Change is never easy. Moving is annoying. Packing up EVERYTHING into boxes to then unload somewhere new. Sometimes a move is for good reasons and for others not so good, but whatever the reason is, making new friends is probably the hardest part.
Kids seem to adapt to making friends easier than adults. In 2016 my family was moving to Orlando. A cross country trip from California to Florida for a work transfer. Such a whirlwind of an event. Movers came in and packed our whole home in one day, loaded the truck the next, and off we went for a week long adventure. Husband, myself, our teenage daughter, 8 month old son, a tortoise, 3 geckos, and a plecostomus all loaded into our Matrix and my dream of driving the entire stretch of the 10 freeway was finally coming true. I loved every minute of it.
Finally making it to our home here in Orlando, I did my best to help my husband and daughter with their transitions to their new routines of work and school. Eventually time was available for myself, and I started to feel alone. Very thankful for social media to stay in touch with friends and family back home, it just wasn’t the same. I missed talking to adults face to face. Slowly social media became my sole connection to others and the time difference wasn’t helping. I needed to meet people out here.
Meeting new people is hard! How I longed for those days as a kid playing at a park where every kid was your new best friend even though you don’t know their name. The only way to meet people is to get up and out of my home. But where do I go? Back to social media I went. Looking up anything that included the name of my community; mom’s groups, kids’ play groups, yarn groups, quilting groups, scrapbooking, neighborhood BST pages, neighborhood information pages, and so much more. The goal was to start inserting myself into groups that were local, see who chats the most, and start asking questions about things available to do for adults, teens, and infants.
Get up. Get out. Get uncomfortable. Ugh, change. Here I am, 39 at the time, trying to make new friends. My teen was having the same issues in high school. Everyone already has friends at this point and though people are nice, they are not as accepting of a new member to their group. But we both kept trying, she having more success than myself. Strange how adults will be friendly but then not be friends all because you don’t drink alcohol or coffee. Like this makes me weird or something. I’m fun and friendly, it’s not fair, but I keep trying.
Just like the adventure of moving across the country and seeing new places, I keep trying new areas of interest and cross my fingers to find others that will accept me. This was a difficult journey as I thought I would make a friend and a few months or more and they would drift away. My 40th birthday was a huge struggle for me not having friends nearby to celebrate this milestone. Dealing with the battle in my head of how long do I refer to them as “this gal I met” before I could use the “friend” word. That was a struggle I still dealt with even after a couple of years here, but I finally made friends that I’m happy to say return the feeling.
Now it has been almost six years since our move and I’m very happy. Sure there’s still a lot I feel like I’m missing from before, but my life has changed in so many ways and I’m learning to accept them. My husband got a new job, my teen is now an adult and opened her own boutique in Cocoa, my 8 month old is now 6 years old and I now have a 3 year old boy added to our family. Though things have changed, I’m in my happiest place. I get to be home with my kids, I sell quilts and crochet items as my job, I’m still super active on social media and have started several groups where I continue to meet new people; some who become friends and some who just stay a happy face the next time we meet. Change is inevitable but how we handle it is what makes the difference. Be the change. Be a friend.