16 July 2008

Me, Myself & I

One of the things that I learned here in New York is how to be alone and to be able to do things on my own. In a city with more than 8 million people, it's hard to imagine being by yourself, but it's true. I would have to say that New York can actually be one of the loneliest places on Earth.

Before moving here, I was always surrounded with family and friends. I had friends that I could call on a minute's notice to meet me for coffee, a spontaneous lunch, or to just hang out at someone's house. I always had an endless supply of workout partners and people that I could call to just accompany me on mundane errands.

But it is not so here in New York. I do not have many people to call here at all. It seems that all my friends and acquaintances here are very career-oriented (myself included), and finding someone to meet up with you even for a quick meal seems almost impossible. Since moving here, I seem to be doing everything by myself. I've gone to visit museums, explore the city, eat at restaurants, go to the movie theatre, drink at bars - all by myself. I have never been with just myself so much in all my life.

This past weekend, after another long work week, I treated myself to a bike ride along the Shore Promenade in Brooklyn.

My Bike The Shore Promenade

Bike Path through Shore Promenade View of the Verrazano Bridge

I am finding that being with just myself is no longer as lonely as it was. I am actually realizing that it's not so bad to be around me. In fact, I now look forward to when I can have time to be with myself, all by myself.

"The strongest man in the world, is he who stands alone." ~ Henrik Ibsen

10 comments:

  1. This made me remember a convo I had with a good friend earlier. The majority of people lose their level of social interaction after they get married, and for some of these people they also lose their social knowledge and find it difficult to interact out of the blue with strangers again, kinda like being in a new high school for older people.

    It's a shame really that this happens, because being able to interact with other people serves us in our careers as well as our family lives. Knowing the right people can boost your paycheck, and knowing the right people for your family can mean better medical/dental treatment or an increase for your family's quality of life and security.

    In closing, if you can't find a friend to join you at the last minute to go someplace, then make a new friend when you get there.

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  2. I too am surprised that you have not made many friends in NY. I can't help but wonder if maybe it might be intentional on some level? You seem very nice, witty and well informed. I am sure you will fall into a new group of friends when you are ready.

    Dirk

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  3. same thing happened to me when i relocated to seattle. i have about 3 people i know well enough to meet for lunch. it all has to be planned in advance - they work and have busy schedules. i left my entire social life in atlanta and since i don't work here and my hubby is not a social butterfly, it has been hard to meet people beyond casual acquaintance.

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  4. it just emphasizes how
    precious friends are. sometimes
    it seems so easy making friends
    until you move or they move
    and it's like starting over
    again and its hard because
    there are no friends like old
    friends who make you feel like
    you're not lonely anymore.

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  5. i love the feeling of being alone. doing things alone is the most liberating thing. :)

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  6. Girl, you are independent no matter where you are, I know that about you and you are a survivor, don't make me sing that beyonce song to you!!!! But I do miss my friend and our movies, ice cream, and egg rolls and rice.

    Tell your mom to come back and make me some!!! ha ha ha!!!

    Good for you!!! You were always independent and did your own thing, always strong and you never knew it. all your friends in MD knew, you followed your own beat!!!!

    Bye homey!!!

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  7. Just remember that you rock and when you can't sleep....I'm currently 6 hours behind you so feel free to dial cause my cell phone number isn't changing. Even when I move to SF next year.

    Its interesting how hard it is to find the balance in your life between work, and your soul. Its always hard not to have good support behind you. Its hard to make friends when your older cause people have motivations not just be friends to be friend. filtering out the fakes from the real people is trying.

    Hey when I move to SF, you better come visit me!

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  8. Welcome to my world.

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  9. B: You're moving to SF??? When? Oh, man, not before I've had a chance to visit you in Hawaii!!!

    Dirk: It's easy enough to make acquaintances, but I find it difficult to make real friends. I also work a lot, which makes it even more difficult.

    Elee: Thanks, girl. I'm glad one of my "old" friends read and comment here. It's comforting, and somehow I feel less alone.

    Graham: You don't strike me as the loner type. I always thought of you as like a social butterfly, fluttering around from place to place and with different people.

    Papa: I understand what you're saying about the importance of having friends and never losing the ability to interact with people. I get too much people interaction at work, and as far as friends, I don't have any problems making any, it's just a matter of finding friends who are readily available at a moment's notice.

    Sera: That's exactly right. I feel like I have to start over with making a new set of friends. I'm just too tired to do that.

    Sky: I'm glad you wrote that comment, because I think people were starting to think that I'm an anti-social freak. Sure, casual acquaintances are easy enough to make, but real friends, those kinds of friends that you can call up last minute, those are few and far between, and not easy to make especially when one keeps the kind of schedule I keep.

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  10. Hi nova-san,
    it's me... couldn't help checking your blog out too. It's brilliant!!
    Hope you don't mind...

    I know exactly how you feel. That's how I felt in London, but at the same time it felt good to sometimes be totally anonymous. If that makes any sense at all.

    It's just when something has happened at work, at home or sometimes not at all, the urge to call a good friend or meet up can get really strong and we might not have that sort of connection to the acquaintances we've made to just be able to do just that.

    Sometimes all we need is one of those friends that just knows how we feel just by looking at us. No words, no explanations of feelings needed...they just know...

    I've finished rambling now, but just wanted to say; I know how you feel. Guess that's the strongest reason for me going back to my old home town after separating from my daughters father.

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