Some how, within the past three years I misplaced my life. I should say, I lost my social life. I think it started happening shortly after my last breakup (3 years ago). It wasn’t long ago when I consistantly received invites to parties, events, shopping get-aways, and pub crawls. Recently, however, the only invites I seem to get are “like my facebook page.” It’s not that I have lost any friends; they’re all still there, but the singles ones are now coupled, and the coupled ones hang out with coupled friends. In no way do I be-grudge my friends for their neglect, as I don’t believe it’s intentional. To be perfectly honest, hanging out with a bunch of couples is more like torchure than fun anyway.
Recently, I actually received an invite to one of my friend’s daughter’s first birthday. Like always, I was reluctant to accept, but in my attempt to get a life, I did. The invite instructions said, arrive at 1pm and no gifts please. Because I always follow instructions, I did just that. FIRST mistake. I of course, was the first one at the party. This was fine as it gave me a chance to chat and visit with my friends (couple). Soon the other guest started to arrive. All couples, none I knew, and all with children. Oh, and everyone brought a gift. I sat in a chair that was placed somewhat in the center of the room. I figured this way, the strangers would have to talk to me. However, the women all flocked in the kitchen preparing their dishes (no on told me to bring a dish), while the men stood on the balcolny bbq’ing and drinking beer. It crossed my mind that no one would even noticed if I slipped out quietly.
Being the oldest one at the party by a good ten years, I felt completely out of place. It wasn’t so much the years that separated me from this crowd; it was the lifestyle. I was among married couples; all with children. Their lives revolved around the family unit, and this I could not relate to. I stayed until the birthday cake was cut, and then I bolted.
I have made some serious changes in my life since my last break up. Good changes… but somehow I created a hole in my life that I don’t know how to fill. One of the biggest changes I made was to cut way back on drinking. In a town like mine, going for drinks is the “social scene”. When I do actually get out, it’s usually drinks afterwork on Friday with co-workers. Still it’s not the same. I limit myself to two drinks, while my work friends continue on through the evening. I’m home by 7pm; they’re out all night. Everynight, I am home no later than 7pm, and in bed by 9pm. My weekends are usually spend alone, because my friends have family obligation. I am in desperate need of a life outside of work, school, and fitness. I need a social life.
I’ve thought about joining a run group again, but I can’t bring myself to pay for something I can do for free. Beside, when I was in a run group all the socializing revolved around going for drinks. As an adult is there no other option for fun other than drinking? Yesterday, I actually Googled “how to get a life.” It’s humiliating to admit that, even by blog. Surprisingly, several articles have been written for how to get a life. I guess I’m not the only one out there feeling like a loner. Each article I read had similar advice for the lonely. Tip lists all looked something like this:
- Join a book club
- Sign up for a fitness class
- Get involved in the community
- Make new friends
- Get off the internet
- Say yes to invitations
I, have done all of the above, and still I would not say I have a life. First of all, I don’t (didn’t) particularily enjoy book club. They typically are made up of married women with kids, and the whole get together turns into “kid talk”.
Secondly, I teach fitness classes, and while I have made friends with my participants before, these friendships are fleeting. People need change in fitness, and eventually they move on to other classes, or take up other activities. As a fitness instructor, I actaully encourage this. Sadly, people feel weird around you once they stop coming to class. I assume they feel bad, and think I must be upset they have left. If I run into these “friends”, it is always awkward. They make excuses for why they haven’t been to class. When I say ‘no big deal, let’s just get together for coffee,” they always say “yes, let’s do that sometime.” But it never materializes. Fitness friends are great, but they are ever changing. As a long-time fitness leader I learned this lesson years ago.
Today, I am optimistic – as per usual on a Saturday morning. I will make an effort to try and do something different. Maybe I will go dancing, even if it is in a bar and I go alone. (OK I probably won’t). Maybe when I go to Chapters to find my next read, I will run into Mr. Right :)!! I secretly imagine this scenerio everytime I go there. It’s possible when I hit the coffee shop for my mid-day read, I will fall into conversation with the sexy guy next to me. – I can dream.
Getting a life is not as easy as it seems when you have committed yourself to studies, work, fitness, and healthy living. I don’t think I’m on the wrong track though. I put myself out there; I internet date, read in public (not at home), go to the gym, accept invites even when I don’t want to, and keep my eyes open for new friends at every turn. I believe sometimes when people change, they need to wait for their new life to blossom. I’ve left behind the person I was with my ex. I didn’t like her, so I changed her. I am stronger, wiser, calmer, and way more productive. I am looking for a man who respects and cares for me. Because, I don’t know what that type of a man looks like, I think it will take a little longer than usual. My new social life and love life are just around the corner – I’m sure of it. I must be patient, as all good things come in time.