Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Let's Be Besties

Today I am co-hosting with Sharlee from My New Lines & the Girl Talk series!

 I am kind of in love with the idea behind this series. We women gotta help each other out! Ask questions! Get Answers! FRIENDSHIP. Which leads me to my post today!
                                                {Excellent segue, amirite?!?}

Being in the military makes it kind of ridiculously hard to make friends. We move around a lot and it's not exactly the easiest environment to introduce yourself to people. Especially if you aren't in the same branch as the people you are trying to make friends with, interestingly enough.

When I was growing up, I was an Army brat so I was used to the moving, but it's kind of easier being a kid in the military as far as making friends is concerned. You get to go to school and meet people there or your parents put you in activities and sports and you meet people there; by the end of the week you have a new BFF. Those kids don't care if you are a Marine, Soldier, Airman or Seaman. They just care if you share your fruit-by-the foot.

That's not exactly the way it works when you are an adult. You have to put yourself out there. You have to scout out events to attend. You HAVE to get yourself involved or no one else is going to and you aren't going to have any friends. If your family is leading the military lifestyle YOU NEED FRIENDS. 

It is scary. It is intimidating. There were and are times where I would rather watch Food Network all day and tell myself I don't need friends. But really--you have to just put yourself out there and you will find that there are other people just waiting for you so they can have a friend, too.

When we moved to California, we were lucky because we knew a few people who were already out there, some who had been life long family friends. We were lucky enough that our neighbors were people Daniel went to high school with and they quickly became like family to us and second parents to Gracie. We are also very fortunate to be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, because the fellowship amongst our members is amazing to behold. Everyone wants to help, everyone wants to love you. 99% percent of my friends I had in California were from the church and people I saw every Sunday. I had one friend who wasn't of my faith and I only met her at a random baby shower we went to on a whim.

Left: Two of my good church friends, the blonde on the far left was our neighbor :). Center: Gracie and Mark, the one friend who wasn't military? He is her son. Left: One of my other good friends from church.

Here in Georgia, we weren't so lucky. We knew pretty much no one. We had a few friends that came from Monterey with us, but that's it. {Well, we were lucky we knew those few people from our old ward in Monterey because they let us borrow everything we survived with until our housing shipment got here two weeks after we did.}

I knew that because our ward boundaries are so spread out here, we weren't going to be neighbors with a lot of members like we were in Monterey. I was right. I am neighbors will exactly ZERO members. Of course, I am still making every effort to go to every church function I can. I still want to be close as I can be with my fellow sisters!!!  But I also want to have friends that are outside of my church comfort bubble.  I really want to be friends with all of our neighbors. We live in an amazing neighborhood and I just have pictures of friday night neighbor barbecue's or kid swapping or just walking over one morning for a little chit chat.

I knew that wasn't gonna happen if I didn't reach out. So, I channeled my inner Martha Stewart. I made a few cute tags introducing my family, attached our picture so they knew what we looked like, and gave them some of the best cookies on the face of this planet. Fail proof plan.

Sure enough, I met some really awesome people and set up a few play dates for Gracie. I feel like I am already integrated into the neighborhood, even if it's just a little bit. Are we besties yet? No, but at least I got my foot in the door, ya know? At least they know who we are now, and we aren't just the strangers who moved into the new house.

I've also added myself to several Fort Gordon pages and have signed up for some military events that are going on for the military spouses.

The point is, you have to put yourself out there or you are going to just end up on the couch eating lean cuisines all day long while you watch Food Network. In theory--that's a good time--but in reality-it's lonely and depressing.

Making friends is easy, it really is. You just have to take a leap of faith...and make the biggest batch of cookies of your life.




  1. This is a great idea. I got married in Sept 2012 and when I moved to Ft. Bragg I was so depressed because it was so hard to make friends. I’ve been here for almost 2 years now and from everyone I met I am good friends with just one and now in January we are PCSing; so I’m definitely going to try this out.

  2. Tanika, I love your way of reaching out. That kind of stuff is hard for me, because it's out of my comfort zone. This week, my goal is to make bread for my neighbors, walk over, and introduce myself. I miss you so much! Thanks for the great idea. Love you!


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