We all want to be accepted. We all want to belong. We all want to be loved. I know that about you, because I know that about me. It's our human nature. These are the desires that drive our actions.
We were not meant to make this life journey alone and in isolation. And yet, we so often choose to do so. Sometimes people say they want love and connection but instead of going out and finding it, they stay in their heads and in their houses waiting. Waiting for it to come. Waiting for it to arrive on their doorstep. And while that may feel safe, it isn’t going to work.
If you really want it, YOU are the one who needs to make it happen. I know that it isn’t easy. It takes courage to take a risk knowing that you might get rejected.
But I also know that it only takes one. One new friend can open up your entire world. They may not be THE ONE, but please do not dismiss people too quickly. If they are not THE ONE, they might be the person who introduces you to THE ONE. Or introduces you to their brother who introduces you to his best friend who runs into a colleague that shares a similar interest with you and before you know it, THE ONE will show up in your life.
When I first moved to Boise, I knew nobody. Not a soul. We moved right before Thanksgiving and winter came fast. In my neighborhood, that means that everyone goes into hibernation. But I didn’t know that at the time. It just felt like a ghost town to me. Plus, I worked from home so it was just me and my one-year-old. I remember standing at the front door waving goodbye to my visiting family as they drove away after Christmas. As the car turned the corner and disappeared out of sight, I was hit with a devastating realization. I was completely alone. I cried for the rest of the day.
But after I was done with my little pity party, I vowed to find a friend. And I knew that if I was going to find the ONE (or ones), I was going to have to start by meeting people. I was sure that I would eventually find my crew but they were not going to trudge through the snow to my front door and find me.
So I signed my little toddler up for music and gymnastics classes, showed up to every story hour at the library, searched for and joined random playgroups, and said yes to every invite that came my way. I also did the hardest thing of all which was to actually start conversations with people. It wasn’t going to be enough to just show up. I had to show up and connect.
Most of the time, it didn’t work out. I met lots of nice people I knew were not MY people. But guess what happened? I also met women who are my inner circle fourteen years later. I met the women who would feed my family through two difficult pregnancies, who would drop everything to rush to my aid, who I would laugh with and cry with, and who would nurture me through all of the phases of my life.
Take a Leap
You just have to stop waiting and go find your one. Start anywhere, start somewhere. Sign up for classes, join groups, say yes. You’ll find them eventually, but it’s not magic.
Here are the four steps you’ll need to take.
- You have to believe that they are out there. I promise that they are, but YOU have to believe it. Will you meet plenty of people that are not for you? Yes. But remember, they just might lead you to the one. It was my unshakable belief that I would eventually find my people that kept me hauling myself and my child out of the house all winter long. I knew it would eventually pay off. You have to believe that though. That is how you get through the rejections and the wrong fits.
- Make the decision to get up, get out, and go searching. Mine didn’t magically show up and unfortunately, yours aren’t going to either. It is up to you to find them.
- You have to look for your people where your people are. I was looking for young moms and putting myself in places where they hang out. It doesn’t make sense to hang out at the gym all day waiting for that person who likes knitting as much as you. You have to go where the knitters are. If you are looking for a single guy and all you see around you are women, you are not in the right place for what you seek. That being said, the simple rule is you want to be doing the things you love and doing those things with other people as much as possible.
- Take the first step and start the conversation. Put your phone down, take out your earbuds, get your nose out of the book, and connect with the people around you. It’s not enough to just show up. You’ve got to stretch yourself and make that first contact.
Not everybody was blessed with a big family or a group of friends that found them or the perfect partner that seemed to have just shown up out of thin air. But everybody deserves all the love that comes with those things. So go out and get yours, my friend.
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