Yesterday I had the worst hangover: a headache that wouldn't quit, a roiling stomach, terrible ear ringing, and not much energy to do anything beyond walking from bedroom to couch and back again. I didn't mind, though, because I suffered this hangover after an awesome girls night out with new friends.
Moving to a new place is really hard. I keep doing it, and every time I forget just how lonely and terrifying it truly is. I experienced it in New York, Philadelphia, and now here in London: Friday and Saturday nights in the apartment, listening to merrymakers outside on the street while sitting alone watching Law & Order reruns, wishing I had exciting social plans. It's not easy making friends, especially lady friends, outside of community structures like college and work, and elbowing oneself into already established friend groups can be exhausting and stressful. I personally think it's worse than dating - you're not just convincing someone that you're cute, fun, smart, and witty - you're trying to convince another girl to become your confidante, partner in crime, advice-giver, style guru, and objective listener. That's a tall order, and it's not easily accomplished even with alcohol.
My friend Kat and I discussed this weird phenomenon over a couple of bottles of wine more than a few years ago when we had our first awkward meeting as friends of friends. An article was published not-soon-after about the anxiety women go through trying to build social circles. We had a good laugh then, but I'm still reminded of it every time I see a group of girls walking down the street together, cackling and joking. It's hard to recreate a bond built over years of shared experiences every time one moves to a new place.
That's why I was so thrilled when my friend Anna invited me to her girl's night. I made sure my outfit was fab and I brushed my teeth and I was really nervous on my way to meet them. But her ladies welcomed me with open arms and bottles of wine and lots of laughs, and I had an immense time dancing until my feet didn't fit in my shoes and I had to stumble to the night bus. So despite the pain I felt all day yesterday, I bore it happily knowing it was well-earned and hopefully the start of something really great.