Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Blahs: One Year Later


A little over one year ago, I wrote this post.  

We had been living back in Michigan for about 8 months, but I was struggling a bit.  We had left behind Chicago, a bustling city with always a million things to do, a busy job, and a big group of friends.  While making the move was definitely the right decision for us, something was still missing here in Michigan... and that was friends.  It's HARD to make friends as an adult, it really is.  You have to put yourself out there- sometimes (usually) awkwardly - and it took me hitting a wall of unhappiness to force myself to finally do so.

I'm so thankful that I did (there's always a silver lining, right?) because I can say that now, a year later, I have a great group of friends here.  Heck, I had more new Michigan friends at my baby shower a couple of weeks ago than old friends.  It's a process and I did a lot of random things, but it was worth it.  It's important to remember that you'll click with some, but not others.  Not everyone is meant to be your new BFF and that's okay.  The older I get, the more I realize that it's more about having a few close, true friends than a ton of people that are basically just acquaintances. 

So, if you're dealing with the blahs right now, this post is for you.  You're not alone, everyone goes through this, and I thought I'd share some of the ways I threw myself out there in a desperate attempt to make some girlfriends ;) However, I do still stand by my thoughts that there really should be a Match.com for friends!

Junior League | Most cities have a Junior League organization and I highly, highly recommend checking it out.  It's been the BEST way for me to develop a group of friends here in town in which we all have something in common. The volunteer opportunities are also a great way to get more involved and to give back to my community.  We've gotten to do a lot of fun things this year like the Cinderella Project, soup nights, bowling, packing Thanksgiving boxes and tons more.

Use Your Pet | If you have a dog, get out with them!  Everyone loves a cute, fluffy animal :) I met one of my closest friends here at dog obedience class and this past summer, I started taking Brady to the dog park a few times a week.  He looooves it and it totally tires him out, and it's also nice for me to get out and socialize with the other pet owners.  Hiking trails and dog beaches are both fun things to do together, too.

Sports Teams | Nick and I joined a couple of volleyball teams over the past year (can't wait to be able to play again this summer!) and it was a great way to meet lots of other people our age.  Check if your city has some sort of sport & social league - those are the best because they offer tons of different sport options and then people usually go to the bar for dinner and drinks afterwards.

Coffee Shops | If you work from home, take advantage of coffee shops.  Even though you aren't having direct contact with people, it's still nice to be around others and to break up your day.  Plus, I'm always more productive when I'm out of the house which is just full of distractions.  Maybe spend 3 mornings or afternoons a week at Starbucks or Panera or a local joint.

Church | This is one area I'd still really like to get more involved in.  We found a church that we like and we go on Sundays (although not as much as we should), but I want to do more.  Most churches have bible studies or life groups or volunteer opportunities that are free and a great way to meet other like-minded people.  

Gym | I'll be the first to admit I'm not a huge gym/fitness class person, but so many of you swore by it in the comments on my post a year ago.  Since we were heading into summer, I did not join one and was planning on it in the fall, until the whole baby thing happened ;) I'm excited to look into it more this coming winter to keep up my activity when it's cold out and hopefully meet some other fun ladies.

Mom Groups | Another one I'm really looking forward to getting involved with!  The best friends are those that you have a lot in common with and I can only imagine that other women with children of the same age will be just that. Any tips on how to find these groups?  

Just a few friendly suggestions from someone who has been down there in the dumps and totally gets it :) If anyone has any other ideas that I missed, make sure to leave them in the comments!  What do you do to help when you're feeling the blahs?

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43 comments

  1. So happy to hear you are settling into life in Michigan nicely! Mom groups are so so important! You want to get out in the early days and make your "tribe" all my closest mama friends here were met through mom groups.

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  2. So happy to hear you have settled and now with baby coming moms groups will be great! Xo

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  3. YAY! So glad you've settled into life in MI and have made a great group of friends. And you'll meet so many new people with baby groups too! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  4. Definitely hard to make new friends as we get older and move to a new city! So glad to hear the move has been a great step for you! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  5. I definitely agree with you that it's really tough to make friends as an adult sometimes, especially starting over in a new place. I'm glad that you've found your niche of people though--it makes all the difference :)

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  6. Thank you for this post!! It was so meant for me. I moved from NYC a year ago to be with my husband who lives in a small town in the midwest. It was great the first year, and suddenly I have become in a slump. ;( Given I only work 2-3 days per week (I worked sixty hours in NYC...), I often feel judged by others here. Smaller towns are much cliquer than the big cities even. Thanks for your candor. Love reading your posts.

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  7. Great tips! So glad you found some good friends and are out of the blahs :)

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  8. Such great tips! It really takes stepping outside of your comfort zone to meet new people! I wasn't in Charlotte long, but when I was there, I randomly went to a blog event and ended up meeting some great people. So glad that you've found your place in your city!

