My mom always disagreed when I claimed that I was an introvert, and moving to a new city has certainly brought that part of my identity into question. As I’m on my own for good chunks of time, I’ve had to navigate wanting to stay in the comfort of my apartment with my absolute need to be social.
So am I an outgoing introvert or a extrovert who values alone time? Who knows. Am I just a normal person, and it’s silly to put labels on personality traits that everyone has at one time or another in their life? Probably.
As everyone knows, moving to a new city most college marks a significant milestone in life: the point at which it becomes much difficult to make real friends. And with Henry traveling much for his job, I’ve had to go more out of my way than I may have if he was here.
What’s a girl to do in a new city then? Well if it’s me, you make a list. I’m not the kind of person who could walk into a bar or wherever and start up conversations with people I’ve never met, despite my wild admiration for people who can. If I had lived back in the 1810s and had just moved to Bath, a mutual acquaintance would introduce me to a new friend or the master of ceremonies would do the trick. But I live in the 21st century, so technology will have to do the trick.
I’d heard good things about meetup.com (one friend even met her husband through a Meetup), a site that allows you to choose activities and interests and connect with people in the area who share them. For me, I chose a bunch, because why not? I have writing, reading, movies, one specifically for women, one for those new to Louisville, and one called “socializers.”
It is absolutely nerve wracking to attend a Meetup for the first time. The first one I went to was in a coffeeshop, and I sat off to the side and waited for others to come in. There was supposed to be a sign, but for some reason there wasn’t? I brought a book, of course, so I sat off to the edge but kept looking up. Eventually someone came up to me and asked if I was there for the event, and we chatted for a bit and wondered where everyone else was. The next day I went to a second, but thankfully people showed up to this one.
Of course, there’s also work, volunteering, and church, which has brought a few other introductions! I look forward to the rest of the summer and meeting new people at different groups and events. It’s an exciting time – as Lindsay’s magnet on our mirror reminded me: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” and this is certainly out of my comfort zone!
I really appreciate Meetup and the acquaintances it’s brought me – getting out the apartment and being able to talk to people with similar interests and who are in similar situations to mine has been great. If you’re in a new home, I would definitely recommend Meetup if you, like me, enjoy a little structure and help when making new friends.