It’s a rainy Sunday in Dallas. I’m all smiles after one epic Hot Dog Party at the pool yesterday with my girlfriends… Despite the torrential downpour.
After a year of busting our booties, hubs and I made the move to Dallas earlier this year. My fourth city to call home in the last seven years. From New York City to Waco, Shreveport to Dallas. It’s a dream come true for both of us as we had set our sights on this city quite sometime ago as the one to take each of our careers to the next level. We’ve downsized. We’ve cut back. But more importantly, we’ve got our noses back to the grindstones with new vigor. Over the past few months, I’ve realized one major difference in this move.
I’ve had to make new friends… as an adult.
Come on! Isn’t adulting hard enough? The extreme socialites out there are probably thinking, “what’s the problem?” For me, I always had an organic field in which to grow friendships. In New York, it was the Baylor in New York program that had relocated 18 of us to that city. In Waco, I had a job that created natural relationships, plus I had a key group of college friends who had launched their own careers in that city. In Shreveport it was my husband’s job and an old acquaintance from Baylor that brought in the friendships. (BTW, the old acquaintance is now one of my friend soulmates). Now in Dallas, I’m working from home for the first time ever and my husband works in a field with different crews constantly.
I realized pretty quickly I could turn into a very content, but unfulfilled hermit.
My family assured me that my outgoing personality would find me friends in no time. I shrugged this off because I was learning that as extroverted as I was, I was also extremely introverted. Many of those family members actually live in Dallas and I can never get enough time with them however, I knew I needed outside friends.
But how do you make new friends as an adult? I immediately felt guarded and didn’t want to jump into anything. It was like dating except I never really had anyone mutually interested in me romantically in all my life. Making friends in school was easy because you saw the same people every day and you already had something in common with them. The ice was shattered during orientation.
Out here in the real world though, I was terrified I was making friends with an axe murderer or a con artist.
Then the summer hit and I met two girls who are effortlessly social, who then introduced me to others who were just as engaging. The invites to yoga, brunch, pool parties, happy hour and more started to pour in. I won’t lie to you, I paced myself at the beginning. I was worried about getting in too deep too soon (again Jess? They weren’t proposing marriage!). Then I realized that I might lose these girls if I don’t jump in with two feet. After all, I liked them and I hated seeing snaps of them out without me. I was disappointed in myself for not leaning in more.
So, I set my goals for the month of August using my wonderful “Cultivate What Matters” notebook. My word for August is “spontaneity” (surprisingly I just spelled that correctly on the first try). My weekly goal was to see these girls at least once every seven days.
13 days into the month, I’ve already seen them twice with plans of a third and I’m so happy.
What makes this group so fun is that we are all in the same boat. We all moved to Dallas this year (most from different states) and we’ve all set lofty goals for ourselves, both professionally and personally. I also love that I can be honest with them. I told them, in an act of extreme boldness, that I need them in my life. I could say that I’m happy on my own, but it would be the biggest lie I could tell myself.
We had a little party at the pool yesterday, cooked hot dogs (#HDP), made plans for more gatherings and then all ran our separate ways when the rain came in. I set out in January to be intentional in all aspects of Jess. I can’t believe I almost let my insecurities cost me this joy in life.