Back story: I was born and raised in Pittsburgh and then went to college there and had my first job there too. It goes without saying that that city, and its people, was my turf. My zone. My comfortable spot.
When I found myself moving to Orlando for a job opportunity after spending six years working in Pittsburgh, I was more than ready for a change. Because while I love home, I also knew that it was important to experience life outside my comfort zone. Also, sunshine. Yeah… we don’t see much of that in the Northeast/Midwest from about October-April.
And THAT’S when I realized the truth that had always been hiding from me: I’m a giant dork.
Okay I’m kidding. But not really. But mostly. All I’m saying is, judging by the gaping hole in my social life schedule that never existed pre-move, that was pretty much what it looked—and felt—like.
I’m not saying that in adulthood you should be out gallivanting nightly, but you should at least have a pal or two to call for a last-minute girls’ dinner, or a quick pedicure. Did I have that? Nope. I had my job, my boyfriend (now husband… hey honey), and my sister. But in all fairness she was in the thick of raising two babies so that meant a whole lot of not-hanging-out.
It’s Hard Making Friends As An Adult
You guys, it sucked. And so often I found myself wondering, What the hell is wrong with me? I was frustrated and felt isolated.
Complicating things was my job, which was shift work. Working nights—from 2pm-midnight—effectively takes you out of any chance of meeting up for happy hour, dinner, or otherwise being a normal functioning adult. (I will get into this in a separate post at some point, but all that shift work—first working early mornings and then late nights—legitimately F***ED with my hormone levels long term.)
In the end—and I say this not to scare you if you’re in the same spot, but solely in the interest of being transparent about my experience—it took me a solid 10 years to find solid pals here in Florida. When I finally was on a normal schedule, but more importantly when I finally started to put myself out there a bit, I found my people. And it feels good.
So not to get all sappy, but there’s a lesson in here, and the lesson is this: It’s not you. Give it time. Your people are out there and they’re waiting for you. And they’re going to LOVE you for all of your dorky, quirky self.
And mostly, know this: If you’re a grown-ass woman and you’re feeling lonely, you’re not alone.
If you’ve moved recently; or if you’re the first one in your group to have kids and all of a sudden no one “gets you” anymore. Or hell, maybe you just feel like you’ve outgrown your current group of friends. You’re going to get back in the game and find your people. And even if you’re feeling alone, I promise you, you’re most certainly not alone.
Friendships take time. Take the mom date. Strike up the conversation at the playground. You may feel like a fool (hello and welcome to my world), but at the end of the day something will hit. And then you can pass this sage advice on to other women someday: Yeah, it sucks making friends as an adult, but when you find your people, it’s that much sweeter.