When You’re Strange

It’s nearly one in the morning, I have work stuff to do pretty early tomorrow, so this is going to be quick.

Today was Ben and my 30th birthday pot-luck. We don’t know a lot of people in Portland, so the group was pretty small, but I enjoyed myself.

It did make me think that nearly one year here and absolutely no new friends is kind of a bad look. Working and fretting about work non-stop has taken an obvious toll on our social life. Then again, I’ve never had to make a completely new friend group before. Not like I really have to now, Ben has Portland friends, and I’m glad for that, but I found myself missing my LA friends more than usual today.

This may sound funny coming from a woman who regularly talks about her most shameful shit on the Internet, but I’m a hardcore introvert. Dealing with people in a purely social context exhausts me. It takes a long time for someone to make their way into the bubble where being with them is just as nourishing as being alone. I can count those people on one hand, and the only one in Oregon is Ben.

It’s hard to make grown-up friends, especially when you feel like you absolutely must be working at every available second, or live with the knowledge that the failure of your business is definitely your fault because you didn’t do absolutely everything in your power to stop it.

Obviously, I happen to be in one of those rare moments where I’m not totally freaking out about work because now I’m freaking out about my friend circle. Anything to keep the anxiety high. By which I mean to say that a good portion of this navel gazing is probably due to (my usual) lack of sleep, followed by lots of cleaning, followed by not enough eating, and too much talking.

Relationships don’t appear overnight. It’s an organic process that takes time and patient effort, as well as completely arbitrary factors like compatibility and availability. I know all this stuff, but it still kind of sucks when you’re a stranger in a completely awesome, but still substantially strange land.