The Truth About MeetUp

 

Looking for friends my age in Vegas is pretty tough. A lot of 20 somethings are here because they live for the nightlife and want to be  in a club, on the dance floor, while chemically out of their minds. I’m not knocking that lifestyle, though I prefer more low key events and being in my right state of mind. I imagine that MeetUp is pretty much the same as online dating, except you’re looking for friends. Sometimes you meet weirdos who are not who they say they are. I happened to fall victim of this circumstance a few times last year. Here is one of the instances.

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Last year, after making it my personal mission to have a little more fun, I decided to join a new MeetUp group which catered to 20-30 somethings. Since I tend to be more of a wet blanket, I figured I’d get along with an older crowd. The event was a happy hour at one of my favorite downtown bars, Commonwealth. Since I haven’t been in forever, I figured, what they hay? One of my new friends was actually part of the group so at least I had a friend should this thing go south. And boy, did it go south pretty quickly.

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One of my favorite parts of Commonwealth is that it has a great deck that holds a bunch of people overlooking downtown. Plus you can be as casual or as dressy as you like. I should also mention that I did  some recon (stalking) of the members of the group so I can get a sense of what I was walking into and I didn’t see any red flags. I made my way upstairs since that was where the MeetUp was being held. I get to the group and introduce myself to the group and I can say for certain that 90% of the women in attendance used the term 20s and 30s very liberally.

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To be honest, I’m pretty sure
that I was at least 20 years younger than most of the women (at the time I was 24). Despite my externally welcoming presence, I’m incredibly introverted. Seriously, most people are shocked to find that out, because I can come across as very social. Anyway, back to the Golden Girls.. er I mean 20s and 30s MeetUp. Instead of being awkward, I try my best to make conversation. My futile attempts were met with tight-lipped smiles. You know that smile you give when you’re talking to someone who is obviously “young” and too immature for the conversation. In my defense, I was one of the three girls who were actually in the age bracket, sorry I didn’t want to talk about denture glue.

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Anyways I digress, I ended up bonding with the other two girls who were 24 also, we were talking and then all of a sudden the moderator of the group, Bianca, brings over some creepy dudes introducing them to us “young girls”. I couldn’t believe it, I was being pimped out for my youth. The emphasis on our ages was quite obvious and the older women kept mentioning that the group was full of 20/30 somethings.

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The creepy older dudes beseeched upon us like a biblical plague. I was taken aback as this was supposed to be a girls bonding type situation. Having guys as old as your own father try to hit on you is creepy at best. Turning to look at the other girls my age, they were doing their best to be polite and cordial, though I could tell one thing was certain; we all wanted to get the hell out of there.

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I politely excused myself and the girls did the same. Laughing about the awkwardness of the situation, we left to the next bar to drink away the weird encounter. The night actually ended up being a good amount of fun. We found ourselves going back to Commonwealth for their 90s hiphop DJ. I spotted Bianca with one of the creepers she had introduced to us. To be polite, I said hello and thanked her for putting together the meetup. As I was speaking to her, her gentleman caller had started walking off into the crowd. Mid-sentence, Bianca stops talking and starts sprinting after this dude as though he is the last viable man on this earth.

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I turn to my friends, both shocked and laughing hysterically. Needless to say, that was my first and last time attending a MeetUp with the 20-30 Somethings group. Though it was a strange experience to say the least, I did make a new friend that day. While I hope the best for those ladies, I think the name “Find a Date Before it’s too Late” would be more fitting. 😉

Where the heck have I been?!!!

So I started this blog with the expectation that I would be writing pretty consistently, and I straight up have failed. Not intentionally of course but still, all I can offer up are some meager excuses. So like a game show host: “Let’s bring them on down!”

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“Starting with contestant #1, we have self deprecation and avoidance! This lovely little charmer has left our dear blogger, Taryn in a pensive and anxiety ridden state, rendering her almost useless hiding under the covers with her pup, Abbey, in a bottom of the Netflix bottle. You’ve heard it here first folks she’s been avoiding life!”

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(8 seasons of House, anyone?!)

 

Ok ok, writing like that was getting annoying so back to first person! So yes, I’ve been struggling with moving forward in more ways than one, but I am proud to say that I have been made strides to becoming a professional “Life Ass Kicker”! 2nd on my list of absenteeism is that fact that I’ve been making friends at a record rate! That and some college friends were in town. I got a chance to see Seether downtown for free while sippin’ on some $10 vodka from the back of my trunk (God bless open container laws in Vegas). It tasted absolutely vile, but it was a throwback to the college days where I had to depend on others to get alcohol for me. As fun as the night was, nostalgia doesn’t taste so good the next morning. Since then, I’ve vowed to never drink cheap vodka again. I like to believe my liver is rejoicing from that decision.

