One is silver and the other's gold...
I was talking to Shane last night about what it's like working at Bergamot Station (the arts complex where my gallery is located) and the topic of potential new friends came up. There are about nine people I can think of off the top of my head that I would like to be friends with that work in the other galleries. I've been working at this location for almost 5 months and in that span I've started to say hello to these people by name, casually chat them up at the cafe, walk with them to get the mail or go to the bathroom and other common workplace niceties. It might sound silly, but I'm starting to seriously consider how we make friends as adults. It's definitely something worth pondering for a minute. Growing up, friends are handed to you on a silver platter in the form of neighborhoods, soccer teams, classmates, etc. Now, that silver platter is work; but when you work at a place where it's just you and one other person, you've gotta start looking for a bigger platter.
Something I've missed desperately ever since moving from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles is a real sense of close community. I miss the feeling of love and security I used to have knowing that when I got off work and left my door open, anyone might walk in and start making dinner with me or come over to watch a movie. We all lived within 5-7 minutes of each other, or even walking distance and at one point, next door! I don't think I realized how easy I had it back then and I pine for it daily.
In addition to all the gallerists at Bergamot, I've also noticed that there are a ton of girls my age who live in my apartment building. We don't say anything to each other when we all get home from what are most likely similar jobs or when we arrive sweat, in yoga clothes. We just go straight into our respective apartments and probably eat the same heated-up meals and drink a half a bottle of wine alone, right next door to each other. What if they're watching Harry Potter? I'd love to watch with them! I'd like to make it a personal goal to reach out to these people soon--the gallerists and my apartment neighbors. These are the people that I see every day. They could potentially be great new friends. They could potentially be my new community.
I've always prided myself in my ability to stay in touch with people. I talk to a few out of state and out of town girls every single day and I know they are my friends for life. That's not going to change. I have an incredible best friend and roommate who I could do everything with, except we have completely opposite schedules--I'm lucky if I see her twice a week (not exaggerating). I have an amazing group of friends who went to college with me--we all live in LA, but living in LA is one thing and living in the same part of LA is another. None of them live in the same part of LA as me, so it makes it extremely tricky to try and get together. Luckily I have a Facebook group chat with them and can easily contact them and if one of us is in serious need of a friend, at least one person can usually come to the rescue. But that brings me back to my original point: it is imperative to have a close community of friends in your area that you can connect with--human to human, share hugs, share meals, commune with one another.
I have Shane, I have friends and family that I see on the weekend and I have the girls I chat with all day at work. What I'm missing are the work-week buddies who you do the day to day shit with. How hard would it be to say to that girl over at the photography gallery, "Hey, wanna grab a drink after work?" Or, "Wanna go to yoga together?" Or to the girl with the Trader Joes bags outside my apartment, "Are you going to the grocery store? I'll walk over there with you..." It's really hard to try and make new friends when you're an adult. It can feel pretty embarrassing at times. People have already built their support systems. They have their best friends. They have their routines. When you say something more than, "It's really hot out today, isn't it?" you get scared that they might look at you like, "Why are you talking to me right now?" But really, who cares?! Even if they do think that, isn't it worth it to give it a shot? Ask them what they did last night, find out if you have a common interest (besides work or living in the same building as you) and then actively seek an opportunity to engage with them on a deeper level. Hopefully I can find a new happy hour buddy, a fellow yoga enthusiast, a Potterhead, a concert goer, a movie buff...hopefully I can find a community.