    Zelle
    Southern Style

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  9. This is such a great post. We moved to Atlanta 3 years ago and may be gearing up for another move soon. One of the things that has been the hardest is making friends - it is hard as adults! I completely echo your thoughts on the Junior League, joining was a huge social outlet for me. We are also trying to be better about following through with meeting new people. Its awkward, but pulling the trigger and calling people up for dinner or drinks is important! Glad you've found your groove!

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  10. I think my friend Erin got involved with other moms by getting involved as soon as Lex was old enough with mommy and me classes... and it just spiraled from there!

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  11. Such a great post. I've lived in the same area my whole life, and I always think how great it would be to live somewhere else. One thing that always comes to mind is the thought of starting over with making friends, it's definitely not easy!

    I'm glad you got out of your blah's and put yourself out there, it seems as if it's really paid off :)

    Amanda Kids and Cabernet

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  12. I'm so glad you posted this. We are moving this weekend and finding new friends is starting to cause a small(tiny) panic. I did apply for JL and just waiting to hear back. With my husband much quieter than I, I've been afraid we won't know anyone for a while. I just hope people won't think of me as creepy if I do approach them and "ask to be there friend". Ha. Such an elementary thought.

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  13. I love my local MOPs group - our church has an evening option, so even working Moms can have time to connect with other women with similar age children.

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  14. Katie, these suggestions are great and I totally know where you're coming from. I've moved so much in the past 10 years and it is HARD to put yourself out there and make new friends- it takes effort. As an adult it does seem harder. So glad these things helped you! I would highly recommend joining some mom groups either through your church or even some meet up groups in your community as it can be priceless to have other moms who have children the same age to bounce ideas and questions off of. xx

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  15. Glad you found a great group! I definitely struggle with this..heck, I even live in my home town, but groups definitely diverge when you are in your mid-20's, married with kids, and half of your classmates you grew up with are living the 'single life' and enjoying the night scene. I think mommy groups are a great resource, especially because at this point the kids inevitably need to come along sometimes, so why not find people who completely understand why a two year old is crashing your coffee date!? ;-)

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  16. Time usually takes care of things, doesn't it? But it doesnt hurt to help yourself in these areas. I'm so glad you've settled in & starting your family in this not-so-new place :)

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  17. Isn't it so amazing to be able to look back at old blog posts and see where you were in your life and how much has changed now?!? Love hearing what a good place you are in now!

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  18. So good to hear that you've found your way in Michigan. I can imagine moving at that point in life is difficult. I moved my senior year of high school and thought it was tragic, but now I look back and see how I got through that hurdle. Love these tips for meeting people!

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  19. These are all great ideas!! It's harder making friends at this age and these are all great ways to reach out and meet new people!
    Kelsey
    www.thepeacockroost.com

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  20. Great post!! I have such a hard time in the friend department because we pretty much stayed in the same area where we went to college and all my friends left for other cities. I have lots of friends at work but they live 1+ hours away so it's hard to do things outside of work. The area we live in (and around us) has soo many old people and our church denomination (in the south) is filled with old people and not many young people... the struggle is real! It's slowly getting better.. can't wait for the mommy groups ;)

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  21. Love this post! I struggle with this to some degree too and I even live close to my hometown! I feel like this young adult age is one where people are constantly changing - moving, getting married, starting families, etc. and everyone tends to be in different stages. I had no idea there was such thing as a Junior League, but I looked it up in my city and your post made me want to join! What a cool opportunity!

    Glad to hear you're out of your "blahs" :)

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  22. I have had a lot of acquaintances join JL however a lot have deactivated because of girl drama among the most common reason. I've considered it because my cousin is very active in it but haven't made the jump.

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  23. This is great and gonna come in handy in a few short months when I make the move to Houston. I have some family there along with my fiance's family, but worried about how I'm gonna make friends especially as an adult, it's so hard! Thankfully the blogging community down there is so great so that will help!

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  24. This is such a good reminder. I sadly feel like I'm in the "blahs" zone a lot with friends =\ Jared and I want to get more involved at our church for sure, we've been talking about doing that for so long and just need to start showing up to some of the extra groups/events! :) Def looking forward to some mom groups though, I think that will be such a blessing in this new phase of life!

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  25. I'm so glad you are in a good place with friends now! We've moved a lot, and it's definitely hard to feel like you're starting over in the friend department. I think church is a big one-they usually have so many groups! :)

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  26. I think all women, especially in the post-grad/early adult years struggle with this! We are trying to settle down, build our careers, and find time for friends! Aside from college, I've lived in Richmond my whole life, but even struggled with this in those early years after college...and have had the "Match.com for friends" talk with so many other girls! I have found that expanding networks has been a great way to meet new people. When I started a book club a few months ago, I was purposeful in the "recruiting" of members. I asked 2 girlfriends who had also expressed an interest to find 2-3 friends that were also interested...our book club in turn became a combination of our 3 networks (and then some, as new girls occasionally are getting added to the fold)!