 

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(Drinking + Being far away= crappy photos)

 

 

Anywho, I’ve also been MIA due to a lovely trip to Monterey to see my parents. I’m fortunate to have really caring and supportive parents who noticed that I’ve been a little blue. So randomly they sent me a ticket and whisked me away to Monterey for a whole week and boy was it glorious! I cannot say enough awesome things about that place. I never thought that Central California had anything to offer other than produce and farm animals. I am glad to say that my ignorance was disproven, ten fold.

My dad as my tour guide, I went from Carmel, to Capitola in one day and I was just amazed at how beautiful, calm, and serene it all was. Carmel is super posh and quaint, I’m going to have to marry an old rich man to get a residence there eventually, haha! We saw the car show while passing through. Everywhere you turn it’s all just super scenic.

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(The sand was so cool at Pebble Beach!)

I have to say, Capitola was one of my favorite new discoveries to date. It reminds me of Santa Monica (My favorite place ever!) but way more chill. The traffic isn’t nearly as gnarly and it had such a good all around chill vibe. It has me thinking maybe SoCal isn’t my premier destination after all. Oh well, I’ll figure it out sooner than later.

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(Kickin’ back in Capitola, and they had a cool telephone booth too!)

My absolute favorite part of the trip was just spending time with my parents. I am seriously willing to wager that I have the best parents ever! Honestly, they’re two people I never get tired of hanging out with. Not because they’re my parents, but they happen to be pretty hilarious and know how to have a good time. I suppose that’s why I like to nag them as often as possible. My mom took me to this place called Moss Landing, and it’s this really cool overcast beach where you can go whale, dolphin, seal, sea otter watching. I fell in love with the place! Next time I go, I’ll bring some writing things with me as it seems to be the PERFECT place to just get stuff done. My dad took me back out there to go kayaking! It was my first time and I had an absolute blast! It is a hell of a workout though, so I ended up falling asleep on the couch right next to my dad. Going to Monterey was such a fun and wonderful experience. Despite being there for a whole week it felt like a day or two. Rest assured I’ll be back sooner than later.

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(Moss Landing, Kayaking with my dad, and my mom took photo evidence of our napping, haha!)

 

So there you have it folks! The reasons why I’ve been a quiet little church mouse. Don’t worry though, I seem to be getting back into the groove of my writing so I have more nifty stories to share with you! Until then, stay caffeinated my friends! 🙂

Talking to Strangers

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I find it absolutely ironic that the one major thing our parents told us not to do (talk to strangers) is one of the hardest things for people to accomplish. Well, it is for me at the very least. I can be described as an introvert cloaked in an extrovert’s clothing. Meaning, I look like I’m totally outgoing and will act as such, but really I’m just a neurotic weirdo who silently has anxiety attacks when thrown into unknown social situations. When I was a “slave to the man” I had to interact with tons of people. Extroversion was a muscle that I had flexed quite a bit. Now that I’m on Bum Island, most of the time it’s just my fur-child and I.

Quick exercise science question: what happens to a muscle when you don’t use it? You lose it. Same goes for my learned extroversion. Granted I have made more friends in the past 7 weeks than I have all of last year, but the little things tend to freak me out. Grocery shopping while it’s crowded or calling customer service people for example. Recently, I’ve discovered that doing the simplest tasks involving massive amounts of people terrify the hell out of me. Seriously, I’m getting an anxiety just thinking about it. Yesterday, I had to go to the grocery store at night. It went more smoothly than the last time, however I could sense my apprehension as I entered the store. Maybe it’s because I’m not around a lot of people as I used to be but, crowds can get a little overwhelming. Now, I’m not agoraphobic, in fact, I love walking around my neighborhood with my dog. The weather has been nothing short of superb, so I’m trying to enjoy it while it lasts. I also frequent the Starbucks near my house to write and to people watch. I absolutely love people, though I’ve been known to observe people instead of interacting with them. I am trying to find a happy medium between the two.

Since my whole declaration of getting out of my comfort zone, I have made progress. I chatted up a cutie at the coffee shop (my execution was laughable, but progress is progress). Also I’ve been really getting into eating healthier and exercising regularly. Now it’s time to start exercising that social muscle. Still, talking with strangers is something we need to do to make them friends right? After all, we all started out as strangers at some point.   

