I’ve moved to a new town, San Diego, in the last six months. I haven’t made (m)any friends yet.
I’ve been in this position before. I moved home to Seattle, aged 22, after four years of college in Maine. Most of my friends from high school, including my two best friends, lived elsewhere. All of my friends from college were sticking on the East Coast or moving to California. My sister lived in D.C.
Somehow, I figured it out. I made friendships in my 20s that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I should probably write those friends more often, but things are solid. It’s nice to talk on the phone or read an email from them.
But that isn’t quite the same thing as living in the same city as your buddy. I haven’t yet met anyone who I would call up to get lunch, or watch a basketball game, or drink a beer. Let alone all three at the same time.
I’m not sure if it’s harder now that I’m 30, but it feels like it. I don’t know if that’s because of age, or it’s a sign of the times, but maybe it’s both.
Like I said, I figured it out before somehow. As I recall, there were two main ways I made friends with people: work and playing music.
Both avenues are working, though slowly. I’m working as a freelancer for a number of clients in other places, so that’s not very helpful. It’s not a lot of fun to have coffee with someone over FaceTime, even if you know them already.
Still, I’m doing a handful of things, including a work-for-desk trade at a coworking space, that have introduced me to some nice people. I’m looking for a full-time gig. Prospects seem pretty good.
Meanwhile, I’m cruising Craigslist for guys. And girls. Musicians, that is. (This joke has elicited some chuckles from my in-laws, my main company for the last couple of months.)
Unfortunately, this music thing has also been slow going. The preponderance of bands here in San Diego seem to be cover bands whose members are 50+ years old, or slightly people who are embarking on the extremely unasked-for sonic voyage of combining Ratt with Creed. (Though I would be 100% down for Mötley Crüe plus Stone Temple Pilots.)
Regardless, I’m making some progress. There are some pretty good pop-punk outfits—this is the home of Blink-182, after all—and every West Coast town has a legally-mandated quota of pasty white people who listen to Joy Division. I believe that’s why Pinback and Drive Like Jehu originated here. This is all to say that I’ve jammed with a few cool people, and I’m optimistic.
But there are days when I feel like everyone in this city is going out of their way to hang out without me. Unlike my wife, who is befriending her grad school cohort, I don’t have a daily concern that will automatically put me in the company of interesting people.
Of course, as the bediapered bass boi said, it turns out I’m not so alone in being alone. Everyone feels lonely now. Even the charming Paul Rudd, who we thought had this exact problem figured out, just made a show about inadequacy and ennui.
The only thing to do is try, and be patient. It’s hard, but I think it will be worth it.
In the meantime, want to get a beer?