Last weekend was BUSY. Not like, crazy busy or anything, but I just had enough to do and kept myself going as much as I could want. I was always going from event to activity to event. And when I think back on it, I’m proud to say I’ve had something to do that involved other people (not just me out on my own!) every weekend since I’ve been here in Nashville. That’s huge for me. But it’s not easy to get to that point. And I’ve had to work hard to get here. So how did I do it? I think there are a few things you can do when you’re intentionally trying to create a full, satisfying life.
One of the things that has made a huge difference for me is simply saying yes. About 90% of the time, when I get an invite somewhere, I go for it. You never know what can come from those. Especially if they’re free! For example, whenever there is an event on campus where I can see some smiling students and school spirit, I’m all about it. I know those energize me so much, and I will capitalize on those opportunities at any time.
Something that has also been important to me, along with saying yes, has been trying new things. For me this has been part of creating a routine too. I decided I needed a new hobby since horseback riding isn’t really something I have the time to dedicate myself to the way I have wanted to in the past, and I thought golf was a much more adaptable hobby that I could pick up and do anywhere as well as being a great way to meet people, so I decided I wanted to learn how to golf. So every Saturday morning I take myself down to my golf lesson, and the perfectionist in me gets to focus really hard, and I feel like a beginner again, and it’s great.
But don’t give up on the things you love – find new ways to incorporate them into your life. Working out is very important to me, but unfortunately Pure Barre just doesn’t quite work with my schedule all the time (or my budget, much to my chagrin). I joined the gym at school along with a few people at work, so I’ve been trying new fitness classes at the Rec, and also teaching myself to like running. It’s a slow process, but I think I will like it eventually. Finding new ways for these routines to work into my life has been really helpful and fulfilling, and it’s always more fun to go work out with a buddy!
I’m also not shy about seeking out what I love and shamelessly recruiting people who will go enjoy it with me. This can be anything from karaoke to a concert (activities from last weekend and this coming weekend, respectively) and are a great way to build relationships based off weak ties. You never know who might have the same interests as you and what you can bond over!
Now don’t get me wrong, I sat on my couch on Sunday afternoon and watched two movies in a row on Netflix. But that was part of what made me feel full and satisfied: I needed my recharge time. I know that I need to get out and see other people, but I also need my time to be alone. I’m an ambivert in full force! I cherish my down time and alone time as much as I cherish my time with others – I need them both in different ways.
There are still a few things I’m getting out there and exploring a bit more that I hope will allow me to meet people who are both similar to me and different from me, and I’m adding those in to each weekend or week as I go. These are part of a more personal journey for me, both to build relationships with others but also with myself, and I’m looking forward to that journey. What’s important to me is not being afraid to go out and try new things, whether that be alone or with a few people, and also finding time to fit in the activities I know I already love. This has helped a new city feel like home for me very quickly.