I am sitting at College Perk after having breakfast with Sandro, Nadja and Sandro’s friend Amy. Yes, we did the IHOP scene. This is the first moment (other than going to bed in Sandro’s basement) that I’ve been alone since I got down to MD. It’s been a nice trip so far. Thursday Sandro & I went to dinner and then hung out at his place. Friday I spent some time with Natalie and then with Faedra and then with Wendy & Sandro at College Perk, then I went with S and W over to grad pub at RJ Bentleys, where Nadja joined us. Josh had originally thought we wouldn’t get to hang out, but he made a speciall effor to come out to dinner with me last night which was nice. Then back to Sandros where Josh & I talked a while outside and then Josh & Sandro talked awhile about photography. I’m chilling here for a bit, having a pot of Rooibos tea, before I head over to Annapolis to see Diana & Andy. It feels very good to be spending time with friends, especially since I don’t really have any close friends in NYC. In some ways, it is simply nice to be known, to have all the history and conversational shortcuts and the backstory that comes with spending time with friends you’ve known for years. I’ve only known anyone in MD for 5 years – but for some reason it seems longer than that.
At the same time, I find it really nice to be sitting here, quietly, right now. A nice coffee shop, my thoughts, a pretty day. Good tea. I find myself reflecting on just how important friendships and good, old-fashioned socializing is for me. I feed off of it, and I feel so much more myself when I have a group of friends, a strong social network. At the same time, I venture to guess I need just about an equal time that I can be by myself, quiet, introspective. Still. I’ve lost some of the skills for stillness that I used to have when I was a teenager, but solitude is very important to me. I don’t think I’ve fully embraced that part of my nature and that I haven’t quite found a balance between friends and silences.