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loneliness and dancing

A friend of mine wrote recently about needing to regularly spend some time alone in order to stay balanced, or else she gets irritable. She was even initially concerned that adopting a dog would leave her feeling like she never had any time alone; fortunately she adapted to the dog's presence, but still needs time away from other people.

I'm more at the opposite end of the spectrum. I've been living alone since moving out to Seattle eight years ago, and even before that, when I was living with roommates or still at my parents', I usually felt like I spent a lot of time by myself—if not too much, certainly more than I wanted to. When i first got my cat, I was worried that I might use her as a substitute for finding more human company. Instead, I think she helps keep me sane by giving me some kind of company, while still leaving me with a longing to spend more time with other people.

I try to go out to coffee shops regularly to do my work, or just browse the Internet, just to combat the feeling of being cooped up by myself all the time. Generally that helps, especially since I'm a regular at a few spots and get some recognition from and conversation with the baristas, but sometimes it just accentuates my feelings of loneliness. I might have a brief encounter with a casual friend, which is nice and good, but then feel morose when they go off on their business and I'm left still wanting to spend more time hanging out. 

As I mentioned back in July, I've been going out dancing somewhat regularly the past several months in part as an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends, and at the least to be out among other people instead of sitting around at home by myself. Yesterday I was at Bauhaus Coffee for several hours to do some work, and while there I fell into that morose feeling of loneliness. Tonight at Chop Suey is TRUST, a regular monthly dance event featuring KEXP DJ Kid Hops and Sun Tzu Sound as the resident DJs, with Decibel Festival sponsoring/hosting this month's event. I decided that I should probably go, because it'd be better to be there than sitting around at home by myself yet again. (Also, I haven't been out dancing since July.) While out for dinner earlier with the Dowlers, I mentioned this plan, and Farida asked me whether I'm extroverted. I answered that I'm not, I just like to go dancing; if I were extroverted, I'd also be talking to others often and making new friends more easily. Still, just being there helps me not feel so lonely, or at least ignore it for a while, and as I said back in July, I am at least meeting some people and perhaps slowly making some more friends. So with that, I'm heading out to go dance.


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