So All of Your Friends Have Moved Away, Now What?

Friendship

One of my darkest fears is being realized: everyone is leaving me. Instead of a grand exodus of people from Seattle after college, it has been a slow trickle of people that have followed a new job opportunity, followed a loved one, or even followed the urge for something new. When the last of them leaves in the Spring, I will find myself twiddling my thumbs, trying to figure out what to do. I’ve had some time to think about it and here are some ideas and recommendations I’ve come up with:

Visit Them

If you are close enough friends and they have enough room in their new place, you may have a free place to stay! Let them be the tour guide and join them in discovering their new city. Bonus: be a great friend and help them make new friends in their new city. Last night I was out in Seattle and this guy started talking to a group of us. He was very transparent that the reason he started talking to us was because he came to Seattle to help his friend, who just moved here, meet some new friends. There was even a hashtag for this endeavor.

Meet New Friends

This is a “No shit, Sherlock” idea, but after college, it becomes increasingly harder to meet new people. One way is to meet these people at work but if you are like me, this really isn’t an option. Instead, I’ve come up with some alternative ways ways to meet new friends:

1. Going to workshops or classes in my field for young professionals in my city.  Most of these events involve team work and I would have something in common with these people right off the bat.

2. Trying a new activity or sport that is group based. I know a lot of people are trying programs like CrossFit and meet a group of work out buddies. My roommate started rock climbing again and has met some new friends with great connections!

3. Going out on the town with only one friend. It makes it easier for people to approach you and for you to go with the flow of the evening.

I’ve even heard of people just using tinder to meet friends and it works for them. If you are honest that you are looking to build new relationships, it makes it easier for people to approach a new friendship.

Move 

Take this chance to think about what dreams you haven’t fully realized and which ones you might want to pursue. Are there any places that you have wanted to live or explore, but you’ve been stuck in one place? Are there any crazy jobs or careers that you’ve thought about but never mustered up the courage to try? My sister’s friend out of the blue moved to Madrid to teach English in Spanish schools. I was so perplexed by this decision but, it was actually simple: she didn’t have many ties left in Seattle. For her, the decision was easy.

Just Do You

This is my current phrase that I keep telling everyone. Maybe when all your friends are gone, you should just be yourself. Maybe nothing has to change or you let all the change be organic. Instead focus on yourself and things you want to improve. You could work on your relationship with your family, work on improving your health, or even work towards excelling in your career.

I will check back in when all is said and done– and I have been deserted. Maybe these ideas won’t prove fruitful or maybe I will have some new friends! If you are in the same shoes as me, I would first like to extend my deepest condolences to your loss. Second, I would like to ask if you want to be my friend. Now that I have been clear with my intentions, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. — J

On Friendship

Essay, Friendship

I have a friend visiting from across the country. We’ve been friends since preschool. That’s 23 years.

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Already a solid 5 years into our friendship

23 years ago, on my first day at a wonderfully messy, dirt-filled playground they called a preschool, this freckle-faced kid walks right up to me and asks if I’d like to be her best friend. (I said yes.) Today she is still that way: confident, no nonsense, and fiercely loyal. On top of that, she is successful, beautiful, and one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.

I’ve been thinking about friendship lately. How do friendships start? How long do they last? What’s important? How do you know when to let go and when to hold on?

If I break down my very closest friends and how long I’ve known them, it looks something like this:

23+ years: 1 friend
8-12 years: 4 friends
2+ years: 4 friends

This is both heartening and a little discouraging. On one hand, I have some really solid friendships that I’ve carried with me through a good part of my life. On the other, I haven’t added any new ones to the mix since college.

There are some amazing things about those friendships you’ve had since high school, middle school, or even earlier. You can always count on those friends to make you laugh until you cry, or to let you vent about anything and everything. They know you. They know where you’ve been, who you’ve been, and how you got to where you are now.

And then there are the not-so-amazing things that can grow on old friendships like barnacles on a boat that hasn’t moved in a while. Old friends aren’t afraid to be bitter, to take each other for granted, to be brutally honest even when it’s uncalled for. Old friends aren’t always committed to helping you grow, because what if that means growing apart?

What’s important is being able to see which friends will cheer you on, which friends will help you expand your horizons, and who will join you on crazy escapades you’ll laugh about for years to come.

Getting older means watching friendships grow older too, and paying attention to which ones stand the test of time and which ones belong in the past, where they shone the brightest.

~

Life keeps moving, and I’m looking to the future. With a move to a new city coming up, I’m thinking about how to actively seek out new friendships in my post-college life.

Here are some of my ideas:

  • Seek out groups of like-minded people on Facebook and make an effort to meet up with them
  • Use other online resources for meetups (such as meetup.com)
  • Join a book club
  • Join a gym or yoga studio

~

How have your friendships changed over time? How do you meet new friends? Do you have any tips?

Thanks for reading!
-L

Gift Guide for the Girl on a Budget

Books, Fashion, Holidays

Budgeting gifts can be a bit overwhelming.  Friends, family, coworkers, pets.  On my list are mom, dad, brother, four of my closest girlfriends, one office party gift and a white elephant gift.  I have been prowling the internet for affordable gifts guides, and by affordable I mean under $25 to adhere to the price limit for the office and white elephant gift.  So far I have seen under $100 from The Zoe Report and under $50 from chicityfashion.com, which just won’t do!  So here’s what I’m getting for my people.

For the moms:

Polychroma DOF Glass

Chocolate Book

Dads/Brothers:

’47 Brand Seattle Seahawks Hat

Mobile Phone Bike Mount

Girlfriends:

They have 10 other cities to choose from as well!

City Beanie

Gold Stemless Wine Glasses

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Office Party:

Abhati Hanging Lantern

I added a mini bottle of Whiskey and stuck it in the lantern too 😉

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For an office with a younger crowd:

Clip String Lights

  

White Elephant:

Friday Night Wine Glass (My Favorite Gift)

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Happy Hippo Biscuits

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My favorite places to look for gifts are Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and World Market.  I tend to look for unique/fun items that whoever I am gifting them to would not pick out themselves but will love!  Urban Outfitters has tons of quirky books and funny items like a stuffed animal grumpy cat, and is great for both men and women of all ages.  I’d go to Anthropologie for the more refined gifts, for those people who love pretty, sparkly things.  Their home goods are spectacular and will add a bit of flair to any home.  World Market has everything, and great quality for the price you pay.  Shop away!

-S

The One Where it was Hard to Fit in at Work

Feminism, Quick Read, Tech Industry, Workplace

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Do you remember “The One Where Rachel Smokes”? It is the episode of Friends where Rachel starts a new job at Ralph Lauren and all the important decisions are made on smoke breaks. Rachel tries to pick up the habit to feel included and the group insists she doesn’t join, saying they didn’t want to drag her down with them.

As a woman in the tech field, this can happen to you a lot. I even joined a Fantasy Football League to feel included (I won the league, by the way)! However, sometimes I have to remember to reflect on my own actions and see if they are fueling inclusion.

Only planning outings to bars? Some people aren’t 21 or they don’t care to drink!
Lots of active events coming up? Many people have reasons they can’t participate in sports.
Every morning do you get coffee with the same coworker? Ask someone new to join you!

You can’t make everyone happy but you can make them feel included! – J

Looks like I’m not the only one who feels this way! I thoroughly enjoyed this article about a man who challenged himself to not only ask men to drinks after work.