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lyrics

Hey do you wanna go on a night time bicycle ride?
Cuz I feel fine and it’s warm tonight
If you’re not comfortable in traffic
You can ride on the back of mine
We’ll go way slower but I don’t mind
We’ll laugh and smile with all the passers-by.

I’m allowed to make new friends
I’m allowed to smile and joke
I’m allowed to make new friends
At the park or at the show
I’m allowed to make new friends.

Making friends that’s a funny phrase
It’s like you’ve built them out of clay
With thoughtfulness and attention to detail
And some downtime from your day
It’s a terrible analogy
It’s not like they didn’t exist before you met
But it’s fun to feel them make you too
And buddy this clay is soft and wet.

I’m allowed to make new friends
Tell me more about your past
I’m allowed to make new friends
I liked those pictures of your cat
I’m allowed to make new friends.

The whole thing about feeling guilty about making new friends is that it feels like honestly I’m not doing a great job of being there for my existing friends and I need to make more time and emotional bandwidth to check in with them and make sure they’re doing alright and spend quality time.

And then every time I’m out enjoying myself and making a connection with somebody new I feel like there’s another name on this gigantic list of people that I owe something to because we joked around at a bar once or were in each others’ wedding parties.

And honestly I know that regardless of any objective obligations we might have to each other as friends and fellow human beings these feelings of guilt are toxic and will ultimately turn into resentment and that every friendship is a two-way street and it’s weird of me to think there’s this huge asymmetrical obligation on my shoulders.

Most importantly I know that any real friends I have the last thing they would want is for me to feel like I’m not allowed to enjoy myself in social situations or human connections.

Which a long way of saying:

I’m allowed to make new friends
I wonder what we have in common
I’m allowed to make new friends
Yeah your haircut’s pretty awesome
I’m allowed to make new friends.

Make new friends into old
What once was silver now is gold
Make new friends into old
What now is silver one day gold.

I’m allowed to make new friends
My old friends won’t be mad if I do
I’m allowed to make new friends
My therapist says so too
I’m allowed to make new friends.

So if you wanna hang out
I go birdwatching in prospect park
September through June
The group meets at the Audubon center
Every Saturday at noon.

credits

from Songs for Grownups Volume 2, released December 24, 2020
Featuring Brandon Beck

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Jay Ackley Brooklyn, New York

Minnesotan in Brooklyn by way of London; having a sing-song through the dystopia.

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