I took off with my partner, Terry, from I-can’t-decide-what-the-weather-will-be-like-today Chicago to always-sunny San Diego: The finest city. And it is fine, in every sense of the word.
How’s the weather out there? Fine.
How are you liking it? Fine.
How are you two getting along? Just fine.
We moved here for Terry’s job a few months ago. And since I just type words all day, I can pretty much live anywhere. It was a no-brainer to go with him. But I have to admit, San Diego wasn’t my first choice. We moved from an urban metropolis to the beach – a part of the country that’s 75 degrees and sunny. Every day. And although I love feeling like I live in paradise, at my core I’m a city girl.
Chicago isn’t always lovely, but it is always changing. There’s always something happening, and I knew how and where to find it. But my love’s dream was to live near the ocean, so the ocean is where we went.
I don’t want to sound like a martyr. The first time we went to the beach and I looked out onto the Pacific, knowing that there was nothing for miles and miles and miles, I felt a huge sense of awe. A great respect for this place overwhelmed me, and I was happy. Besides, I’ve been wanting to live somewhere new for years. I just never had a “good enough” reason to leave what was so familiar to me.
My friends, family, comfort and connections all lured me to stay. Until one day, I said I was moving, and everyone was excited for me. And they all said, “We’ll still be your friend!” “You can still work with us!” and “Our door is always open if you ever want to come home.” And with that blessing, I was empowered to pack my bags and head out on an epic journey with my greatest friend.
And thank the higher powers of the universe that Terry and I get along so well, because we don’t have anyone else to hang out with around here. Sure we have a couple family members who live just a mile away (I am incredibly thankful for this). But family is a different bond. And considering those relatives are my second cousin, her husband and their 9-month-old, there’s only so much time a brand new family can dedicate to showing us around.
The interesting part about not having friends is how comfortable I am with it. I learned back in Chicago how much of an island I could be. I lived alone for 9 months between October and May, and if you don’t know anything about Chicago winters, it’s the time of year when no one leaves their homes until the snow melts and the sun comes out again.
Nexflix was my friend then. And I suppose Terry would drop by every couple of days to make sure my face hadn’t been eaten off by a mischief of fierce Chicago rats.
Netflix is still my friend. I’m halfway through season 8 of X-Files. (I wanted to watch all nine original seasons before I watched the new one.) I even carved out some time for the Gilmore Girls series in preparation for the new four-episode season coming in November. I don’t know about you, but I know how I’m spending my Thanksgiving weekend. And so, this is the life of a human island.
Regardless of how comfortable I am hanging out with myself, I realize that it’s unhealthy. And that’s my motivation to make friends. That, and I desperately miss collaboration. As a freelance writer, you’re often the only writer working on a project. You can absolutely chat with your team, but content is often a low priority compared to design, tech or even project management. Plus, there are so many people in the world who can’t write. Because of that, they leave it to the expert. And if you’re the only expert, you’re out of luck.
During a visit to Chicago last week I had breakfast with my friend Lauren. She runs her own website, Lauren Ignited, and is a social media wizard. I was having trouble figuring out how to start this blog, and if I had relied on my own ideas, it would have looked much different.
“Why don’t you just start the blog on your portfolio site?”
Brilliant. And all it took was a ride up to Roger’s Park and some time with a friend.
I should clarify. I’m certainly capable of making friends. I met Lauren only a few months ago when we were both working Lollapalooza. And look at us now!
We look amazing together.
If I can look this good with a friend I've spent only a handful of days with, imagine how awesome it will be when I finally make that first San Diego friend and latch on for life.