On September 21, 2011, I came to a new country, to a new city just after 2 months of losing my cousin whom I loved (and still do) so dearly, I flew 20 hours to Dallas heartbroken but excited to be reunited with my husband whom I didn’t see for 6 months. Of course, I was sad to leave my family and my friends behind, but I thought I’d be fine, I have a husband, who is my best friend, and I could talk with my family and friends over the phone, technology is so amazing after all… Well, I was so naive… We were doing good for 6 months, he was enough for me, being alone the whole day didn’t really bother me (being an introvert definitely helped).. but then, everything started to get to me: being stuck in the apartment while Daniel was working, no car (in Texas it’s a problem), no job (my documents for green card were in the process), no friends, no family, no one really to talk to, and even though technology worked, time zones were still different…
It was always hard for me to make friends, I prefer quality over quantity, and I’m so blessed to have friends in different countries, people who I’ve been friends with for 10+ years, people who I care about and who care about me, and even though being in different time zones changed the way we communicate, it hasn’t changed the status of our friendship. But how do you make friends when you’re in a new city, when you don’t really go anywhere, when English is your second language, and you’re always self-conscious about your accent and pronunciation, and because of it you talk even less, plus, everyone has their own circle of people they hang out with?
I was kind of miserable but didn’t want to seem needy, I felt like I got it, that I could do everything on my own, and that I didn’t really need friends. Rule #1 Never underestimate the power of having a real girlfriend (even if it’s just one) by your side.
I was staying busy, blogging, learning new skills, got a puppy… still no friends, though. Then I got pregnant. Christian was born in October 2013, and when he was about 5 months old I realized that I really wanted him to have friends who he could grow up with, have play dates, birthday parties. I knew then that I had to make the first step to change the situation.. if not for me then for him.. I knew that when he goes to school, of course, he would have friends, but I didn’t want to wait till then and I also wanted to know the parents of his friends, not just on a first name basis, but to really know them, be friends with them. So I started to search different groups for moms around the city. The first group I went to was a group for nursing moms, and I met Marycarmen there, we talked briefly, and it wasn’t like we connected and hit it off right away, but I thought she was nice and our sons are practically the same age, so I asked for her phone number to meet up some time after. We didn’t return to that group again, but we became long-lasting friends. I never thought that something like this was possible, that you could go to a class full of unknown to you people just once, and find a friend :-). I’ve joined other groups as well, met a lot of moms, with the majority of women that I met I couldn’t connect, maybe because of cultural differences, maybe because they already had their group of friends and not necessarily wanted or needed a new friend, it doesn’t matter why, it’s life I can’t be friends with everyone, right? BUT to my surprise, there were also a lot of moms that were in a similar situation like mine who just wanted a friend for their child and a friend for themselves… When I saw that, I realized that I needed to make the first step not only for me and my child but for them too. I don’t want anyone to feel lost or lonely. That was one of the reasons I became a Mombassador for Dallas Moms Blog group in my area… I want to connect people and connect with people, I want to see new moms make friends, make real friends who they can share their life events with.
I’m blessed to have a group of girlfriends that I can spend time with, do monthly moms outings (because we all know moms need that), have playdates with kids, and attend family events.
Rule # 2 Don’t be afraid to make the first step, or say “hi” or ask for a phone number to connect, maybe a mom on a playground running around after her little threenager is your friend for life, maybe not, but if she is, don’t lose her and all the moments you can create together.
xo JANE xo