I may have picked one of the worst winters to move to a new city. The frigid temperatures, gusting winds and ice storms have hardly made me want to get out & about. Really, though, the bad weather has only exacerbated a problem I already had: How do I make friends?
Specifically, how do I make friends in a new city where I do not go to school and do not work alongside other adults?
By going to the bars that are open until 4AM? That’s not really my idea of a good time.
One of my favorite activities (and one of Nick’s, too) is running. Unfortunately, my first few weeks in Louisville were coated in ice and running through the park was not an option. Even when there hasn’t been an inch of ice on the path, it’s too cold for runners to strike up a conversation, with our lips frozen and snot running faster than we are.
Ok, so…I reevaluated the situation, pondering over my other hobbies, ones that could be done indoors. “Reading!” I thought, “I’ll go get a library card.” Great! Except that the only interaction I’ve found through my magical library card is with the mildly cranky librarian.
On to the next plan. What else is there to do in my neighborhood that a) is one of my interests, and b) is free? Church! I decided to put my rear into gear and attend daily Mass at either St. James, our parish, or St. Brigid, its sister parish. This has turned out to be great for my faith, but aside from one invitation to Starbucks, has been a flop for social activity. It turns out I’m almost always the only person under retirement age at 8:30AM Mass*.
I began running out of ideas. My college roommate/friend came to visit for the weekend and I was bemoaning the trials of making friends in the “real world” when we spotted a flyer inside Rainbow Blossom Natural Foods Market, a local store. It was too good to be true: a week of free yoga. And so the following week I rolled up my mat and arrived obnoxiously early for a class every single day. It actually was a great experience, trying different styles with different teachers, and I reviewed each day on my Instagram. One of my favorite classes was Baptiste Power Yoga, offered by 502 Power Yoga. One of the owners has recently moved from Indy, like me, and explained that at their brand-new studio they want to create a community. Hmmm…a friendly group of yogis that meet inside a toasty studio? There’s potential here.
Overall, I may have to be patient, wait until spring comes, seasonal affective disorder is shrugged off and people emerge into the sunshine permanently. Realize that this is a good-sized city, and there are people out there who would love to go for a walk and grab lunch. Allow for time to build relationships.
*Luckily, there is a Young Louisville Catholics group in which Nick and I hope to get involved.