Our new town isn't that far from our old town, but it feels decidedly different. I joke that we are now in the middle of noooooowhere (picture me saying this in a pathetically moaning voice) because I can't walk to a mall, sushi, or an ice cream shop. The ice cream shop part was particularly devastating to me, but perhaps that'll be helpful to my waistline come summer.
The neighborhood definitely feels like the suburbs, with tons of kids playing hockey in the streets, moms out walking with strollers, and even sightings of random animals like rabbits, deer, and foxes. Josh left the garage door open to run to the grocery store and as he was pulling back in, a massive animal strolled out of the garage and he swears he initially thought it was a small bear but it turned out to be the mother of all raccoons! It caused so much excitement that Gabe hasn't stopped talking about animals in his garage for weeks. Any random noise in the house is cause for a resurgence of the talk about the gigantic raccoon.
Even though our move was just a few miles, my circle of stores has completely changed too. My old grocery store is too far away to be convenient, my old favorite mall is now farther away than another less liked mall, my coffee shops, drugstores, Target, well, you get the point. It all feels like a big change. And I'm farther away from some of my neighborhood friends. Not so far that we can't have lunch together, but too far to stop by within 5 minutes for a quick playdate.
All of this is to say, it has been a change. Far more of a change than I'd initially expected, that is for sure. After my initial freak out, things have been steadily improving. The folks at my local convenience store recognize me, which feels great, my neighbors say hello when I drive by, which feels even nicer, and I've decided that I won't sit and wallow in my unhappiness for one. more. minute.
I am a friendly person, but to tell you the truth, I also get very insecure about meeting new people. I don't seem to have a problem with the meeting part, but any subsequent get togethers or communications brings out the anxiety in me. If I call them and don't hear back quickly, I worry that maybe they've decided they don't like me anymore, or maybe I'm bothering them or whatever. It is totally annoying and sometimes ridiculously insane that I do this.
Take, for example, a newish friend I've made since moving. We have definitely clicked, and just a few days ago she asked whether I'd be interested in taking a girls trip together this summer. I take that to mean that (a) she likes me enough to want to spend a good amount of time together and (b) she plans to be friends at least until the summer. Well, yesterday I called her twice in a row, and then decided not to call even though I had something to tell her because I worried maybe she was starting to not want to be friends anymore. It's crazy, right?
I'm revealing all my neuroses now, hopefully you won't stop reading me because now you know the truth about the crazy.
Anyway, long story short, I've decided to move past the crazy and break out of my shell and try to make friends in the new neighborhood, even if it makes me uncomfortable. I've shown up to town events, I've been friendly, I've shared my phone number, been proactive about asking for playdates. As soon as we had a couple of good weather days, I've walked around my neighborhood to try to make friends with neighbors. I joined a playgroup. I asked around and started a book club, and our first meeting is this Sunday. This is our chosen book (love it love it love it), and I'm really excited and hopeful this will take off. I've gotten off the couch after Josh is home from work and the kids are in bed and gone to see a movie or grabbed coffee with a girlfriend.
For a homebody like me, this is seriously difficult, but I believe it will be worth it in the end. I have some really really REALLY fabulous friends, but most of my friends live far enough away that I can't see them on a regular basis, and I really need a few good local friends to spice up my life.
So do you have any tips? Have you had to break out of your shell and make friends too? Did anything bring you luck? I'll take all the advice I can get!