Friday, September 05, 2008

Social Life! (Hunh?!)

I don't know y'all, getting a social life is sort of exhausting. I mean, I suddenly have things to do and people to see and I'm not used to it AT ALL. I've put a lot of effort into meeting more people in Nashville over the past 6 weeks or so, and slowly but surely it is paying off. And I've found that being around people is energizing, which is weird because I'm usually the type of person who is happy to stay indoors all weekend and emerge only for the paper and lattes. I'm just not used to doing so much STUFF, and meeting so many new people. So while I'm really thrilled that this is working it is just so against my personality to be social that when I get home after an evening out I'm just like "What the hell was that?" Then it takes me a while to come down from the energy rush, so that's where the exhausting part comes in.

The really encouraging thing about this is that I've been meeting people who are not only interesting, but also have good friend potential. And they're all sort of in the same boat that I am too- new to the area or new to single life, or both, and it's nice to hang out with people who have the same priorities. Namely, get your own shit together before you try to get anyone else involved. And that could be a while, so it's even more important to reach out and get some friends so I don't turn into a hermit. (Or the cat woman, but I don't like cats that much so I don't think there's a lot of danger of that happening.)

I'm writing about this because I've never thought of myself as the kind of person who makes friends easily (although now that I look back I realize that is total crap). I get shy, and I wonder if people are spending time with me because they feel sorry for me. Or because I make them look thin. Or because they don't have anything better to do. This is obviously my insecure teenage self shining through, the girl so shy she couldn't even look at people. Over the past 8 or 10 years that person has disappeared on the outside, and I'm slowly squashing her on the inside as well. The more you get out and do stuff the easier it gets, so there goes the shyness. I get to choose who my friends are, no the other way around; I'm not the supporting cast in someone else's life, I'm the main character in MY life.

The thing that has really helped me is the book, "Live Alone and Like It", which was written in the 1930s. It is a book for women who may occasionally find themselves living alone, you know, between husbands or something. And while a lot of the advice is archaic and sexist (hire a maid for an afternoon when you want to lounge around in bed with lots of magazines, be sure you have a wardrobe that men will appreciate, how to entertain when you don't have a kitchen), a lot of it is just common sense ways to make sure that you don't turn into a mopey depressed girl when you can be a strong woman with a full life.

And that is exactly what I'm doing (the latter, not the former).

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