Move a lot or even once and you’ll get to know the meaning of this word. Disconnected is the way most folks feel in the first weeks and even months in a new place: new life, new home, new community, new roads, new places, new people can leave you feeling a little off kilter.
Each time I move I try to remind myself that “getting busy” is a sure-fire way to arrive at the other side of that feeling of not belonging. In doing so, in a little while, one day you wake up and miraculously realize that you do belong to someplace new, often in wonderfully unexpected ways.
To push that reconnect button in your life, here are some suggestions:
- Volunteer – there are so many organizations and people in need. Your local foodbank, library, or community service agency (YMCA, JCC, etc.) often have spots to fill.
- Participate – find out about your town’s cultural calendar (check out town or city websites for upcoming events)
- Leap In – Get physically active either at a gym, walking about town, or taking up a new sport.
- Take a class – most communities have inexpensive recreation department classes open to residents and non-residents. Try a cooking class, learn a new language, or develop a hidden talent like drawing or photography.
- Hang out – find the coolest coffee shop you can and hang for a while with your favorite drink and the paper, you may sniff out some like minded folks over a shared love of lattes.
- Be patient – building the sense of belonging takes time and patience.
Nine months into my most recent move, I’m still inching my way toward belonging to my new town. But it is quite an interesting opportunity to explore so many new things, and lately I think all these experiences of things that are “new” can be its own reward.
How have your found your connection?