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How do you build a life for yourself?

(14 Posts)
MechanicalTheatre Sun 07-Apr-13 23:42:03

I have split up with my partner - my decision. But now I am finding life empty and a bit of a struggle.

I don't have too many friends, and the friends I do have are so busy with their own lives that I don't quite fit in.

I don't have many hobbies that involve other people, I like to read and that's about it.

My confidence is low (I've suffered from mh problems most of my life and that has taken a lot of time and energy to get past) and I just find it so hard to socialise.

But what I would like is the sort of life where I have a lot of friends, people just popping round to visit, exciting hobbies, a good job that actually interests me...but I don't know how to get any of those things.

I am 30, and I already feel like I have missed out on so much in life. My 20s were spent battling this bloody mh problem and I've never really had any stability.

I don't know who I am or what I want.

How do other people do it?

izzyizin Sun 07-Apr-13 23:52:19

What type of job do you have now and how much time do you have available for 'exciting hobbies' and 'people just popping round to visit'?

MechanicalTheatre Sun 07-Apr-13 23:55:16

I'm 3 months away from finishing my PGCE in primary teaching. I love teaching, but I know I don't want to do it for the rest of my life.

I don't really know how much time I have. I know that sounds stupid.

I just sort of look back at my childhood and I had a lot of balls and it was just sort of knocked out of me. I want to be like that again. I want to not be scared to do stuff.

Moanranger Sun 07-Apr-13 23:56:07

Set goals. If you don't know how, there are lots of books that can help. I highly recommend "Your Best Year Yet", really easy to follow & straightforward. Getting what you want in life is totally possible, but you have to know where you want to go, plan how to get there & take steps every day to achieve you goals.

deliasmithy Mon 08-Apr-13 00:25:44

The first step is recognising you feel this way. Ive had times of varying confidence.
One of the best ways to chip away at this is to do something slightly out of your comfort zone. Just enough to push yourself a little.

Join a book group, a local mh support group, pick a hobby and give it a whirl.
Local colleges, community halls and local paper are good places to start.
I did meditation classes during a difficult time. Not highly social but it got me out the house, I did chat to a few people and it was a success to prove myself wrong.

mermaid101 Mon 08-Apr-13 10:38:12

A strategy I have used in the past to make my life fuller and busier, is to be really happy to do anything. By that I mean, when I didn't have DCs, I would pretty much do anything with a friend who did. So I went to the supermarket or park or whatever she was doing. It meant that she had a hand and I had company.

I was always extremely laid back about nights out and just went along to whatever was on offer: birthday parties, dog racing, tagging along to other people's work nights out etc.

I now have a DC and work full time as a teacher, so am pretty busy and struggle to keep up with all my friends. I find the ones I see regularly are the ones who are similar to how I used to be: very easy about what they do.

I found by being sunny and open to all invites seemed to mean that I got invited to more things. I have been to loads to weddings with various friends as a plus one. They have told me it was because I was happy to find people to chat to and they didn't need to "babysit" me. I loved it. I really miss my old social life.

Good luck. It can be hard going, especially if you live alone. I came to love it, but it did take a bit of work.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 08-Apr-13 10:53:46

I was where you were 2 years ago. I now have more friends and activities and invites than I know what to do with. It took a good bit of legwork and overcoming my own inhibitions to get there, though!

- start hobbies
- join activity groups
- speak to everyone you meet, wherever (work, cafes, dog park, hobbies, etc). Be a good listener, and open and sunny.
- never turn down an invitation
- host events, invite lots of people. repeat a few times until you start getting return invitations. keep up the hosting.
- force yourself to socialise even when you don't want to.
- you ARE nice and cute and smart and fun and worth knowing. Believe it! Act on that belief.
- get a dog. Seriously. You will meet so many people, and you will be meeting the same people regularly, over time. This is how relationships are built. Other dog owners will become your network connecting you to other activities, events and people. A few of them you will click with and they will become your friends (rather than a link in the chain towards other future friends, which is what the other dog owners will be to you).

skaboy Mon 08-Apr-13 10:58:15

I'm in the same situation, but have tried to turn the break up into a positive experience. Having not been single for 15 years, I'm really going to try to get to know myself, form friendships on my own terms and improve my self esteem. The post above me is an excellent list of things to try.

After two months of being single I now realise this is not going to all fall into place straight away and takes considerable effort. Sometimes it just won't click for a few days, but above all you should just keep trying, knowing that you are always improving all these things. You should also try and look back a couple of months every now and then and reflect on how far you have come.
Good luck smile

MechanicalTheatre Mon 08-Apr-13 14:20:22

Thank you for all advice. I am thinking about it. I will respond more later.

Not sure how I can do friendly and open though. I am a grumpy mare.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 08-Apr-13 15:54:10

Don't rush at it. I had been separated for 6 months when just after christmas I thought I must start to make a new life for myself. So I joined a choir - advantage the actual time when you talk to other people is limited as you are mostly singing. Now 3 months later I am going on my first adult night out since becoming single. I am really going for the Hare approach here and gradually I will get there.
I did already have my wonderful dog who got me out of bed everyday and on walks. Activity and fresh air are great helpers I find.

MechanicalTheatre Tue 09-Apr-13 22:38:41

Moanranger I have ordered the book from Amazon, I will let you know how I get on with it.

Thanks to rest of you for advice. The problem with being open and sunny is that I am not. I am grumpy and I do not like most people. But I would still like people in my life. It is very hard to make friends when you are grumpy. But in the end, the friends I do have like my grumpiness.

Sometimes I wish I was a man, so I could just go and sit and grunt in a pub over the football.

MadBraLady Tue 09-Apr-13 23:19:10

Oh, bollocks to being open and sunny, I'm not either. smile

Volunteer in an org that interests you. It's the best way to do stuff while still retaining a toehold on being grumpy and antisocial when you need to be. People are SO grateful for you being there at all! And if you ever can't face it, you make your apologies and nobody minds.

MechanicalTheatre Wed 10-Apr-13 00:31:28

Thanks MadBraLady. Yes, I should go and do some voluntary work, you're right. It really sucks, I have a lot of friends, but they are all over the place. And then the connection starts to drop off a bit because everyone has their own lives.

HermioneHatesHoovering Wed 10-Apr-13 06:08:18

I'm in a similar boat to you. I've just joined a couple of MeetUp groups and been to my first MeetUp, a pub quiz. I really enjoyed it, met someone there who is a close neighbour that I didn't know and another person that I used to know when ds1 (28) was a pre-schooler!

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