I’ve been meaning to write this post a bit sooner, as it’s sort of related to Ambiversion, but I had a very busy week and then spent all weekend in Bellingham for a wedding.
Anyway I’m trying to build a social life as a single young adult in the city, but I don’t fit into anyone people group very well. I can get on well enough with most people but I rarely feel completely at ease and totally free to be myself, or that I can share every bit of myself with someone or any group of someones.
I’m a multifaceted man, with eclectic tastes and esoteric interests, not quite nerdy enough to be a hardcore nerd, but not into sports or mainstream entertainment either. I’ve got old fashioned beliefs and fairly progressive values. I feel like I won’t ever fit in completely anywhere.
I think this feeling, or this reality, starts like most things with my early family experiences. On my dad’s side of the family, where I have more relatives, and more cousins around my age they are deeply religious, unthinkingly conservative, countrified folk. Brimming with protestant work ethic, they value working hard, being self reliant and the simple unrefined pleasures of rural living. They’re good people but from an early age I remember feeling like I didn’t fit in.
My early love for Greek mythology was looked askance at. I was accused of cheating since I always won at monopoly (I just always bought up the oranges.) And in third grade when I wanted to dye my hair blue (my hair dresser mother had already purchased the dye) I excitedly told my grandmother and she said “I don’t know if I could love a grandson with blue hair.” So I didn’t dye it for several years until I was old enough not to care.
I choose not to attend holidays with that side of the family any more, they seem confused as to why.
While I may seem to many readers as an old fashioned goody two-shoes, I find that around much of the church crowd I feel rather like a rebel and a punk. I like dark and blue humor, I’ve always had a tendency towards envelope pushing. I used to skip class all the time, and among the straight-laced set I feel like quite the bad apple.
On the other hand, I’m a twenty-three year old virgin, I don’t do drugs, or drink heavily. I tend to be polite and not break any serious rules and when I had friends that were more rebellious punk-rock/heavy-metal types I seemed like a darling angel by comparison. And with the kinky people I know and have been around, well they’re cool, but again I feel foolishly naive and easily embarrassed by the easy openness so often displayed.
I did find a good social group at the Christian summer camp I worked at, but it’s been years and my friends from there are growing up and apart, a few shared summers worth of history doesn’t in itself create a solid bond. I really do like seeing and spending time with my friends from back then, but most of them are sportier, outdoorsier, types to my bookish movie geek. And of course being open about my interest in kink or how much I like blogging (about kink) is off the table.
Often I’ll make a friend with whom I have terrific chemistry, we just get along really well, even though we might only have one or two interests in common, or just happen to share a time and place. That’s great and all but then I find in wider social events with these types of friend that I have little to talk about or do with their friends. That without that nebulous chemistry the relationship is a bit flat.
And how is one supposed to make friends as an adult anyways? It is so weird to go out and socialize with people in the hopes of hitting it off well enough that you can then be all, “Hey we should go do something sometime!’ and they’ll be like “Yeah, we really should.” and then it happens.
It doesn’t ever seem to happen. Blame the Seattle Freeze I guess.
I’m not one to drop plans, even the most tenuous of plans to hang out are to be worth going through with, but if the other party flakes more than once or twice, I stop trying, I figure if people want to spend time with someone they’ll make it happen.
Knowing all that, my particular difficulties and insecurities, I’ve got two social groups on my radar at the moment The Scene and Church, an odd combo I know but odd combos are sort of the name of the game with me.
The Scene, being what it is may be OK, I think I’m going to keep going to the TNG munches and kinky/geeky munches while my interest holds and I’ve got free time. I think it’s mostly beneficial for me to get out and socialize, whether or not I build any deep and lasting friendships there we’ll see.
And I really ought to go to Church. I miss it, the fellowship, the music, the shared atmosphere, the homieness of it is something that has been missing in my life for a few years now. I have one in the area I liked (the one time I went) I know and like a few people that go there, and it may very well prove to be a good way for me to get connected in the city. At the very least I could fill my free hours by volunteering and do some good. Barring incident I think I’ll check out a Sunday service this weekend and we’ll see where that takes me as well.