One thing I have struggled with over the past few years is making new friends. It is not any easier once you move to a town where you know hardly anyone. In the past, many of my adult friendships started at work, but I don’t live very close to my current job, and the pool of potential friends there is small.
Unless someone starts a friend delivery service, I have to put myself out there if I want to meet new people. That is very uncomfortable for me as I am extremely shy. I know that I cannot be alone in this struggle, so I’m issuing a challenge to myself to investigate ways and places to meet potential friends. I’ll share my results here.
Making Friends, Adventure #1 – volunteering
Volunteering with a local animal group was my first foray into my new community. I figured that I could spend some time over the summer volunteering and meet new people, and I love dogs and cats, so this made perfect sense to me. Until I actually had to be around the dogs and cats. Without bringing them home. I found this to be way too sad for me. And, yeah, I know I could adopt a dog or cat, but Pheebs is 18 and I feel that she deserves to be spoiled rotten for the rest of her life. She dislikes other kitties, and Mr. LLA wants to wait too.
I was able to come up with a compromise. I ended up helping with a couple of off-site events, and those did not make me cry. Now that school is back in session, I am spending most of my weekends with lesson plans, so volunteering is out of the picture for now.
Pros: Doing something good
Cons: Crying over the poor kitties who don’t have a human to love. I didn’t really meet any people.
Making Friends, Adventure #2 – the running group
This method tackles two problems at once. I really need to get back into shape, and I’ve had great luck with running partners becoming really good friends. I found a group organized by a running gear store and signed up. The first meeting was Tuesday, and I showed up expecting to see maybe a dozen people. Instead, the parking area looked like a 5k was about to start. There were three tents set up, and many people!
While I am an introvert, I find it very easy to talk to people about running and races. As long as they approach me first. I talked to several people at both meetings this week, and I think there is great potential for socializing here. The group is split into several sub-groups based on distance and pace goals. I think once I start to get my running mojo back, I will explore different sub-groups and meet more people. I goofed this morning and had the time of the meeting wrong, so I missed out on the long run.
Pros: Good for me, fun, and lots of potential friends. Races in my future.
Cons: $$$ Races in my future.