California Dreamin'


Hi, all:

I have been in California for a little over a month. I really like it here and have been really enjoying myself, but there are still some moments in life when I feel completely lonely. 

It's not easy moving across country and leaving your friends and family behind. I feel like it's been happening to me a lot in the past 4-5 years. And I hate that feeling of not knowing anything or anyone. I think it's good to be honest and not highlight only the best parts of your life. 

I was showing off the city and my new apartment on Instagram and making people jealous, because who doesn't want to live here? But, truth be told, I was feeling lonely. And not the kind of lonely that you can just make go away with a slice of cake, no. I was watching my friends have fun without me and feeling sorry for myself. I was re-watching old snaps, looking at photos and feeling like I don't belong here. Of course, my husband was here for me, but his new job schedule is very demanding and I barely see him. It was a rough month. I realized that in order for me to feel like myself again, I needed a plan. So here are some of the things I did in order to get out of this loneliness triggered by moving to a new place. And if any of you ever find yourself in a similar situation, I truly hope this can be of help. 

1. Plan your day out: wake up early and do something by yourself. It's totally okay and you will have a blast if you only keep a positive attitude about it. I did this just in my own town. I took my dog and we explored my surroundings together. I also recommend finding a nice coffee shop or park and bringing a good book to read. It will relax you and perhaps you will even meet someone on your stroll. 

2. CALL YOUR FRIENDS: it's honestly so good to just hear your loved one's voice instead of texting or posting on social media about how much you miss them. Nothing beats having that personal face to face conversation and just talking each other's ears off. 

3. Find things to do locally: whether you like sports or shopping, you can always find something you like around you. Don't be afraid to go places by yourself because quite frankly, that is how you meet people. 

4. Find out useful tools for meeting people: now I say this as a woman who has been married and in an LTR -- dating apps scare me, BUT I did find an app called Bumble BFF where you can meet people as friends and not romantically. So, that's exactly what I did and it may sound lame to you, but you gotta start somewhere! 

5. Volunteering: this one is such a good way of meeting people and you know these are good people, because who finds time to do good for others anymore? I am looking into doing some animal shelter volunteering and I know it's gonna connect me with some awesome people! 

6. Meditation: this will help with inner peace and learning to be content with yourself whether you are surrounded with friends or not. You need to learn to love yourself just the way you are and then you'll be able to show genuine love for others, which will make people gravitate towards you. Just remember that all good things start with a little self love. 

7. Try something new: it's so good and healthy for one's soul to get out of their comfort zones and do something they've never done before. I recently tried a pole dancing class and it was such a great experience. I was able to meet new people and have fun doing something completely new to me. It was truly awesome! 

8. Community meetups: this one may not be readily available to everyone. It depends on where you live, too. But if you are in an apartment complex, perhaps your leasing office hosts some event for all the residents or maybe there is a community event that you could attend to meet other people and make new connections. Whatever it is, just get out and do it! 

All these things have helped me in one way or another. I really hope you can use it too. Also, i am so grateful that my friend, Shay was able to visit me this past week. We explored together, laughed together and I was reminded that no distance could ever ruin a true friendship! 

*PHOTOGRAPHY: Shakira McGowan (@shaycaptures)