Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Making Friends in Real Life is HARD, Yo.

Thank you to P&G’s Have You Tried This Yet? program and Kroger for sponsoring my writing about trying new things and breaking out of my everyday routine. Click here to find great savings on high-performing P&G products at a Kroger store near you. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

In case I forgot to mention it, I moved. To New Hampshire. I know, I know, WHAT? I'd been waiting to move back to the Buckeye State, for-ev-er! (Spoken in a Sandlot voice, if you please) So what happened? Well, life happened - I got an awesome job that requires me to live in New England, & it just so happens that my boyfriend (pictured to the left, just for fun) lives in New England, so I made a logical leap: I moved in with him.

So here I am, in New Hampshire, where I know exactly one person. And did I mention that I work from home? Waking up every morning & wandering into my living room isn't the best way to meet new people. My daily routine goes something like this: Wake up, shower, work, eat lunch, work, make dinner, watch TV, go to bed, rinse & repeat.

Needless to say, I'm desperate for a break from my regularly scheduled program, preferably in a way that helps me make real-life friends instead of just the online kind (oh, I'm creepy). I hate sports & I can't knit, which most of the activities I've found in the area seem centered around, so I'm trying to get creative. Currently, my List of Possible Ways to Break From the Routine looks like this:
  • Take guitar lessons. I've had a guitar for five years now, & I can't play a single note. My 101 in 1,001 List challenges me to learn at least one song, no matter how simple, on my acoustic Fender, & maybe now is the perfect time! But... well, this won't help me meet anyone, will it? Just a guitar teacher. And then I'll spend all my time holed up in my apartment trying to get the notes right, & I'll never go outside again, & maybe guitar-playing will actually make me more of a hermit, after all.

  • Join Weight Watchers. I like to eat. I also like having friends. I thought that by joining WW, I could make friends with people who also like to eat but who, like me, are trying to eat less. Then, I'll have killed two birds with one stone by befriending folks who can also serve as a support system. Is that selfish of me? Or just super-savvy? You be the judge.

  • Try yoga. I am not particularly flexible, due in part to the fact that I have two stainless steel rods along my spine. It follows, then, that yoga is probably a stupid idea. But after reading about Julie's Bikram adventure, I'm tempted to give it a shot. I found this Yoga By Donation studio nearby, which means I could afford a class or two or 10, but I'm wary of being the sweaty, farty, totally unbendy kid in the class. I don't know that that's the best way to make new friends.

  • Join a book club. I found one in the area via Meetup.com, & as I followed along with their monthly picks before moving into the area, I grew more & more excited to join them. Until the month I actually moved here, when their book of choice was"20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." This month? "Ireland: A Novel." Now, I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but I can't help judging books by their titles & descriptions & the general boredom & apathy I feel toward them. Should I try anyway, if the pay-out may be book-loving friends? What a novel idea!

  • Attend a Unitarian church. This is also on 101 in 1,001 List. And yes, I'm still Jewish - so Jewish, in fact, that I work for a Jewish non-profit. But my grandmother, who is also quite Jewish, attends a Unitarian church; she & her Unitarian friends call themselves the Jewnitarians. If my family matriarch can get away with this, so can I. There's a Unitarian church down the road from my new home, but there's no indication that anyone under the age of 50 attends it, so perhaps this isn't my best bet, either... Sigh.

  • Volunteer. Somewhere. Clearly, I've not thought this one through, but I like the idea of making friends while doing good. Now if only I could figure out how to go about it. Or where. Or doing what. Who knew making friends involved making so many gosh-darn decisions?

There you have it, my not-all-that-comprehensive list of ways to try new things while meeting new people. Basically, it comes down to this: Much as I love him, I'm tired of only ever talking to my boyfriend. And the jerk across the hall. And the occasional WalMart employee. I took a huge leap in moving here, & now it's time to take some smaller leaps that will help make this one all the better.

So how do you make friends when you're not sitting next to them in sociology class or one cubicle apart? I'm ready to try (more) new things. As soon as I figure out how.

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