One of the things that I’m realizing right now is just how little I know about building and maintaining a social life. A simple matter of getting tickets to a comedy show and finding someone to go with strikes me as intimidating. And yet, these are things that people do all the time.
But then, most people have been doing things like this since their youth. To me, this whole idea of getting out and having a fun night on the town is pretty new. And that’s a pretty disconcerting epiphany to have. In retrospect, I wish I had made more of an effort to do these kinds of things when I was younger.
Of course, growing up in rural Pennsylvania didn’t help that. For youth in my hometown, the options were pretty much limited to going to church events (which I did a fair share of, myself) or find the nearest drinking party. The latter was completely not me. I didn’t drink, and certainly didn’t believe in underage drinking. Besides, I had little in common with those holding such parties.
Some of the more fortunate individuals could possibly go to the Arnot Mall just across the state line. There, options including just hanging out at the mall, shopping, or catching a movie. Unfortunately, I didn’t have transportation, nor knew anyone who did. As a result, I had a substantially quiet life at home, spending most of my time in solitude.
In college, I was a bit more socially active. I had the friends from Acts 29 and InterVarsity. But even then, we tended to hang out in someone’s room. Occasionally, we might catch a movie as a group or run to one of the restaurants. Or we might even occasionally catch a play produced by the school’s drama department. But we didn’t spend a lot of time going out into the world.
After college, it was back to rural Pennsylvania. This time I had a car, and could go to the more populated areas about half an hour away. But at this point, I had no real close friends, and the idea of going to most events alone frightened me. And I certainly wasn’t aware of most events in the area.
So I find myself having to learn little things here in Rochester, like how to find out about local happenings. I know that there are shows and concerts of all kinds throughout the area, but I’m not entirely sure how to best “plug in” to hear about them in time. (This is probably one of the reasons I jumped on the Vickie Shaw thing so quickly.)
And then there’s the issue that I still don’t want to go to most things alone. Now, the good news there is that I have a handful of friends here. Providing they’re available, I can probably convince one of them to go to just about anything I’d be interested in checking out. But it’s a new mode of thinking that I’m going to have to get used to. And as I said in the beginning, I can’t help but feel like this is something most people learn to do at a younger age and find it much more natural than I do now. That’s a bit frustrating right now.