One of the first things I like to do when I get somewhere new - and yes, I am treating this like a new place - is to first Get Acclimated. So, as much as I love going out and checking out what there is to do, I first need to unpack, get settled, and get my bearings. Even though I'm 'back' let's just say the neighborhood has changed, so, from freeing myself of the dependence of a gps, to finding out which grocery store has the best options for me, those are the little things that really make you comfortable.
Once I'm comfortable driving around, I definitely Look for a Place of Faith; for me a Church. Faith is one of the most important things to me, so to find a place where I belong that is along my beliefs, is invaluable. It is also a great way to meet like-minded individuals. Church shopping, as I like to call it, is a rather tedious and hard process, because you have to be critical of genuinely good places. And it's slow, because you can really only check out a service on a Sunday, but once you find one, it's a really good feeling. And then you can become active and all that jazz.
I love to Reconnect with family and friends in the area I might know; whether it be to catch up over lunch or to meet up and watch a movie. And of course new possible connections through the new job or a new person bringing you out somewhere. I do like to leave the calendar a little open to allow for spontaneity.
There's the whole process to Find a Gym or some other form of active expression; utilizing those free passes to really find one that you like and that you will go to!!! Love my Zumba!
Then there's the Social Scene. Now, this will be different for everyone, depending on your age, what you like to do, and what's available. I love, love, LOVEEEE the website Meetup.com. I should be a paid sponsor the way I talk about them, but it's really a safe and cheap way to meet people that like what you like. I've found out about music concerts, dancing events, festivals, book clubs, and so much more either from joining a group or from meeting someone in a group and getting connected. I am also pretty big into the dancing scene (Salsa) so I find people that like to go salsa dancing or google "Salsa" for my area. And sometimes, this does mean going out alone
Which leads me to a point that I have been told many times before: you have a lot of guts to go places by yourself. Hmm, ok, thanks! I guess I don't see it as guts - I'm not fighting war people, but yes, it does take some self-confidence to go into a place where you don't know if you will know anyone, or one where you probably know no one. Take this weekend for example. I saw this event on MeetUp that I wanted to go to. I didn't know anyone, just the 1cm photo of the other members (who never look like their photo when you are looking for them in a dark club). So I'm walking around trying to see someone familiar and it just wasn't happening. Finally, someone that I had met 2 weeks ago at another Salsa event spotted me and kindly invited me to their table (pays to be nice to people!). Now, if that hadn't happened I would have sat down somewhere (these people don't own the whole table, an empty seat is an available seat), taken off my coat, put on my dance shoes, and made my way to the floor. If I picked the 'wrong' table to sit at and they were mean or made me feel comfortable, I would pick up my stuff and move it, realizing that I don't owe strangers anything. The environment was a very open table style with dance floor in the middle.
By the end of the night, I had danced with several other dancers, made some new connections, and even bumped into some old friends. It was a success!!! But all because I went out and put myself out there. I've had some duds, but you just gotta shake it off (yup, total Taylor Swift reference - don't hate, it's catchy).
So, that's it for now. I still have to continue my Church voyage and find another activity like volunteering or something to feel helpful to my new community. And there are personal goals of cooking, reading, exercising - and basically challenging myself - that I want to achieve. Of course keeping in touch with family and friends. And basically rebuilding.
As daunting as it sounds, it's kinda fun to start over.
Peace Out :)