One of the hardest parts of getting older is making new friends. As we get older we get stuck in our ways and accustomed to the people who know us. So when moving to any new place making friends is hard. No matter how old you are moving is hard, and having no friends in your new place can make it lonely and boring. I mentioned in an earlier post that I picked up everything and moved across the country to a place where I knew no one. One of the hardest parts of moving has been meeting friends.
When we are younger we take for granted the natural places that we make our friends. Growing up I had my friends from church, school, sports, and summer camps. Some of my friendships overlapped categories but I had these wonderful built in opportunities for meeting friends. I have been blessed to retain some of these friendships and had opportunities to build others, the one constant was staying in the same place I grew up. so when I decided to move I knew I would have to work hard to hang onto these treasured people!
As I write this I'm listening to a group of women brunch and share stories and themselves with each other. They are laughing and having a good time and I feel a little like saying "Hi, I'm new and I would like be friends with you and brunch together." For whatever reason I dont say anything and they leave. I never want to replace these treasured best friends of mine that I left when I moved, but I know that I need to build new connections here in my new place.
Now naturally most people would make friends in a new place potentially through their spouse, like coworkers or mutual acquaintances, or children through sports, school, or neighborhood. But when you are single, those opportunities aren't available. So being the thirty and vibrant single woman I am, I have to think outside the box! (Like asking random people at brunch to be there friend)
One place I have started working to meet new potential friends is church. This is a big part of who I am and feel that having women with a heart after God in my life is vitally important. I believe that God puts people in our lives to draw us closer and deeper to him. So it's important that we have those women who can grow with us in friendship and in Christ.
I have also gotten involved with my local sorority alumnae chapter and The Junior League. These are great places to meet other women because they often share your values and their membership is often a range of women in age, lifestyle, professions, and interests. There are often monthly socials and opportunities to gather and meet. The upside of this is that there are instant conversation starters about how and why you joined, and in case of sorority, a shared ritual and sisterhood.
Another place I've looked to meet people is through fitness avenues. I love dancing and even tried out for an NFL cheerleading team. So I knew that it was something I could get involved with that would be fun and maybe meet people. I just did a google search of adult dance classes in the area and found one that fit my schedule, price, and dance level. It's great because I'm getting in a good workout and find other women who share that same interest. I also joined a softball league and was put on a team with random people and this has opened doors to meeting other people, not just friends. There are tons of opportunities for organized sports and fitness. So Even if you aren't into organized sports there are places to be active and meet people, and it's just so important as a thriving 30 something to have an active lifestyle (I will talk about this in my next blog post).
Its also important to branch out and meet people from work, or at least in your profession. I have found that having a few close friends at work help with reducing stress and job related tension. They help you to vent about work related issues because they understand your work environment or profession. So find a couple ladies you can go to happy hour with or find a professional networking opportunity. These will also help with life and career plans in the future.
I love my friends from home and the memories we have and the connections we've developed will never go away. I know that I can call them up anytime and share my struggles or joys. We have regular text conversations and getting regular FaceTime chats scheduled, is hard but not impossible, but nothing replaces meeting them face to face for brunch, laughing, and hugs. I also know that if I'm going to be happy in this new place that I can going to build a new network of support and friendships.
Pause & Journal: do you have several important friends in your life, who are those people, how did you meet them? What is one thing you value from each of those people? How do those people keep you grounded and help you grow? What is something you struggle with in making new friends?
Pray: Lord, I pray that would put women in my life whom I can call friends. I pray Lord that these women would have a heart for you and help me to grow as a woman and friend. I also pray Lord over my current relationships and friends that you would bless those relationships, build them stronger, and grow them deeper. I pray that no matter the distance between us you would bind the ties together into an unbreakable chain. Thank you Lord for these strong, intelligent, wonderful, caring, and beautiful women you allow me to call friends, watch over them and keep them. Amen
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17
While these are all the beautiful, talented, intelligent women I'm blessed to call friends, these are some and the pictures I could find that were good 😃 So if you aren't here don't worry I still like you!