There is a lot of talk in the blog world today about making friends now that we are all grown up and not forced to sit next to someone in school or partnered for phys ed. class. Both Krystal and FB wrote about their struggles with trying to meet girl friends. I think all girls have this issue. Somewhere after 13, its like we decided we only get along with guys which instantly put up a barrier. We had our best girl friend or group of girlfriends and didn't need to branch out. Except when we left the instant friend setting (aka school and the parties that are in between school hours)and we all started taking different paths in life, we started feeling as though we had no friends.
I have always had guy friends too. And I always said it was because I got along with guys better, but I think deep down it was because I didn't like the competition of another female. I enjoyed being the only "lady" in a group of guys. Instant attention and you could practice all of your flirting skills. When I started a serious relationship and all of my guy friends started serious relationships, our friendships sort of ...dwindled. My boyfriend's didn't like me hanging out with all of these guys and my guy friends were with girls who didn't want them hanging out one-on-one with another girl. Fair enough....but where did that leave me?
At first, I did nothing about it. Just sat around, read, watched tv, spent way too much time with the boyfriend to the point where I didn't even have my own life anymore. I discovered www.meetup.com and joined a couple of groups that looked interesting. One was all about trying new stuff in Calgary...the issue I had with that group is that I kept meeting guys! The point was for me to meet a group of girl friends, so I looked for a women's only group. This led me to find GirlTalk Events. I signed up for Pottery, Pizza and Wine night, paid my fee and imagined what it would be like.
The event took place on a Saturday evening. The entire day I had an inner battle. I was going to skip out because how creepy was it that I was meeting people off of the Internet? And I was going to seem so lame because I felt like I had no friends in the city I am born and raised in. And every other little thought that eats away at one's self esteem went through my head. But, I would keep telling myself that I paid for this, the worst that could happen is I would at least paint a piece of pottery for my place and if anything else, I had paid for wine...
I went. And it was hard. I had to sit at a table with 6 other girls (I think there was a total of 30 ladies there). And make small talk with people that I knew nothing about! I won't say that I made a best friend that night, but I did gain some confidence, enjoyed the atmosphere and made myself sign up for another event when I got home. The more you show up to outings, the more people recognize you and the higher the chance of friendship.
GirlTalk also offers a book club that meets at a different restaurant every month. I love to read and there are so many different places I want to try eating at so I was really excited to sign up for that!
Last month, the owner of GirlTalk sent me an email asking if I would be interested in the opportunity to co host a second table at the book club events. As well as other events that may need hosting. I am really excited about this new chapter in my life. I have gone from the position of the girl who was afraid that they were all going to laugh at me (Carrie reference!!) to the girl who draws the new girls into conversation and creates an atmosphere of friendliness for everyone. So that their experience can be as positive as mine, and they will come back and maybe meet a great group of girlfriends while getting out of the house.
My advice to all the ladies that think its hard to meet friends after college is to really put yourself out there. And never decide you aren't going to do something because it looks lame. As soon as you make that judgement, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.