One of my favorite podcasts, Call Your Girlfriend, has talked at length about how making friends as an adult is not always as easy and natural as it is as a kid.
When you're a kid, due to school and camp, you're constantly meeting new people who are your age. But when you're an adult, unless you have a job at a company that employs a lot of people your age, chances are, you'll only make a few friends here or there at work. You'll occasionally meet new people through friends of friends, but it isn't always easy to create a true friendship after only exchanging pleasantries across drinks at a party (and if you're like me, the older you get, the less you want to go to said parties). And also if you're like me, it takes overcoming some social anxiety to set lady dates with cool people you meet over Instagram or through other friends.
Cue the Baltimore community.
I assume other cities have cool IRL meetup groups too, but Baltimore isn't nicknamed Smalltimore for no reason. Generally the term is used derisively (no one likes running into old exes), but sometimes the close-knit Charm City community is ideal for new friend opportunities, and that's a beautiful thing.
So today I want to introduce you to some groups I've learned about around town and over Instagram in case you too believe you can never have too many friends.
OK, yes, the first group I am highlighting is my own. I recently created the Baltimore Flow because after multiple years of feeling extremely isolated by my experience of endometriosis and then finding out that I actually knew quite a few people who also had it as well as other reproductive disorders, I decided it was ABSURD for us to continue suffering and sifting through garbage information alone.
I created the Flow as a safe space currently online for local ladies dealing with endo, PCOS, infertility, and other related issues to be able to share information and give and receive support. We will be having monthly IRL meetups so that we can learn more from each other and from experts and just have the chance to spend a few hours here and there with other people who totally get it.
So please! If you are interested in joining or know other women who would be, join the group on Facebook and stay tuned for meetup dates!
Spurred by the sentiment I mentioned above, that it isn't always easy to make friends, the Society of Excellent Women hosts safe, inclusive events for excellent women to meet each other and become friends. In February, they had a Galentine's Day event, and coming up in July, they'll have an outdoor summertime party!
This relatively new Instagram account is SO welcome to the scene as far as I'm concerned. If you know me personally or if you have followed Hashtag Jetlag for any amount of time, you know that I am ALL about supporting women-owned businesses. So I am very excited to see a local community on Instagram that celebrates ladies doing just that -- being pro bosses and leaving their mark on Baltimore and beyond.
Follow the feed and the takeovers (which I love!) @bmore.babes.
Years ago, I wrote a freelance piece on one of the Charm City Craft Mafia's annual events, Holiday Heap. This group of local and semi-local artists and makers are so talented and create the coolest, most unique creations. After I wrote my story, I went to that year's Holiday Heap and I am pretty sure I gave the best gifts I've ever given that year and felt good about supporting local artists. The Charm City Craft Mafia's other annual event is Pile of Craft, which happens in the spring.
You might not have heard of the Pratt Contemporaries, but if you live in Baltimore, chances are you've most definitely heard of the annual Black and White Ball. This fundraiser gala goes ALL OUT. I've never been to this event, which is hosted by the Pratt Contemporaries, but I've seriously enjoyed the stalking it on Instagram -- especially this year, when the theme was Hemingway's Havana.
My shame is that a friend of mine who is a long-time Pratt Contemporary and a member of the Board of Directors invited me to join and it's literally been on my to-do list for like two years. I am the worst. But it's time I crossed this off, because seriously, few things sound better to me than hanging with a group of young Baltimoreans who are nerdy like me and want to support Baltimore's historic Enoch Pratt Free Library.
Learn more about the Pratt Contemporaries here!
So these are the groups that have come across my radar that inspire me! I am sure there are many that I've missed because what outsiders don't know about Baltimore is that it really can step up in being creative, inclusive, and aspirational. I love it.
Which groups are your favs? Tell me in the comments or on Instagram!