Lately I have been really stepping out of my comfort zones, pushing myself a little bit, whether it is to talk with other parents at OMSI, attend MeetUp groups or pushing myself to run harder or faster.
The other night for example I went out for the first time alone in Portland. I went to an event by myself, no friends, no husband no baby. I was shaking in my boots as I walked through the door but I was determined to spend my few ours sans bebe having a good time because I mean really would it have been worth it if I hadn’t?
I checked in to the event, received my drink tickets and headed to the bar to get some liquid courage aka a beer. I attempted to strike up a conversation with another lady who seemed to be at the event by herself as well but in the end she just wasn’t interested in talking and quickly got her drink and found her friends. I honestly felt like I went to the bar alone and was trying to pick up, but in this case I was just trying to make friendly with other women at the event.
I moved on and decided to go over to the merch table where I ended up buying myself two tops, retail therapy much? Again I tried talking with some of the women at the table but everyone seemed to be more interested in their friends who they came with. At this point I was feeling pretty rejected but was determined not to give up (yet).
I walked over to a new are and saw a group of women sitting on an L-shaped couch near where the presentation would be happening. There was one seat open on the end so I asked if anyone was sitting there and sat down hoping to strike up a conversation with them but again they were very into their small group discussion already. At this point I looked around the room and everyone was grouped off and it was at the point where the rejection had set in and I really had no desire to try and interject myself into someone elses conversation (again). I decided to just sip my beer and wait for the presentation to start.
Then it happened. Someone who also was attending the event alone sat on the stairs next to me. I had never been happier to see another (lonely) person, after how the night had been going. We got to talking and had a great conversation while we waited for the presentation. We talked about running, races, a little about family and moving. It was so nice to connect with another mom about something other than breastfeeding and baby bowel movements. I can’t say that I walked away with a long lasting friendship, honestly I can’t remember her name (mommy brain much?), but I did have a great conversation.
A few things that I took away from this experience:
- If an event is at a bar with (free) drinks flowing it doesn’t make people more open to talking.
- If an event is at a bar next time I will find a friend or at least a MeetUp mom to go with.
- Large events often make it harder (for me) to meet people, especially when I am new to a city.
- I like small more intimate events.
- I can go out without the baby and survive.
- Trying something outside of my comfort zone is empowering.
Have you ever gone to event alone? I mean not knowing anyone AT ALL who is going to be there (and knowing people only via social media or blogging doesn’t count). How do you approach a situation like this?