In May I will be taking a 3 day holiday without kids and without Nath – it excites and terrifies me all at the same time! It is to celebrate the upcoming wedding of one of my oldest friends this summer (and when I say oldest, I mean long time – I am actually 8 months older). We have known one another since being 11 and have been through allsorts! I am so very much looking forward to being a part of their celebrations and commitment and taking this trip together in a few months time. Marriage is something we talked a lot about growing up and it’s mad to think that here we are – living the dream and building our families.
Aside from her, I only know 3 other people going on this girly weekend (again from school days) and so a couple of weekends ago, just after Christmas, some of us met up in Beverley for afternoon drinks (and overpriced cheesy chips in firepit!) to get to know each other and break the ice! I was a little nervous, but had a lovely time with other women and my friend, and found discovered some virgin colada’s that were flipping delicious!
I am always curious when seperate groups of friends come together as one – will we all mesh? Could we become a new tribe? What do we all have in common that connects us to this mutual friend? (because we must possess some similarities to get along with the same person and potentially these might make us click too). And, I can’t help wonder if it will be competitive in any way (because that is really awks and not called for!). I also often wonder if I will talk too much or if people will think I am weird because I choose not to drink, but the latter is less important.
Because I am a sociable person and enjoy meeting new people in spite of where it goes, those latter worries are short lived. We cannot control how we are perceived by others, but we can make the effort when an opportunity is presented – because you never know what a drink (or meeting) with strangers might become. And, when a close friend wants other friends to meet – especially in the name of a life event – I do try hard to make it work and use my ability to talk to anyone to ease it for everyone there.
I was a little nervous about meeting all of these lovely women I heard a lot about, however there was no need to be and there was something really lovely about having drinks with strangers. It was great for this little group of women to come together for a shared purpose, and It was so nice to do something out of my ordinary and grab an opportunity to connect with interesting and fantastic people – getting to know what we share and appreciating difference. We shared our successes and no-one seemed afraid to talk of trial and difficulty either (which I love and find real and refreshing). In these moments you get to feed off the vibe of womanhood and motherhood – soak up some of that empowerment and learn from others. You have fun and share laughter discussing the age old topics of men, kids and personal goals for work, study and life.
Yes, having drinks with these women I didn’t yet know was both interesting and a little scary, but mostly it was lovely and fun.
Perhaps some of these will one day become close friends, or perhaps it will just be a lovely meeting in honour of our mutual friend as we celebrate a wonderful time in her life. Either way I know I made the effort and had a lovely afternoon in the process. I met some great women, made a connection before our trip and also discovered some new fairly local spots to visit with Nath on a date.
I know it can be hard to make new friends or mingle within groups where women have strong relationships already. It is natural to want to make a good impression or worry about how we might be perceived by others. But this experience was a good one for me and one I would suggest anyone embrace when faced with it too. I am a little nervous about going away without Nath or the kids – it is something I haven’t done in years, but I also know it is also important for myself and my well-being. In spite of all of that, I know I want to do it and I am looking forward to travelling and seeing what will unfurl as I travel together in May with this group of women.
It is a lovely thought that possibly a simple afternoon drinks with strangers could evolve into new friendships or at the very least, just have some great life experiences with other great women as our paths cross over these few months celebrating the marriage of one of our faves!