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When you return home for a visit, it will seem perfect. Like I went back to New York a few weeks ago and it was 72, sunny with no humidity almost every day. I should have hired someone to follow me around with a bucket of snow and throw it in my face every couple hours to help me appreciate Florida. Next time.

Real friendships take time to develop. And friendships are hard to predict.  Don’t discount a cool girl just because you overheard her having a ridiculous argument with her husband over peach pie. (Not that I would ever argue about peach pie.) (Okay, it was definitely me.)

You must accept all invitations because even though an invite to go late night roller skating meant you nearly ended up in the middle of a teenage turf rumble in a sketchy parking lot, it could have been a great night of couples’ skates and nachos at the snack bar.

Just when you think you finally know where you are going, you will spend 25 minutes lost in your own development.

For the first time in your life, you leave notes for your husband like, “Just saw a lizard under the blinds. Before you come upstairs, take care of it.” He will claim he “couldn’t find it.” Despite his long history of honesty, you will sort of not believe him.

You will meet potential friends, become friends on Facebook and then get a birthday notification that they are 26 years old. This will make your 40 something self weep. You will be forced to block their Facebook updates.

You will find yourself in funks at times. Don’t try to cheer yourself up by clicking on those links, “Celebrities without makeup!” First of all, half of them are wearing makeup unless shiny lips the color of candy apples is now a natural pigment and the other half look gorgeous without makeup.

You will try to convince yourself that you don’t need friends and that Monica, Rachel and Phoebe, although a bit dated in their overalls and big sweaters, are enough. You must persevere and find real friends. Ones that aren’t on 90’s sitcoms.

The first mom who asks for a Friday afternoon playdate, that involves wine and appetizers, has serious potential.

Know your elevator friendship pitch. Like mine could be, “I have 5 kids, I once got 10 cavities from eating too many hard candies and I make great monkey sounds! It’s so nice to meet you!!” I would suggest you come up with something better than that.

It always gets better. You really can’t judge a place until you’ve been there a decade. Just kidding. It really takes about 2 years. Eventually it will feel like home. Or something like home.


9 Responses to things to keep in mind when you move to a new place

  • Ygirl says:

    I have lived in Texas for a bit over a year now…still no friends, still does not feel like home. I probably should go to the library and get the entire seasons of Friends to get me thru the second year of feeling like a lost schlep?! 😉

  • Shanna says:

    Oh, this post made me so sad! It’s HARD to move to a new place. And this just goes to show that even people as fun and witty as you still struggle to make connections in this crazy world. That you’re so honest about it is comforting to everyone else out there feeling similarly. Hang in there- it will get better!

  • Paul says:

    Ummm, I would suggest that you spruce up your introduction a bit. It could easily be more attractive just by making a few small changes. For instance take out the 5 kids – they can find that out after after you’ve charmed them-and change that to you had ebola. Or perhaps remove the monkey noises and tell them that you just got out of prison after 22 years for murder and were looking to make new friends. You could replace “10 cavities” with the fact that you have no KNOWN ties to terrorist groups, so you’re clean. You see how easy it would be to make new friends when you present yourself in the best manner?

  • Susan says:

    I moved to Belgium three years ago and it is still pretty hard somedays. The language and cultural differences are both my favorite thing and the thing I hate most. And I would love to begin a conversation without having to state that I am from America. And Miami to NY probably has some pretty significant differences too. But focus on the positives, like it was a lizard and not a python or alligator. =)

  • George says:

    It does take 2 years. I moved to the cape and although it was a vacation home for years, moving there full time was a completely different animal. I now am here 3 years full time and I just love it (winter sucks though). It will feel like home, give it more time.
    Just remember, you are only a few hour plane ride away or a very long car ride but at least it isn’t Australia or some far away place.

  • Princess Judy says:

    Not moving is hard too. I mean like when all your friends move away and you stay behind so you have to make new ones. And you are known to only attract the Black Holes of Never Ending Need type people. And you know not to accept the skating invite because there is always a rumble in the parking lot because you’ve lived here long enough to know that. Then it gets really hard. So I developed hobbies and learned to be good friends with myself. I think with 5 kids though you might have a harder time with that though since you won’t have time to introduce yourself to you. Definitely accept the wine and appetizers kiddie play date!

  • Leigh Ann says:

    I can’t imagine moving to a new place. Even when we (vaguely) consider moving to NC, we have family there, so it wouldn’t be too bad. I’m a textbook introvert, so making friends is really hard for me. The other person has to do most of the initiating. :/

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kelcey kintner