Finding Our Place in SF
It has officially been 3 full weeks since our wedding. In some ways it feels like it has been so much longer, and at other moments I feel like it was just yesterday. The week we took off after the wedding was wonderful, we went up to an amazing cabin by the Russian River. Once there we barely wanted to leave the cabin, we just read and watched movies, and made dinner, and went to the hot tub a lot. It was perfect - wish we could have stayed even longer.
After getting back from our mini-moon our life got busy again very quickly. Josh and I both work very demanding jobs, and so we had a lot of work waiting for us when we returned. Two long-distance friends were still around after the wedding and it was so wonderful to really have a chance to talk and get updates on their lives. The whole wedding weekend reminded us how lucky we were to have such an amazing group of friends in college that were so similar to us. Maybe it is because we sort of "grew up" together through those four years - but it has been difficult to make friends post-college that feel as similar and close.
It feels like everyone we get close to or were close to that live in this city end up moving away. We have lived here 3 years and many of our friends have disappeared to LA, New York, Montreal, and Oakland (hah). When you have a small social circle to begin with every person that leaves feels like a giant loss. Two friends that recently moved to NYC was an especially big loss, they were a couple that we got along with really well - which is a hard thing to find.
I feel like I have been complaining about my lack of community in SF for years now, and I know it is mostly my fault. I work all the time, I am not very outgoing, I am picky, and I have trouble being the aggressor in a relationship. What I mean in that last point is - I have met some cool people in SF over the years, but if the other person does not aggressively follow up with me to make plans - I assume they don't like me and so don't reach out to them. I am passive and self-doubting that anyone could possibly want to hang out with me. Obviously this is a personal confidence problem that I have to deal with. I have this confidence problem in the work place as well, and am working with my female CEO to help coach me to be more direct and confident in my own opinions and ideas. I think in parallel to building my confidence in the workplace I need to work on building my social confidence as well.
If you are reading this and suddenly get an email or text to hang out over the next few weeks then you should feel confident that I like you or feel like you are a person that I would love to get to know better. I know I am not the only person in this city (or any city) to feel like this. There are a billion articles about how difficult it is to make friends after college especially if you are in a committed relationship.
One reason I think Josh and I have had difficulty finding a community in SF is because we don't quite fit in to the established communities here. I am not trying to put people in boxes, everyone is way more unique and multi-layered than the specific community they are in - but - there are people I think that have been able to find solace in these more specific communities.
Outdoorsy Folk: The ones that hit up Mission Cliffs every day and are always out camping on the weekends. Josh and I like exploring and hiking occasionally - but we would much rather stay in a cute B&B than a tent.
Super Tech People: I work in the tech industry (it is more of a fashion brand that happens to have a great website), but I have never really related to the tech scene. I don't care about hacking or what newest product is coming out. There is too much of a libertarian slant to most tech people. And also I find many tech workers to be very spoiled and entitled. Obviously not all tech people are like this, I have met many awesome people while at tech companies - but most of them were the writers/designers/social media people that wouldn't necessarily work in tech if they didn't live in SF.
Burning Man Enthusiasts: I really like some people that go to burning man - but honestly you couldn't pay me to go out to that dusty, hot, desert.
Single Hipster Mission-ites: Josh and I live in the Mission and love to go to local shows and bars and so have been surrounded by a lot of this type. Not that there is anything wrong with being single at our age - but since we are not out on the prowl - it has been hard to have enduring relationships with a lot of single people in SF.
Foodies: We definitely have friends that are food enthusiasts, and Josh and I certainly like food. But we both are not big into cooking, canning, or baking. We can certainly hang with food lovers, but we don't find ourselves fitting into that community.
Overly Curated Designer/crafter/blogger Types: You all know the type, you follow them on instagram - their life looks perfect. They read Kinfolk and Anthology religiously, they shop at the cutest boutiques, and take the most perfectly cropped pictures of a vase of flowers. Their outfits are always adorable, their friends are beautiful, they seem to have everything together. I know that most of this is just a facade - and I think I could find friends that are this type - but it is an intimidating world to break into, and I like my friends to be more real and less curated.
These of course are just a few types of communities in SF - and there are communities that I think we would like to explore more, it is just hard to know where to start. I know Josh would do great in a book or film club, and I would like to get to know other designers + art lovers in the city. I have looked through meetup.com, but it is overwhelming and I haven't found anything perfect for us. It is so hard to break our routine and go outside our comfort zone - but I know we have to in order to find new friends in SF. We may be moving to NYC in a year and a half for Josh's post-doc, but I want this city to be a place filled with friends that we can return to.