I have (yet another) confession: For the past few months I’ve been feeling especially lonely due to my lack of social interaction. While I am following my dreams to become a writer, I lack the type of social interaction one may find from a “real job.” Lunch dates, office meeting, company events? Yes, that doesn’t exist in my world. And I’m definitely not complaining, but I do miss the social aspect of all those things. After all, I am an extremely social girl, and truly enjoy talking to people…all people! My family and friends can never get a word in when I’m around…that’s how much I love to talk.
So you can imagine when I’m hanging out with me and my mac all day how things can quickly become rather lonely. Of course, I have my roommates, friends from college and acquaintances here and there, but they aren’t around all of the time, and many of them live far, far away (as far as Virginia). So that means I have to rely on the phone, email, and facebook to communicate with many of my closest friends. While I’m thankful for social networking, it doesn’t make me miss these friends any less. It’s face-to-face meet-ups and communication I desire. You see, in college it was the exact opposite of the situation I’m finding myself in at the moment. I had a group of more than a dozen close friends, all whom I could be my silly self around, tell my deepest secrets to, and vent to when I’m having a bad day. We were around one another 24/7, and there was zero privacy. We got ready to go out together, shared clothes with one another, and even shared boys with one another (HA!). We were inseparable.
Ever since I’ve moved to Boston, I’ve finally learned to become independent, follow my dream of becoming a writer, and ultimately found myself. While many of these things are exceptional and I am more than proud of myself, I miss friendships. I thought it’d be easy to make friends in the city (I’ve definitely never had a problem with it before), but it’s freakin’ hard…almost as hard as finding a boyfriend. And it’s especially hard when you have a job (writer/social networker) that isolates you from social interaction. Sure I can take the T, go to every cafe in the city, and walk around ’til my feet feel like they are going to fall off, but I hardly come home with a new friend. At most, I come home with a funny story and a caffeine high.
While this doesn’t get to me too much, this morning I let it get to me A LOT. I sat in my apartment sobbing and feeling bad for myself, then realized I needed to suck it up and do something about it. After venting to a good friend (thanks Becky) I felt slightly better, but still not 100%. So I put on a cute outfit and got out of my apartment for a change of scenery. Sulking in my tiny apartment all day surely wasn’t going to help! And sure enough, once I changed the scenery, the brainstorming came to me (with the help of my best friend of course).
Alas, if you find yourself in this type of position (Um, why am I not making friends here?), I urge you to think outside the box! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Join a book club! Research book clubs in your area. Most of them meet once a month at local cafes for you to discuss that month’s book. It’s a great way to make new friends, chat with people who have the same interests as you, and read some phenomenal books.
- Pick up a part-time job at a buzzing cafe, gym, or book store if you have extra time on your hands. When I worked at the front desk of a gym last year, my social life was soaring!
- Volunteer! Sign up to help out at events in your area, whether it’s a food festival or local 5K raising money for a good cause. This will make you feel good about yourself, and help you meet people with similar passions. I loved volunteering at the Boston Local Food Festival because everyone there was passionate about local food and health, and it was such a wonderful day!
- Join a writing group. If you’re a writer, why not write among other writers, and help one another brainstorm/think of new ideas you never would have though of on your own. Another pair of eyes is always refreshing.
- Talk to people everywhere you go. I always chat with people (who look approachable) when I’m out somewhere by myself. It’s so neat to converse with people who are so much different than yourself. You learn something new every day!
- Join a meet-up group. Check out Meetup.com for meet-up groups near you. The best part? They offer you groups based on YOUR interests, and have everything from book clubs and cooking groups to single girls meet-ups and hiking groups.
- Organize a meet up with fellow tweeters/bloggers: Gather a bunch of blogging/twitter pals and plan a fabulous night (or day) out. If you’re all foodies, plan a wonderful dinner. Health freaks? Do something active together. Bring those electronic relationships to life!
Ahhhhh…just writing it out makes me feel much better! (It could also be that I’ve downed my large iced coffee during the process)
Have you ever found yourself in this type of position? What to you do to up your social interactions?