Monday, August 18, 2014

Meeting Friends in a New City

Okay, so this was the only thing I disliked about moving to Utah. I didn’t know ANYONE besides my husband. I didn’t have a job when I first moved here, and so I was desperate to have someone else to talk to besides my husband. Don’t get me wrong. He’s the best, and he does a great job of listening to me, even when I ramble on and on about something (which describes my usual conversations…). And he’s met some people through work. But, I was eager to have a group of girl friends that I could go out with, get drinks, dinner, whatever with, and then be able to rely on them when I needed to vent or advice about something that only girls really understand. I still talk and email back and forth with my best friends back home, and I don’t think anyone could ever take the place of them. But, everyone needs someone to hang out with. I would sit at home and clean and watch tv by myself when my husband worked evening/night shifts and be wishing I was out doing something. I just didn’t know how to start meeting people.

It took a couple months, but I finally have some really great girlfriends. I met a great friend when I started my job at the lab, and we definitely have similar ambitions. Unfortunately, she started her PhD program and moved to a different lab, but we still get together as much as possible. The rest of my lab, though, is composed of guys. Not that guys can’t be friends, too, but it’s just not the same. So, I joined this group called “Meetup.” Have you ever heard of it? It’s basically like an online group organizer. There all kinds of groups and “meetups” from Hiking with Dogs to 20-30s Ladies to Free Fitness. It’s such an awesome idea. It’s not an online dating site. It’s for meeting new people and finding groups that have similar interests as you. I joined the Ladies group and a couple others and went to a get-together one night at a restaurant downtown. Almost all of the girls there had just moved here from all over, from the East to the West Coasts. They were all like me, just looking to meet new people. I immediately hit it off with a few girls, and the other night, we met to try out a restaurant we had never been to. It was so much fun. We all connected and could just talk as if we had been friends for years. We learned a lot about each other and shared some of our past experiences and aspirations. I could see these girls being close friends for a very long time. :) And the best part is, we’re all getting to know this new place together. The hiking, downtown life, skiing, etc. We are planning to meet up and try new things, with and without our significant others, every couple of weeks. I never thought I would be so happy to join an online community. :) If you’re looking to organize a softball team or a book club, for example, or want to join one yourself, I would definitely suggest joining Meetup!

My friend from the lab and I at her going away dinner!
Trying out a new sushi place with a group of girls I met through the meetup! :)
Ironically, I also met another great friend through a fitness group that I joined. A former European League Basketball Player organizes a free fitness meeting every Tuesday and Thursday after work and teaches different exercise techniques. He even provides all the equipment! It’s so nice of him, and he does it just to stay in shape and continue teaching, as he did before he played professional ball. One of the girls that came actually works for the same place I do, just at a different lab, so we had the chance to hang out the other night at a concert downtown. Through her, I’ve met another great friend. Like I said, I love this site. You still meet people in person first, but the internet brings together people in a similar situation as you because it’s a big city, and it’s sometimes hard to meet people without someone introducing you first or at work (which isn’t always easy either).

Enjoying a local concert with these two lovely girls and new friends!
It’s so nice to have a social life again. :) Hopefully soon, we’ll meet other couples to go out with once in a while or get together with the girls and their significant others.

Happy Monday, friends!

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Much Love!

Much Love!