School made it easy to find friends as a kid. You were best friends with your neighbor down the street. You rode bikes together, climbed trees together. Heck, in 6th grade you even let her dye one of your eyebrows a different color to see if your parents would notice because they were super strict. But as you get older and become an adult, it seems harder and harder to make those lasting connections. When I went to college, I was lucky enough to be paired with a stranger that remains one of my best friends. But aside from her, it was difficult finding “real” people.
I went to school full time and was putting myself through college, which meant working 20-25 hours a week during my 1st and 2nd years with dining services on campus as a staff lead and 25-45 hours a week my final years (plus my PT internship senior year) in the study abroad office and as a nanny. I had early morning classes so that I could put in 15 hours a week at the office and anywhere from 10-30 hours a week as a nanny. I’d work overnight nanny shifts (their parents were nurses), get the kids up and off to school, drive to school myself, take a few classes and be back to pick them up in the afternoon, feed them dinner and give them their baths. Who had time to eat or sleep, much less make friends!? I’m an introvert, hopelessly awkward and oblivious, shy, I have confidence issues and I don’t trust easily (I swear I’m a fun girl!). Making friends as an adult is hard ya’ll!
Then I joined Team in Training in San Diego and it was like instant family. Representing 3 different decades, the Three Muskateers were inseparable! Heck, they even jumped out of a plane with me on my birthday!
Then in November 2012 I moved back to the Bay Area and struggled big time. I wasn’t the same 18 year old girl I was when I had left in August 2003. I didn’t want drama and avoided it at all costs. I started working full time and commuting 5 hours a day. I barely had time to get myself through each and every day, so when the heck was I supposed to have a social life!? I struggled to get back to running. I didn’t have the same support I did in San Diego and hated always running alone, feeling there really wasn’t a reason or purpose to it anymore. Then in early 2014 I heard about Oiselle and their tiny team that they called The Flock. A small group of girls who loved an up and coming womens running apparel brand. I followed their activity on social media, but missed the application period for 2014 by 2 days (I was so bummed!), so I waited patiently for them to open up in 2015.
I’ve been part of the group for just over a year now and it’s completely changed the last 13 months of my life. I may still be exhausted from commuting endless hours a day, but finally feel like I belong again.