When you live in a new city, and when you’re me, you make an effort to meet people and make friends. I’m sure there are many people who would enjoy the hermit life and the idea of working from home, avoiding human interaction for days, would be something they would give their life to gain. But me? I’m a people person. So, my weekends are spent far away from my living room couch. I most enjoy a place that has a lot of in-n-out* activity so my shining, beautiful face can be seen by as many people possible. If a person sits down near me, I will initiate conversation in an attempt to form a bond, how ever so loose or strong. A covalent** one is unlikely but I’ll happily welcome an ionic one.
*I do miss In-N-Out Burger out here. Chick-Fil-A is my next favorite hypheny-named fast food restaurant, but they’re not open on Sundays, the day I most crave some fast food and have the time to drive 20 minutes out of my way to get it!
**I don’t know much about science, but after interviewing at a science museum this week, I feel extra brainy. Oh, and Louis Evan Palmer’s blog page helped me confirm I used the correct bond analogies. Yay me, I got em right on the first try.
My sit-near-a-common-area and maintain-an-openness-to-you body language approach is very hit/miss, and mostly just miss. The other day, I sat down at Tennessee Brew Works and, losing faith in my approach and feeling defeated in my mission for a real human connection, read my book as I listened to the live music artists that were scheduled for that evening (the artists, along with a tasty beer in a comfortable atmosphere, were the actual reasons I came to the venue as I love hearing the up-n-comers share their songs and tell their story).
I skipped my normal seating strategy, setting up camp away from the commotion and packs of people on the floor above, and decided to give up trying to meet people altogether for today. Little did I know that things were about to change. I met a couple of the traveling performers, along with their local friend. I said hi. They said hi back.
Were they just being nice? Possibly. Did I care what their reason for continuing engagement with me was, even if it wasn’t because they actually wanted to talk to me? Not particularly. To be honest, my mind and heart were just so delighted to encounter some creative, smart chicks who had a friendliness that, even if only being kind because their mommas raised ’em right, was welcomed. They talked to me! They thought I was funny! Maybe they didn’t?
Most of them were visiting town anyway, so in the worst-case scenario, I didn’t have to worry about accidentally running into them at the store or know that they were around to share about that one time the annoying girl from that one night who wouldn’t shut up. My concern is rooted in a previous experience at this same establishment, but instead, I recall it as that one time I met an annoying guy from that one night who wouldn’t shut up. I didn’t want to be that person to someone else. Rather than fret, I rolled with it. There was no time for insecurities.
We discussed our hometowns, former life goals, current life trajectories, television shows, classic 90s movies, millennialism, sexism, et cetera. All in all, it was a good time. To them, it probably didn’t mean much. It did to me! So much, in fact, that I have decided to blog about it here.
I have often dreamed of dying my hair a very unnatural color. I credit the cool librarian from the Lancaster Public Library from my childhood who had jet black hair with a blue streaks feathered downward from her zig-zag part line. Upon moving to Nashville, the librarian memories flashed into my mind. This was my chance! I could dye my hair blue, purple, or green and I could still keep my job because I worked from home! Now, however, I have new obstacles in the whole edgy hair movement. These obstacles include the time, desire, and, primarily, the cost to maintain the look. I don’t possess good hair dye maintainance skills, nor do I earn enough income to pay someone to maintain my hair for me, so I will stick with the natural look.
So, I-Wish-I-Had-Her-Hair Girl epitomized my dream, at least in terms of appearance. Hot purplishy-pink and blonde hair. Her hair, though, spoke more to me of security and bold confidence in her convictions; it was a quality I have always envied in hair like that, as well as the type of head it often adorned. I found her inspiring.
Oh, and she was a CrossFitter like me! She didn’t even have on a pair of Inov-8s or Nanos, and yet I was still l drawn to her! I guess CrossFit is a cult after all, and we seek after our own kind.
Sweetheart Girl performed her first set. She was one of the two performers I met that night. In her music, I could hear so much about her, or at least what I perceived of her. The style presented was so different than my own. She was also way better at guitar (I mean, it’s not hard to be better than me because I can play like two chords, but she was good! That’s the point I’m trying to make!) and it made me want to practice more. The bravery of getting on stage to sing, and play, in front of strangers is a feeling with which I am all too familiar. Selective transparency that I understood and respected.
She was from California like me and the close-enough-to-my-home bond that comes when you live in a new state emerged. The timidity-bravery juxtaposition I identified with, as well as the Californianess, was nice. I had now met another inspiring person.
I wish I was able to rock black frame glasses like she can, or even as good as Tina Fey can. Maybe I can? The words of one of my exes is forever burned into my brain.
“I like glasses on girls. I just don’t like your glasses.” – GreenEyes, AKA An Ass of an Ex, on how my black framed lenses looked on me when I asked him.
Glasses Girl was also on tour, alongside Sweetheart Girl. I don’t know if it was her, or the superpowers her glasses possessed, but I finally felt like I ran into someone who saw me for me. She also said she was getting “writer vibes” from me. I do not consider myself a writer (I’m more of a rambler than anything) but I took it as a high compliment. And then I shared I am blogging about life but that doesn’t really count, and yet she said she’d check out my blog! This blog! If you’re reading Glasses Girl, I’m sorry you’re that bored. Also, thank you. I now have three whole readers and I feel like Kristen Bell says how I feel about that all right here:
In my current life state of realizing that success is something to be now redefined for myself, something she seemed to have already figured out and was now acting on it, I was, for the third time, lucky to have met such an inspiring person.
The trio invited me to dinner. Pizza in Franklin! Sweet. We drove to Franklin, the place in my head that I pretend is the Orange County of Nashville because they have a Sprouts, a town square with brick buildings and a roundabout that reminds me of the Orange Circle, chain restaurants, a non-chain restaurant called 55 South (to me, THE Costa Mesa Freeway), and affluent residents. The restaurant we went to was the Chipotle of pizza joints and it had much classier quotes written on the walls than the last pizza place I had visited a couple weeks prior. Overall, it looked promising.
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein
I felt that this focal point wall art quote, spotted as I exited, was a nice capstone to the entire evening’s events. It was in my interaction with these out-of-nowhere dinner buds that reinforced that which I was coming to understand about my own self: I love being around creative folks, being creative in general, and having fun with intelligent people.
It is possible I will never see these people again. Maybe I don’t need to. Their impression alone was the kick-in-the-pants I needed to take ownership of my creative endeavors and be who I want to be, to be me.
I am thankful for the non-mean girls that let me sit with them.
NOTE: There’s more to the Franklin trip than is shared above, BTW. The topic goes a different, more comical direction so it is posted as its own entry. Check out WTF(ranklin) (if you want, this is an optional choice, not a demand).