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  27. This post is so up my alley right now! We recently moved to DC from RVA right when we had our daughter and letting friends is so HARD especially when going out isn't as easy and I work full time so can't do mommy groups. This totally gives me hope though, thanks for sharing!!!

    Erin, Attention to Darling
    www.attentiontodarling.com

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  28. LOVE this post and I'm so happy to see all the amazing things that have happened for you guys in the past year. I definitely get the making new friends as adults, as we picked up everything and moved away from everyone we've ever known to start over in Florida which was hands down the best decision we ever made. But that first year was rough with a capital woof. It took us about a year to settle into a great group of friends too, and I wouldn't trade any of it. Great tips <3
    Green Fashionista

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  29. Making new friends as a grown up and not through work is so hard! Once you have a baby and start doing classes, mom groups and then school, it's like an entirely new world of friends opens up! I'm so glad you met some great new friends there!

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  30. So glad how the past year has gone for you! I remember reading this post last year and feeling the same struggle of trying to make new friends in our newer location and couldn't be happier now that time has passed to feel the same happiness!

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  31. Great suggestions! I've moved several times in the last few years and there's nothing lonelier than having to start over again. Making friends can be so hard, but those are some great suggestions I've never tried. My boyfriend and I had once talked about getting involved in a bowling league. We need to follow up and look into one.

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  32. I needed to hear this right now so badly. We live in Atlanta, a city to which neither of us have any ties, and making friends as an adult here has been so tough. I'm involved with my sorority alumni group but I will definitely check out junior league now.

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  33. I needed to hear this right now so badly. We live in Atlanta, a city to which neither of us have any ties, and making friends as an adult here has been so tough. I'm involved with my sorority alumni group but I will definitely check out junior league now.

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  34. This was such a great post and something I definitely needed - I'm still working on putting myself out there and finding things to do locally. I'm so glad that everything turned around for you, and you've been able to create a good group of friends and get involved in so many different activities.

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  35. I have a post in the works almost just like this - oh the joys of moving to a new place and not knowing a single person! It is definitely hard to make friends as an adult and living in a small town I don't have all those resources but I'm slowly trying to put myself out there. -xx Leah || Chasing Texas

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  36. I love Junior League! It was how I made friends in Omaha too!

    Her Heartland Soul
    herheartlandsoul.com

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  37. What a happy update! So glad you're doing well and really loving your new city. It's hard work to make new friends in a new area, but totally worth it. Thanks for the suggestions - we're still working on the church one and feel like I'm doing good in the mom friend department.

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  38. This is a great list! I think it's so awesome that you've been able to put yourself out there and make new friends. It's hard to make friends as an adult when you don't have school to help you! I'm excited to move back home to be with my childhood friends, but am hoping to still meet new people too. I'll definitely be looking for groups that have common interests as me.

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  39. This is such a wonderful post, Katie! I don't have many friends and I really enjoy my alone time but this gave me some tips and ideas if I ever need them, so thank you for that.

    I'm so glad, one year later, and you're feeling so much better! <3

    Amy @ http://befilledwithj0y.blogspot.com/

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  40. It makes me smile that you have made so many new friends - it is so important in life and especially now becoming a new Mom. I haven't moved towns or ever been forced to make new friends but over the years, I JUST have and they are amazing!! I made most of them when I had my girls, mom-friends really are incredible x

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  41. So happy to read this! I've definitely been considering joining the Junior League here. Glad you love it so much! xo, Champagne&Suburbs

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  42. Agree so much with this post. I don't know why it's so hard to make friends as adults because so many of us seem to have this same problem! I've been in my city for about 3 years now, and I still struggle to feel at home because I don't feel like I have great ties here. Friends are a major aspect of feeling connected! I think moms groups will be a great place to meet friends living the same stages of life as you.

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  43. this is so awesome to touch back on the blahs a year later. good to hear you have a good group of friends here now, and i agree that it's so much more about quality than quantity. i am sure mom groups will be a great way to meet friends!
    i love the gym, and classes, always have. i prefer classes to just going to the gym on my own, if that makes sense. i have NEVER made friends at the gym hahaha, i just go in and do my thing and so does everyone else. that being said, i have been going to the same classes regularly for a few months and now lots of people talk to me before and after, and one girl i even saw outside of the gym, i was running and she was biking and we talked for ages. it was weird! haha. but good weird. so i think the difference is now i am going to the same classes, whereas when i was younger i went to classes all over the place. anyway. rambling! also, it might be the whole sydney vs kentucky, there is a chance people are friendlier here ;)

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