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My Time in Exile

You should all go and listen to Third Eye Blind. Ok, that’s all I had to say.

Just Kidding!

But seriously, they are legit. Anyway, I’ve been terrible (not a surprise) at chronicling my bum adventures. I’m currently heading into week 5 of my bummage. There have been a lot of twists and turns, ups and downs, and all of the in between. There are a few reasons as to why I’ve been away. First and foremost, I’ve actually began to have a semblance of a life! Secondly, the first two-ish weeks were spent with me having panic attacks (more on that later). Thirdly, honestly I didn’t know how/what to say about it. But now I’m back! With a bunch of words that will be construed into sentences. I can’t guarantee they’ll make sense, but here goes.

So previously I’ve written about the difficulties of making friends and that I had intended to go downtown a while back. Well, I’ve hit those marks, and quite well I may add. Long story short, I’ve met some ladies around my age and have actually been meeting up with them on the regular. Yes, that means I’ve been putting on pants (begrudgingly), leaving the comfort of my bed and pup, and have been thriving in the “real world”. Granted, I’ve had to be waaaayyyy more conservative on the spending do to my bum status, but nevertheless, I haven’t been happier. Well, it hasn’t been all fun and games.

The first two weeks, in between making friends and all that jazz, I was a total spazz. You see, I’ve always done the “practical” thing. Go to school, maintain a job, know exactly what you’re doing at all times, etc etc etc. Bottom line my motto was “YOU HAVE TO HAVE A PLAN!!!! ALWAYS!!!!! I cannot emphasize to you how firmly that belief was embedded into my core being. So for someone as uptight and neurotic as I am (or was/is?? who knows, lol) doing what I did was no easy feat, and it had psychological ramifications that then manifested into physiological ones known as wonderful panic attacks. I was so stressed, the unknown (at least for me) is such a scary scary place. Just to give you a clearer picture, I am so predictable that back when I was 19 I created a weekly event with my friend call Spontaneous Tuesdays (the irony is not lost on me). Theoretically, Tuesdays were supposed to have spontaneity and intrigue but in actuality we would end up at the same place, doing the same thing, and I even parked in the same area. So folks, my parents should have named me Predictable Pam. Anyway I digress from my point. The transition was a tough one and honestly I wasn’t enjoying it until my sister pointed out some apparent (not so apparent to me) arguments as to why I needed to chill the eff out.

I was on my way to Target and she could tell that I was stressing, so she looks at me and says “Dude, you have no reason to be stressed out. You’re not homeless, you’re not broke, and you literally have no major obligations. So chill out and stop finding problems when there are none.” I was getting ready to counter, but then I realized that she was absolutely right! The tightening pain I felt in my chest disappeared as quickly as it had come. I looked in the mirror and thought to myself, “I’m free, to do absolutely whatever it is that I desire. This is not an exile, this is a chance for me to enjoy being me!” So, I’ve been doing just that. I even have gone out of my comfort zone and have done some pretty cool things that are very unlike myself (more on that later).

Believe it or not, I am slowly, but surely growing quite comfortable with the unknown. After my little revelation (with the help of my sister), I chilled out and life is good. Not only have I made friends, having this free time has forced me to really develop my interpersonal skills on a personal level. Professionally, I’m great at communication and forging relationships (money talks). Personally… I have to some work to do. I suppose I’ve always been able to hide this (well, at least from myself) because I’ve been buried in work for so long. I’ve even changed my exercise and eating regimens (more on that later). All in all, this time to develop myself is exactly what I needed. I have grown exponentially this past month and I’m looking forward to seeing how else I progress! Don’t worry, I’ll be posting more funny stuff soon. Lord knows I’ve been on enough adventures in the past few weeks, so stay tuned!

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I Could Use Some Friends in This Town

Making new friends post-college has been a challenge of mine. Considering that almost all of my friendships since the beginning of my existence have happened in a school setting, I suppose it should not come as a surprise that I’m striking out. If you think about it, forming friendships for most people majorly start in school, be it daycare or kindergarten. Perhaps you bonded with your friend because of the mutual disdain of being in an educational institution. Or, you liked the fact the you both were wearing the same velcro high top sneakers. Whatever the case may be, you and your buds most likely met in some type of school setting.

