Have you ever thought to yourself “I really wish I could meet a group of people with similar interests as myself that would be interested in hanging out and becoming friends”? I definitely have. I moved to Dayton a few years ago after my husband and I graduated from college. The only problem? I did not know a single soul here aside from my husband and his family. I ended up making a few friends with some work people luckily, but it would have been nice to have an additional outlet from which to pull friend possibilities.
I had heard about meetup.com a year or two ago, but I suffer from social anxiety so I never really wanted to put myself out there to meet new people. Kind of a double edged sword if you ask me. I wanted to make new friends, but was terrified of meeting new people. Such a weirdo!
Anyhow, the desire to make new friends intensified when I had Jake. I wanted mom friends that could meet up for play dates and conversation. I wanted a nice base of ladies I would be comfortable socializing with. Basically, I just wanted some more friends. You see, both of my best friends live (or will live) out of town. Carolyn lives in Louisville and my other bestie, Chrissy, will be moving to Columbus this month. Now who will I hang out with??
One of my readers, J, emailed me a few months ago asking if I had ever visited the website meetup.com. She said there was a group called Dayton Mamas (DMs for short) that met for various activities and she was interested in trying them out. I had seen this group also and it looked intriguing. There are over 100 members in this group and they do all kinds of activities like play dates, book readings, potlucks, etc. It seemed like a great way to meet new people, but again, with my social anxiety, I was hesitant.
Then J told me she had been to a couple events and I needed to try one with her. I had chatted with her off and on over email and she seemed like a really sweet girl, so I thought, heck. It’s now or never, right?
Yesterday, baby Jake and I braved the cold weather to meet a few of the DMs for “Backpacking Babies”, which was a walk through Sugarcreek Metro Park. I had expected about 10 people, but it turns out there were nearly double that number that showed up! Everyone had their little ones strapped to them in some fashion. I believe we had every type of harness contraption made represented at our walk.
Jake and I rocked the Moby. He loves the outdoors. It puts him right to sleep! He slept on me for about 90% of the walk, waking a few times to look at the trees and rocks along our path. He let me know we definitely needed to come back when he was a little older so he could play in the babbling brook!
Jake and I met J and her little guy (who is just a few weeks older than Jake) for the first time. J and I hit it off right away! She is a very sweet girl and it was great getting to meet a reader for the first time! We talked nonstop the entire walk about blogging (she is a future blogger), photography, cooking, and of course our little bundles of joy.
I met a couple other ladies that seemed really nice. I was very pleasantly surprised at how included I felt. I always worry that I’m going to be outcasted when I go to things, but I in now way felt that at all. It was a nice little jaunt through the woods. It definitely helped “knowing” one person though, let’s be honest.
After Jake and I finished our walk, I dropped him off at day care and went to work. I ended up scouring the Meetup app on my phone for more upcoming events I would be interested in. I found a couple and honestly can’t wait to try the next event! There’s a New Member Appetizer Social coming up that I’m very excited about, as well as a couple things at the local library.
If you are looking to get out there and make more friends with similar interests as you, I suggest looking up your city on meetup.com! They have all different types of groups out there from cooking to gardening to shopping! If you don’t see something you would like, consider creating one! You never know who is looking for something to do just like you!