It’s true. I’m not naturally gregarious around new people, would often rather read a book than go to a party full of almost-strangers. Do you know those people who can walk into a coffee shop and come out with three new best friends and a yoga buddy? I’m not that girl.
That makes it hard sometimes, living in a new place.
There are many things I love about being here. The new restaurants and a newfound proximity to New York are two that come immediately to mind. To tell you the truth, I was more enthusiastic about this move than O, ready for fresh streets to explore and new challenges. But alongside the shiny aspects I eagerly anticipated, between the moments of excitement, there is also an occasional loneliness.
I’m finally coming to see this as my home, you see.
Over the past six months, I haven’t spent more than three continuous weeks in one place; there was no need to focus on the not-so-fun aspects of any one spot because I knew I would be leaving soon. But now I’m here and I’m staying and it hit me like a cartoon piano falling out of a cartoon window last week: I’m not very connected yet.
With work that I can do from home and without a school program that provides insta-friends, it’s up to me to make connections with other adults. Other adults! Anyone else used to relying on school/work or their gregarious significant other to make friends? I know I’m not alone. Rachel Bertsche just published a memoir about forging friendships as an adult and it’s a best-seller now, so someone out there is gobbling it up. I love spending time with O, but he does have that pesky grad program to attend. It keeps him busy (at least, busier than me).
So, really. What’s an introvert to do?
Try really hard, is the only answer I can come up with. It’s going to take a pointed effort for a while. So, I’ll start going to the drop-in yoga class down the street, finish orientation for volunteering at the hospital and invite a couple of acquaintances to grab coffee. Even though I always feel like I am asking someone out on a first date when I do this. “I really hope she says yes! Will she say yes?”
With all of that, maybe, just maybe, when we’re able to leave in a couple of years… I’ll want to stay.