going on in the same circle forever and ever and ever until I die alone and forgotten, only to be discovered alone on the floor of my too-cluttered apartment, with all seventeen of my cats curled up against my body in grief from losing their amazing owner…. because they would obviously never eat my face or anything.

So here I go. I’m going to talk to a random stranger on the internet in the hopes that maybe we can be friends. Maybe she’ll hate me. But at least I’ll be able to say I tried… I guess?