I miss my girlfriends. I miss the feeling of having friends around me. I know my closest friends are always going to be my friends, no matter where we are in the world. Yet sometimes, it’s easy to feel distant when naturally, everyone is busy living life, “growing up,” and venturing new chapters all over the map. Sure, there is Facebook chat to keep in touch and Instagram feeds to highlight our amazing experiences…but nothing compares to spending actual face-to-face quality time together.
This “finding-a-new-friend-in-a-new-state” process has been a struggle for me. I love spending every day with David and I love having plenty of my “alone time”…but feelings of isolation finally kicked in. Where do I even meet people, particularly around my age with shared interests, to begin with?! Since I work from home, the only person daily I see is David. I’m not part of a larger community like school, church or sport leagues. Culturally, for the first time ever in my life, I’m a minority in my immediate surrounding. I’m working on getting rid of the assumptions that I think others have of me because of my heritage. When I am out, I am comfortable staying in my little corner. The longest conversation I had with a female since moving here, was at a nail salon…and that’s because I paid her. I’m shy and reserved when it comes to approaching strangers to “make the first move.” Being with someone so sociable and friendly as David is a great balance, but he wouldn’t be able to develop my friendships for me (even though his circle here keeps growing bigger!)
When I received this card from Michelle on Monday, my tears let loose.
The feels. First line hit hard and it was exactly what I needed to hear. I guess I was beginning to feel absent. I didn’t even realize I was this emotionally affected by this being-away-from-friends/making-new-friends ordeal until I began to cry.
In the morning, I woke up to the sweetest love note from David. I appreciate him so much.
On Wednesday night, we went to a Cha Cha dance class we found on meetup.com. Though we were completely out of place, both in dancing skills and age range, we had a silly time laughing at ourselves. Right when I was back to the drawing board wondering if there was a Meetup more suited for me, a new event popped up:
25-30’s ladies coffee meet up for Boise Making Friends
My name is Jessica. I am 27 years old. Just moved to Boise from California! I would love to meet new people and get to know Boise a little better. I love to be outdoors, yoga, crafting, wine, beer, bike riding, hiking, fishing, and exploring!
!!! No, I didn’t write that myself- this was the event organizer’s introduction. But hey, my name is Jessica, I’m also 27, I just moved from California, looking to meet new people, and share many of those interests! I couldn’t contain my excitement. David teased me about having a date. It did feel like I was cheating on him…I had butterflies before I slept.
The first day of October turned a new leaf.
Jessica and I met at Java cafe and spent the afternoon chatting away.
In the evening, the two of us went to a “Ladies’ Night Out and Artwalk” event at the Village. Yay, David was off the hook even though he was (so willingly) ready to gather make-up tips and freebies with me.
The Village is an outdoor mall and they gave us a passport to check out different stores- each had a unique promo/activity/drinks/snacks. It was such a cute idea! We got our crafting on at Paperie + Pen and made these little paper pumpkins. We spent a majority of our time getting pampered at SB Salon with free massages and manicures. After making our rounds through the stores, they even gave us a gift.
I definitely plan on going to more of these events in the future, every first Thursday of the month- hopefully with more girlfriends! Jessica hosted another Meetup at Java, where we met Kate on Saturday morning. While the three of us were getting to know each other, I realized that many others are also on a similar path of settling in Boise and making new friends. I wasn’t the only one…like I had imagined.
We had a good time walking down Hyde street and checking out artsy boutiques together. The quote book I picked up to read landed on this page and reinstated the theme of the week:
Both Jessica and Kate are crafty ladies too, so ideas of creative projects/things to do together came naturally in our conversations. I invited them over to my house on Sunday. While David had his football time, us girls had drinks and made shrinky dinks outside in the patio.
After art time, we strolled on the nature path along the river. At one point, we just sat on the rocks and enjoyed the view in the perfect Autumn crisp air. Giggles, funny stories, life reflections, comfortable silences…good times.
I can’t believe how all of this happened and progressed within a single week. Battery level went from almost empty on Monday to fully charged on Sunday. I have been reminded that:
1) I’ll always be connected to my core friends, even when we are on different journeys in different places.
2) I’m grateful for David’s love, support, understanding, hugs and gentle nudges out of my comfort zone.
3) Making friends take time, care, effort, vulnerability and an open-mind. I’m so glad that I took initiative to search online, go on that first initial “blind date” and tear down my self-conscious walls.
4) Connecting with people and hearing their stories is fascinating! It didn’t take me long to identify qualities about my new friends that I admire.
5) I look forward to meeting more people here in the coming days :).
P.S. I don’t know how my friends all timed it the same week, but these pleasant surprises in the mail brought huge smiles to my face. Thank you for the thoughtful “just because” cards and love the super-early birthday present <3.