Saturday morning I headed to our local farmer’s market. Wandering through fruits and veggies, I made small talk with people comparing apples and looking at bunches of basil. The conversations averaged about 20 seconds in length, but I considered it a start. I realized that although I was trying to meet people, majority were there already on a social outing with friends and family and weren’t looking to meet people.

Changing strategies, I met some people and their dogs. Pretty sure the dogs were the focus each time and teh conversation never made it past pleasantries. In all honesty, this was pretty standard behavior, so didn’t really go out of my way to meet the puppies.

Finally, I decided to chat with the vendors, as they were guaranteed to be there every week. Most were friendly and enthusiastic about their products. I bought a steamed bun from Anna and chatted momentarily about the weather, before she moved on to the next customer. After finishing my breakfast, I chatted a bit with Scott, the knife sharpener, who was friendly; however, looking around to meet actual clients.

Overall, I enjoyed getting out and browsing the market. It was difficult to meet people and strike up a conversation as most were busy with clients, already out with someone, or there to do some serious shopping among the crowded market. May be easier with repeated visits to meet the vendors, even though many were happily busy!

Browsing the product at the local farmer’s market!

 

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January 2017: Building myself a community

I have lived in my new city for almost two years now; in in my home, over a year. Similar to many adults, my social circle is comprised mostly of work colleagues/friends and my husband’s work people. Two states ago, while in graduate school, I had friends and neighbors with whom I could study, have a glass of wine in the evenings, and make impromptu plans. I miss that sense of community and so have decided my January project will be to start engaging in my local community to expand my local social circle.

Step 1: Look into local free events:
As a millennial, I am a huge fan of finding information online. First, I subscribed to the town hall and library email notifications. I browsed my local civic center (park surrounded by museums, restaurants, etc) website, library website, meetups, and “events near me” on facebook. When looking at events, I found I was being too picky about topics, considering that my goal was to go out an interact with people in my neighborhood, so I began to add remotely interesting topics to my calendar to get started.

Step 2: Plan events with existing friends and groups.
To strengthen the group of friends I had, I made plans to get away at lunch with work friends, celebrate a housewarming, and reached out to other friends for a happy hour. As we had begun some optional team building activities at work, I suggested to my manager that we look into the local “escape room.

Step 3: Join a class/activity.
Joining a class or activity would not only introduce me to like minded individuals, but also had the potential to extend this initiative past the 30 day mark. I looked into the local fitness centers, but was put off by the price and long term contract. I then stumbled across a community supported rec center with pay as you go classes, local pools with pay as you go entry fees, and a community schedule of dance and art classes. Getting excited!

Step 4: Attend local performances.
Being lucky enough to live in a metropolitan area, I am surrounded by performance venues! I made sure to take note of upcoming shows with the hope of slowly meeting like minded art enthusiasts.