The first time I moved to Los Angeles, it took me almost three years to plug into a social scene that captured my imagination, and then another three to realize it wasn’t actually going to lead anywhere.
Now that I’m residing in this smaller, sleepier satellite, I predict I’ll figure out the lay of the land sooner, but I’m trying to give things at least a year before I come to any definitive conclusions. I’m meeting lots of people through work, experiencing the different seasons, enjoying summertime at the beach, attending the annual local events, and participating in various activities. I’ve been telling myself that as long as my weekends are full, I won’t resort to online dating, and it looks like they will remain full through the end of the year.
My hunch at the midpoint, however, is that despite my relaxing dips in the ocean, I’m a fish out of water here. A fish amongst spouses, kids, and sports.
If that proves true, I don’t know what my approach to things will be come 2015. I have some plans to leave town at the end of the year; my first real trip away since moving here and starting this job. I’ll have some time to think, then, about the road ahead.
This doesn’t sound like you are “surrendering to your inner introvert”
Interestingly I was going to write something about how I often feel like a hermit, even though I’m frequently surrounded by people. Most often I attend events alone, or go to the beach alone, and during the week I rarely speak to anyone outside of work. Yet I am surrounded by people when working and often am at events putting in an appearance. So it’s a strange dichotomy, I admit. I have also gotten up to Los Angeles to see people and places from my prior life here. That is when I have felt most myself, but those connections are fading.
To strike a blow to the premise that marriage and children can fill a void (although clearly everyone’s circumstances are different), it was during my 20 year marriage, when I had children at home, that, when I went out, to concerts and museums and such, I more often than not went alone. Given my relationship status I did not go with others, or as you say, I rarely spoke to anyone outside of work.
To be sure, I had a close relationship with my children, and I saw my spouse every day, but my wife and I had different interests and to some degree it was a lonely time on an interpersonal level.
That’s one of the reasons I have held out for someone with whom I share similar interests. I have had those types of relationships and that aspect of them was great, but alas, other things did not work out.
Perhaps what you are seeking is the “holy grail.” I shared some similar interests with my wife, but I may have compromised too much, or acted out of too much need. But all I have is now, so I am making the best of it.
To a certain extent, my situation is the opposite of yours. When I was younger, I had the benefit of more resources, I had a sense that my financial future was secure (a false sense it turns out), but I was somewhat unhappy in a social context.
Now, I have less resources available to me, but my social life is more vibrant.
In either case, the situation leaves me wanting. The fallback to that, I think, is that I have to learn to be satisfied and fulfilled within myself, independent of my circumstances. And that idea seems to mesh with the direction your recent posts have been taking.
Yes, overall I feel fairly content, although worried I’ve “numbed out” a bit because objectively I’m at a pretty low point in terms of social connections.
I hear you. My social connections of late buoy me. Without those, I think I would feel pretty low, too. I have been getting many of those connections online, something that you have been avoiding so far, according to one of your recent posts.
It helps that my youngest child is still at home, with whom I am becoming closer as he is coming into his own. That in itself is a social connection that buoys me. But eventually he will be gone and then I will open a new chapter in life.