For the first time since I moved to L.A. (six years ago), I feel like I have a solid community here in this city. For those of you who have ever lived in a major city (particularly L.A. or NYC), you know how difficult it is to build consistent community. For Angelinos, there is always an excuse — traffic, distance, traffic or traffic. Everyone you know is typically spread out enough to where getting from here to there is such a nightmare unless you leave at 6 a.m. or 9 p.m. It doesn’t bode well for building relationships and feeling connected on a regular basis. This month has been an extreme exception.
A few reasons I feel our social calendar has been exponentially busier this month:
1. Family. The hubs and I both have family in SoCal. My brother and sister-in-law are kind-of a big deal, so we haven’t been able to see them as much over the past year due to their insane schedules. We always love the chance to meet up for a quick brunch or dinner together. The hubs’ family is always up for a reason to get together and celebrate SOMETHING each month. This month it was 4th of July white trash style. They hosted their annual 4th of July pool party with plenty of food and booze for all 30+ guests. Despite the fact that they’re in Orange County, a good handful of L.A. friends make the trek to enjoy one of the most epic parties of the year:
2. Special Occasions. This obviously requires that you have a few aquaintances/friends to start with. If you do, make it a point to go to events that they create for you to enjoy yourself and meet new people. This month, we had a few bday parties, an engagement party and an opportunity to support our friend’s band at a new venue.
3. Organized Sports. We recently joined a DodgeBall team in Hollywood. It’s probably the activity the hubs and I look forward to most every week. On Monday nights, our team plays in a league of 5 other teams and battles to our deaths for the championship (it feels that serious when you’re playing). Everyone in the league walks to a local bar after each game and hangs out the rest of the evening together. It’s such a fun way to meet people you would have never become friends with otherwise!
4. Church. We had gone to the same church for about 4 years and made some of our closest friends in the city from that community. When we left to start fresh elsewhere, we felt a little out of sorts and had a hard time connecting with people (mainly because we weren’t involved and didn’t give people a chance to get to know us). We decided to join volunteer teams that meet once a month for a few hours on Sunday mornings and were then chosen to be on the Kenya team. Most of our social interaction this month has been with some of the members from our Kenya team because of the amount of prep time we’ve spent with one another. We’ve had so much fun getting to know these people and we haven’t even left yet!
5. Work. This is probably obvious to most people. For those of you who work from home (like the hubs and I do), it’s not super obvious. For me, most of my clients live outside of SoCal. In fact, most of them live in different time zones and our relationship is limited to texting and Skype calls. Because the process we take our clients through is a bit more intense than your average client experience, I have been privileged to become friends with a good handful of them in the last year. We recently hosted four clients-turned-friends for a week this month as they came through L.A. on vacation. When you have the opportunity to build a company around your core values and passions, you attract people with similar hopes for the trajectories of their lives. Nothing is more exciting than building friendships that encourage risk and continued dreaming!
What are your secrets for meeting new people in your city?