One of the things I’ve been striving to do is meet new people and put myself out there. I just finished Brené Brown‘s Daring Greatly (if you aren’t following Brené’s work on vulnerability and shame, you should for sure seek it out! She’s amazingly human and her research is wonderful) and you guessed it, the point of this particular book is to dare greatly through taking off your armor and being vulnerable.
I came across Meetup.com through my Google searches for a book club and found that there were TONS of meetups in Pittsburgh for tons of different interests. After looking through what felt like millions of groups, I decided on a 20s and 30s social group for women, which was not a book club at all. Ha! I saw that they were having a happy hour meetup the next day downtown.
At first, I immediately dismissed the idea of going. “Well, that was a terrifying couple of minutes!” Then, I remembered that my schedule was open that evening. Plus, I’d been to the restaurant before, so I knew where I was going. And I’m supposed to be on this journey where I try new things and put myself out there… You know. That thing. Right. *straightens tie, clears throat*
I talked myself into going, reminding myself of all of the GOOD it would do me, and spent the next 24 hours or so nervously anticipating meeting up with a bunch of strangers. LADY STRANGERS! I didn’t let myself think much about what could go wrong, and just channeled my nervous energy into my blog :)
I ended up meeting four women and they were all great. We had good conversation, good drinks, good food, and it was so nice to just be around people.
Since I moved to Pittsburgh 3 years ago, I haven’t made much of a social network. I’ve been busying myself looking for a job in higher ed, moping about not being able to find a job in higher ed, and working at my current job. Those three things have really dominated my life and haven’t had much energy left to get out there and meet people. Being depressed and discouraged is exhausting.
My meetup was a great reminder of how essential it is to be surrounded by people, and the human drive to be accepted and belong. While I may never see those women again (we’ll see!) it was a pleasant couple of hours of feeling welcome, relaxed, and relieved. Which is exactly what I needed.