Getting my feet

I’m trying to meet new people. That’s always the thing you do when moving to a new city. Make new friends. I’m never quite comfortable in a place until have my regular crowd I hang out with. I’ve been here two months and met a good number of people. Many of them fun, exciting people I enjoy when I hang out with. But I don’t know that I can call any of them friends yet. I don’t have that regular stability or comfort to know I have people welcoming me to whatever is going on. I find it somewhat ironic to feel lonely in the most densely populated city in the world.

Strangely enough I felt a bit more optimistic and involved when I first moved to Tokyo. I suppose at that time my expectations were a bit lower. I just moved into my guest house and was beginning to meet my housemates (there are about fifty of them.) We hung out in the kitchen, and on a few occasions went out. Yet I don’t feel like the relationships have developed beyond the point of casual acquaintances.

I feel as if I came into Tokyo completely clean, knowing no one, like I did with San Francisco. In reality that isn’t so. I know some Japanese businessmen who lived in Berkeley, some of my former students, the goons and two of my friends from high school who all live in Tokyo. The trouble is they have all lived in Tokyo for a while and have their own lives. They are busy and unsure how to fit me in. Some are worried because of age difference, others because of the language barrier. I can’t blame them, but it is a shame and a bit frustrating. Usually I meet new friends through other friends.

For many of the people in the guest house, they have built-in networks. They are students and can join a circle (social club,) have very social work places or lived in the region for years. The events occur organically, and they never need to worry about what they are doing this weekend or who they will hang out with. I do not have that benefit. Though I am trying to build a network, most people I meet are busy with other plans. I would love to join them, but invites to groups outside of the guest house.

As time has passed, people in the house have divided into groups. This is natural and existed to some extent when I first moved in. I don’t mind them. Normally everyone can kind of float in between groups to socialize at dinner or what have you. Recently, though, there are a set of three that have become a bit cliquey. They get on really well, of which I am happy for them. I am not happy that they get on so well that they tend to cut others out and mostly socialize with themselves. They go out together often, but they do not invite anyone else from the house. Frustrating as before everyone was welcome. What bothers me most is two of these people I really like and want to be better friends with. While I hung out with them before I’m now on the outside. More so, this trend began on a night they went clubbing together. A night I was invited to but had to miss because of work.

I find myself getting jealous and angry and a host of emotions that do me no good. If I could be my happy, fun, foolish self I might find myself spending time with them. Or I could ignore it and build stronger relationships with others. Being in a funk just makes the situation worse. No one wants to hang out with someone who is grumpy, complaining and unhappy. The trouble with emotions is they don’t listen to logic. Adding to the problem is I’ve never been one who could hide their emotions well nor keep them under control. So being this jealous perpetuates the problem. I act awkward, unconfident, foolish, mean, stupid and just not good. I hate how I’m acting, but currently at a loss to stop it. I know well that the issue is I don’t have other groups of friends to turn to, hence the jealousy.

I need to make friends outside of the guest house. Once I have a stable set of people I hang out with I won’t be so insecure. I will find confidence from my friends and lose that jealousy. I’m not sure yet how I want to handle those three. I’m upset with them not because I don’t like them but because I do. Emotions are silly that way. When I get back to my normal, fun self I will probably be able to approach it with a better head. I just worry how I may act towards them in the mean time.

The trouble is I’m not sure how to meet people in this city. In San Francisco it took me two months until I found my core of friends, and a lot of that was luck. I joined a group and met them there. So I suppose I should find a hobby. But what are my hobbies? Drinking? (the San Francisco group was a dive bar group.) I should reach out to the people I already know more, busy as they are. Find a way to fit into their schedule and build from there. I know this funk and loneliness won’t last forever. No less, it blows in the meantime.

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