Isolation

The last two major hurdles to feeling settled in NYC are now behind me — I’ve become an official NYC resident according to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and registered to vote here, and my freakin’ home office furniture has finally been delivered and assembled. I live here, for real.

Now I’m just not entirely sure what to expect from my life in New York.

This weekend was great — in spite of the fact that I was fighting off the last remnants of a cold, I finally got to be a little bit sociable. I went out Friday night with old friends, made some new ones, stayed out way too late, and slept in far too long the next morning. I spent Saturday afternoon being chill with two of my favorite New Yorkers, and I caught up with old friends I almost never see on Sunday. It was a delightful way to spend a weekend.

In a way, it was exactly the sort of weekend I would enjoy having back in Charlotte, just with a slightly different cast of characters. (Hell, not even that different — more than half of the people I hung out with this weekend are actually folks that I knew from Charlotte originally but who live here now.) And I guess that familiar lifestyle is a good thing, because it suggests that I’m being true to the kind of things that make me happy.

Still, this somehow isn’t what I imagined when I pictured moving to New York.

Sal and I can basically count on spending Sundays together, and that’s about all that we can expect to be consistent. With him working two jobs, close to full time at both, and often both in one day, there are plenty of days where the only time we’ll see each other is when he’s home for a few hours of sleep in between closing shifts and opening ones. And this is before he starts auditioning and trying to get into the theatre scene in NYC.

Basically, I have to think of my social life in terms of being on my own, for the first time in years. And though I had half-heatedly joked about the likelihood that this would happen, the reality of it is really sinking in.

Being a naturally sociable person — even if more often than not that trait manifests itself as hosting friends at my home rather than venturing out into social experiences in public — it’s still strange to me to think that most days/nights of the week, I probably won’t have any real face-to-face interaction with my boyfriend, much less anyone else. I joke about being a shut-in, but the reality is that I’ll likely be fairly isolated for most of the week.

Yes, I know there are easy solutions to this “problem” of mine — I can get out of the apartment and go visit friends in other parts of NYC. I can have people over for dinner-and-a-movie the way I used to in Charlotte. I can find public places that I enjoy and make new friends… These are all reasonable options, and easy to implement.

I just hadn’t really considered that I’d need to think about these kinds of things.

I live with my significant other, with whom I supposedly moved here in order to build a new life together. I’m in a magnificent city with dozens of my favorite people on Earth. There are near limitless social and entertainment opportunities right outside my door… And yet it’s very easy to still feel isolated from the world around me.

I guess I just wasn’t truly prepared for having to work so hard in order to not feel alone.

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3 Responses to Isolation

  1. Bethanie says:

    I can relate. I don’t like “big city” life for exactly that reason. The year I spent in San Francisco and the four I lived in Seattle felt very isolating to me. In SF I had a very close friend and in Seattle I was married. Smaller cities don’t have that same feeling. After SF I moved back to Monterey, made new friends and had a great life, and after Seattle I moved here….have made great friends (practically family) and have a good life. I decided small cities/large towns are more my speed.

    I think to you have to expect an adjustment period to though. I am sorry to hear Sal is SO busy. Keep getting together with friends while you get used to new.

  2. gatoruptown says:

    Bethanie, thanks for sharing. I don’t think the fact that it’s a big city is really my problem — I think I’d just gotten very complacent in Charlotte, where I didn’t have to “work for it” to see people or be entertained.

    Working from home full time also contributes, as it becomes very easy to just keep on working without that “it’s time to call it a day” limit, particularly when you’re already home and you don’t have anything planned. And the next thing you know, it’s time for bed, and you haven’t actually done anything for YOU (as opposed to working) that day.

    I’m sure everything will work out, and I’ll develop my own routines and such for having a good balance of work, friends, and Sal. It’s just a bit of a transition… Especially at 3am when I can’t sleep 🙂

  3. […] leaving the apartment, and I really had to learn to adjust to Sal’s work schedule leaving us very little time together. But after about two months, I finally started to feel settled in here. I’ve come to really […]

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