A Galentine’s Ode to Houston

women celebrating Galentine's Day in Houston Making new girlfriends as an adult is no easy feat. For me, finally graduating from the world of school and medical training at the not-so-tender age of 33, still living in New York City, I suddenly found myself in a new and uncomfortable position: many of my long-time friends were already mothers, or lived far across town, or our work hours made socializing something we had to plan months in advance.

I yearned for friends that would feel more like family, the kind of folks you could text and say “let’s grab a drink”, or “let’s meet up this weekend”, people with whom we could hang out without penciling it into the calendar. My now-husband and I had been together for 2 years, and I also really wanted friends that weren’t mine or his, but ours. NYC, with all its charms, was not favorable to my quest for making new girlfriends. So when we decided to move to Houston, I knew I wanted to prioritize finding the right tribe to build the kind of adult friendship I was craving. What I couldn’t have known then, but something for which I thank my lucky stars all the time, is that Houston was and is the perfect place to build that life.

As I think about it now, there are a few key things about Houston that made it so much easier for me to find my people here, and so here is my ode to this city and the Galentine’s gang it bequeathed me.

Work-LIfe Balance

First and foremost is work-life balance. In NYC, it felt sacrilegious for me to leave the office before 5:30pm. I felt guilty on the days I “snuck out” before 5pm in leggings to try and squeeze in a workout before heading home. I’ll never forget the conversation my husband and I had driving home after dinner with my now partners at my interview – as soon as we were in our car, doors closed, he turned to me and said “did you hear that? Out of the office by 4:30?!” It sounded revelatory to me even then, but now, as a mom, I can’t imagine how my former work hours could have coexisted with the personal life I wanted to have.

At any rate, when we moved here, I went to a dizzying array of after-work activities, promoting my practice and on the hunt for new friends. It did drive my husband a little crazy at the time, but Houston was going to be our forever home, and I wanted it to feel that way quickly. My personal experience has really been that Houstonians prioritize personal time, whether in the form of book clubs, activism, networking, girls’ nights out, galas {SO many galas!}, family outings, or more.


Second, diversity. On every spectrum you can think of, Houston has it covered. As someone who grew up in the Midwest and then spent most of her adult life on the East Coast, I can humbly say that Houston is not what outsiders think it is. My husband would get annoyed in our early dating days when he went home to what I monikered “cowboy-land” – we may have a baller Rodeo, but I could honestly use more occasions to wear my cowboy boots, not less! In terms of making friends, there are so many niches to dig into, groups to join, that eventually, the right folks will surface.

Houston is Friendly to All

Third, Houston is also that rare city that is friendly to every stage of life. When it was just the two of us, I could spend weekend mornings mixing and matching my favorite studio workouts and coffee shops before grabbing my boo and hitting up some fun activity or day-drinking. Then I found all the dog-friendly spots I could visit with the pup once he joined us, and now the wealth of museums, parks, and family-friendly spots we routinely explore, all while living in the heart of town. And nary a side-eye when we show up with a kid to a restaurant {not true in every city!}. Houston has easily accommodated us as we’ve grown, and made it easy for us to mingle with folks who are child-free, fur-parents, or with kids similarly-aged or older.

Long story short, I love the way our life bloomed once we moved here – dog, house, baby all in the first year here and more growth to come! – and I am so deeply content with continuing to nourish the friendships I have here.

If I could throw my dream Galentine’s bash, there are so many great women I’d be thrilled to see – but the city of Houston is an integral part of that story too, and I’m grateful.


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Rashmi Kudesia, MD MSc is a board-certified OB/GYN and Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility specialist who is passionate about improving women's access to evidence-based, honest reproductive health information and care. Aside from her clinical practice seeing patients in Houston and Sugar Land, Rashmi frequently speaks at conferences and community events, and advocates for women's health via media interviews and social media. Originally a Midwesterner, she moved around the East Coast for school and training, including nearly a decade in NYC, where she met her husband, Ashish, a Houston native. After moving to Houston in 2018, she's continued searching for that perfect work-life balance as the family grew quickly, adding their first pup, Bowser {2018}, their first home, and now their first kiddo, Amara {2019}! Right now, she's learning the ropes of being a working mama, but still loves exploring Houston's amazing food scene, checking out the newest museum exhibits, or planning the family's next trip. She's always on the hunt for the city's best iced latte or glass of wine to be savored with a good book. Find her on Facebook and Instagram {@rkudesia}.


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