When you’re in school in this instance, college, you’re automatically grouped with peers who have similar interests as you, like say your major. You can easily bond over your love of caffeine, a mutual hatred of a professor, or the longing of being done with it all. Whatever it is, you’ve coined a friendship out of it. Now that I’m outside that little cozy bubble  I’ve come to realize that making friendships in your 20s is almost like dating. Seriously, it’s pretty laughable how similar the two actually are. Let’s just say you meet someone in a coffee shop.

You see someone in a public setting where you exchange shy/awkward smiles. Maybe you’ve ordered the same drink or she took yours by mistake. You make small talk, and then find some type of common ground. You then work up the courage to see if they like XYZ because you know of an event taking place. They’re interested so you both exchange numbers and send the obligatory “Hey! It’s TJ from the coffee shop. It was so great to meet you!” Then you get the text back saying almost the same thing and you’re super excited. A few days go by and then you wonder, should you text them? You don’t want to seem overeager or desperate, but you really think you’d hit it off with this person and that a great friendship could occur. So you text them. Before you send it, you read it over a time or two just to make sure you don’t seem crazy.You deem it acceptable and eagerly await their response. At this point it could go 1 of 2 ways. They either A; text you back, make plans and the rest is history! Or B; they blow you off and you’re left nursing your pride telling yourself it was their loss anyway.

See the similarities there? Now, it’s easier to do the whole friendship thing if you ended up going back home after college. All your buddies (well some I guess) are there and you can pick up where you left off. However if you’ve gone to a different city like I did, it’s a little tougher. You have to start from scratch. Your academia bubble is no longer there for you to give you insta-friends and you have to put forth some effort. Or, maybe I just suck at making friends, who knows these days. 😉

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Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

 

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So I was actually going to start this off by saying that the reason my blogging has been incredibly inconsistent is due to my crazy work schedule.  I realized that was an excuse. Then I was going to explain missing a few days of my 30 day challenge was due to my being tired from said crazy work schedule. Another excuse. To add the cherry on top, I was going to complain about my lack of friends in my new city (been here for a year) is because I am too busy/tired to make any. I’ve come to realize, I’ve stopped doing things and started making excuses for literally everything!

My lack of writing is not because I’m too busy, it’s from my will not to do so. My weight gain is not my work schedule’s fault, but my inability to prepare/ set aside time to work out. And, my hermit lifestyle cannot be blamed on all of the above; the plain and simple truth is that I have not made the effort. Somewhere along the line, I determined that excuses are ok. I can blame away everything and it is never my fault.  I’ve created my own personal culture of excuses. Well, it’s time to change that perception. I am taking responsibility for my actions or lack there of. I am going to regain control of my life instead of leaving it up to excuses. I will start this by taking an honest hard look at myself in the mirror (both figuratively and literally)

I tend to let my mood be easily swayed by external events/people. Thus I’m always in an emotional whirlwind. One thing I’ve come to recognize is that happiness comes from within. I cannot allow myself to be swayed like tree branches in a harsh breeze. If I want to do something, I should do it. No excuses. I’m going to change “I can’t” to “I can” I’m challenging myself to dig deep and change my perceptions. I know it won’t be easy, but guess what? I can.

 

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” 
― Benjamin Franklin

“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” 
― George Washington

“Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure. 

~Don Wilder and Bill Rechin

 

All Dressed Up and Too Scared to Go.

Being a workaholic and 23 makes for a dull girl. I should know, because I am that girl. I came to Sin City temporarily 10 months ago just to visit family after school for a month or so. I ended up staying for a job that offered me a a pretty sweet salary and great healthcare! (Hey, broke college grad and student loans, don’t judge). My work life is pretty much the only life I have which does not bode well for maintaing a social life.

So, last week I decided to take my abysmal social life into my own two hands. I discovered meetup.com! Since I am a total book nerd, I found a great nonfiction group to join. The first book was about an American Ambassador in Germany during WWII. Great! Totally up my ally since I majored in political science in international affairs, specifically Central European Politics. I read the book, enjoyed it and was so ready and stoked to go talk about an incredibly interesting book with a group of strangers.

An hour before the meetup, I’m stoked with anticipation waiting to get ready to go. After 10 minutes, I got cold feet and just twiddled around on the internet.  After it was all said and done, I was severely disappointed with myself because I know I would have really enjoyed the conversation let alone interaction with people outside of work!But in reality, it’s incredibly scary to take the step into meeting new people. I suppose I’ve been out the “game” for so long, I fear I don’t know how to go about it. So now, I wait for the next meeting, hoping I have the gull to follow through.

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