Every time we start to get comfortable, we uproot again. Back home, we had become so set in our ways. We had our groups of friends. Presley went to the school I went to, so it was so easy and familiar. Each soccer season, we played with the same girls. Gymnastics included the same sweet teachers and girls month after month. I rarely felt uncomfortable. It was my city. I knew so many people there that not a day went by that I didn’t run into someone I knew. We even lived next door to my parents. Then THIS happened, and boy I am glad that it did. It’s enriched and diversified our lives, and pushed us out of our comfort zone into a season of learning how many wonderful people are out there.
Whether you’re outgoing, shy, or somewhere in the middle, you can fit somewhere. Whether you’ve lived in your town your whole life, you’ve recently moved, or you’re expecting to uproot in the near future, I want to share with you a handful of ways that we’ve learned to dive in wherever we are.
1. Chick-fil-A – I know what you’re thinking. ‘Y’all work for them. Of course, you’re promoting them.’ Hear me out. This is my biggest secret weapon to making mom friends. I sit in the play room watching my kids waiting for another mom to come. (no, I’m not crazy) People at Chick-fil-A are nice; I’m not just talking about the employees, but *most* of the customers are too. Even back home, I made friends in the play room, but especially on the road. I’ve made 3+ friends just by chatting them up and exchanging numbers while our kids played.
Friends we met in the Chick-fil-A play room in ATL
2. Activities – I’m a girl mom, so gymnastics is always calling our name. This is our go to activity wherever we live. Sailor is still small enough to do the Mommy and Me classes. All I’ve had to do is give a mom a small compliment about their child. It may be briefly awakward, but everybody likes someone talking nice about their child. Usually, this sparks the conversation and the connection is established. If you dont have kids, get involved in a painting class, recreational soccer or volleyball team, or a book club. There’s something for everybody.
One of Presley’s gymnastics coaches on the road in Houston
Sailor’s favorite coach so far (also in Houston)
We even participated in their annual gymnastics showcase
3. Church – Y’all we’ve church hopped before. It can be so awkward, but if you really want to fit somewhere, you have to get involved. Our time is so short in each city that we try to only visit 3 churches before we pick one (a tip from a friend that did the same thing we are). We also don’t just go on Sunday morning….What?! No, we put ourselves out there, and go every chance we get. You aren’t going to fit anywhere that you go once a week, slip in the back, and quietly sneak out at the end. We go Sunday monrings, Wednesday nights, VBS, etc. Whatever the occasion, we are there whether it’s perfectly comfortable or not.
Vacation Bible School – Presley is really social and loves connecting
4. Show Kindness – I know my generation and younger are known for being all about themselves. It can be true, but nonetheless, this is a stereotype. We aren’t all like that, and I think often times (those that are) aren’t like this on purpose. Life is so busy that all we can focus on is our own crazy schedules. I’m encouraging you (whatever generation you are), break the trend. If you are kind, people will be drawn to you. I like to sit down by people at the park and ask them how they are. I’m also notorious for stopping and offering to take a picture for someone struggling to take a selfie. You can even just SMILE. I’m telling you, this works. People will want to know you.
One of the images I snapped for a random family on the beach last night
5. Find Community Events Online – The internet and social media have provided us with some awesome opportunites to connect. Most cities have multiple facebook pages where people share events, doctors, parks, and other random information about the area. You don’t always have to be invited. Show up. When someone posts about yoga in the park, go. If the share the best story time in town, go. If someone raves about the annual event at the ice cream shop, go. There are plenty of opportunites to find events to go to. The only way you’ll connect with anybody is by showing up.
Puppet making class I found online
tae-kwon-do birthday party (technically a cheat… we knew them before they moved to Houston
)If we can do it every month or two, so can you. It may be uncomfortable or awkward, but it could also be REALLY rewarding. I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for fitting in.