When I left London, moved into my own flat in Folkestone and started working from home, I knew it was important to get involved in the local community so I didn’t isolate myself.
Making new friends and putting yourself out there can be difficult. I don’t know about you but it makes me feel vulnerable, anxious and self-conscious. Not drinking adds another element into the mix for me too, because I sometimes feel like I don’t fit in in social situations (and I don’t have that cloak of alcohol to take away the anxiety and loosen my inhibitions). Ironically I’m more confident and comfortable with myself now without a wine or gin in my hand than I ever was with one, because sober living has taught me to face my insecurities and has helped me to be (and like) who I really am without anything to change, disguise or take the edge off it. So, since I’ve moved, I’ve thrown myself into meeting new people with gusto and just accepted that my old nemesis anxiety might just come along for the ride – but that’s ok.
One of the things I’ve done which has led me to meet some really lovely new people was to join a local Facebook group – the Folkestone Ladies Social Club. I love it. There’s lots of opportunities to do things that don’t involve alcohol (and those that do as well) so the fact I don’t drink isn’t an issue. And there are lots of women on there who are interested in mindfulness, spirituality and wellbeing too, so I’m connecting with an abundance of like-minded souls.
So far I’ve met up with people to go on an evening walk along the coast, been on a writing workshop, taken part in a vision board and journaling evening and met up with members for coffee.
Yesterday I attended a new wellbeing book club one of the women has set up, which is right up my street and was held in my absolute favourite cafe – Steep Street Coffee House.
There were six of us there, two women I’d met before and three I hadn’t. We all brought along spiritual or wellbeing books that had inspired us and shared about how they had transformed or changed our lives or ways of thinking. It was really inspiring. We created an extensive list of books to read based on each other’s recommendations and then agreed on one to start with – You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay. I already own a copy so I’m excited to read it and talk about it next month when we get together again.
I felt so lifted just spending an hour and a half in the company of these amazing women, hearing their stories and sharing with one another.
I absolutely love living in Folkestone. The town has come alive in recent years and there’s such a sense of community. There is also so much to do that doesn’t cost you a fortune (in this case the price of a coffee). It’s a very special place to live and I feel blessed to be making so many new wonderful connections.