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My first diary on Daily Kos! I hate for this to be on a kind of depressing topic, considering it's my first diary, but I wanted to ask the Daily Kos community how you guys deal with being alone. I moved to Washington, D.C. for an internship, but my apartment is just me by myself, so it get's a bit lonely. I was wondering if you guys had anything to say about how to deal with this, and if anyone else has gone/is going through being away from home/family/friends for a significant amount of time (months, in my case). I would also love to hear your stories about moving to our nation's capital, especially if you came from a much warmer climate (California, in my case). Feel free to use this diary as a jumping off point if any of you have questions about this or related topics too!

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Comment Preferences

  •  If you have time; join a club or volunteer (16+ / 0-)

    This will give you opportunities to meet new people with common interests. Good luck.

  •  When I moved to Iowa City I got my name put onto (13+ / 0-)

    the mailing list of several departments that interested me. That strategy can be translated into finding groups with interests you share - that might a church group, a singing group, a folk dancing group, a movie group - pretty much anything as long as it speaks to your own real interests. You could also consider forming a book group among your fellow interns, as a focus for meeting outside work informally.



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:26:50 PM PST

  •  I've been living alone for over two years now. (26+ / 0-)

    And I'm loving it. I can read anytime I want. I like everything in the refrigerator, and the freezer and the pantry, also. I leave the bathroom door open. I sleep when I'm tired. I eat whatever I want. I see friends more often. I can listen to music when the urge hits me. I can change the channel at will.
    In the beginning, I thought that living alone was just about the worst punishment a human being should have to suffer through. But two years in, I can honestly say that I'm the happiest I've ever been as an adult.
    Living alone has nothing to do with being lonely. You'll make new friends and do fun things. Give it time, you'll see.

    "Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch smoking a pipe of sweet hemp, and playing my Hohner harmonica." -Abraham Lincoln

    by hotdamn on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:35:57 PM PST

  •  (((((((((((((((((((jl))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) (25+ / 0-)

    I completely identify with your loneliness.

    Three years ago, I realized there was nothing really holding me in Vancouver, where I had lived for forty years, because my husband and my dad were both gone. I could return to visit my mom and nephew and my heart family and friends. I thought about where I needed to be, and packed up my belongings and moved 3,000 miles to Ottawa.

    Although I lived with roommates for the first couple of years, it felt very lonely because there was no one who was genuinely glad that I was home.

    A couple of things have changed that:
          Through a longtime friend, I met another friend who I have a lot in common with, so we talk online a lot, and meet in person a lot.
          I`ve moved to co-op that really is a community, so when I`m walking through the hallways I have chats with friends I`ve made here.
          I`ve become the Vice President of our co-op, so I`ve become invested in my community.
          I`ve become the volunteer coordinator at one of tthe used bookstores that supports the local library system, so I`ve reached out to help others.
          I shop at small shops in the neighbourhood, so I`ve built a wider community around me.
          The best thing though is I adopted, from the Human Society, the queen of my kingdom :) Her name is Gucci and she is a 20lb brown tabby, with a patch of tortoise shell on the top of her head. Getting home now means I have someone here who missed me and is genuinely glad to see me, and who wants to be cuddled, with all the rumbling purrs and soft snuggles that means. Humans, and I suspect many animals, need four hugs a day just to survive. I suspect your body is desperately in need of hugs. Whether it`s a dog or cat that fits you and your life, I would highly recommend one of them. It truly does make a difference.

             I hope one of these, or several help you in your quest. I think loneliness is one of the biggest problems, and worst scourges, of today`s world.

             Take care,
            Hugs,
            Heather

    Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

    by Chacounne on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:50:36 PM PST

  •  We moved to a new state (8+ / 0-)

    Thank God for Meet Up groups. I could find something to do every day and night if I wanted.

    Good luck to you!

    Join Las Vegas NV Kossacks ~ Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will

    by miracle11 on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 08:01:29 PM PST

  •  Have many interests. (13+ / 0-)

    I am a chronic recluse, so I may have an unhealthy perspective on the subject.  Still I have at least ten projects I work on at all times.  Whenever I start feeling sad, I dive into something.  If I get bored, I dive into something else.

  •  Dance, dance, dance (6+ / 0-)

    In one sense, it is hard for me to give advice on this subject, because I am a hermit.  Two’s a crowd.  Since my parents are no longer alive, and I am an only child, and a bachelor, I just spent Thanksgiving and Christmas alone, and that was like throwing the rabbit in the briar patch.  The reason I am a bachelor is not because I could not be faithful to just one woman, but because I would have to live with her.

    Nevertheless, I may have some advice, and that is to take dancing lessons. Needless to say, there may be special reasons why dancing is not for you, and I have no idea what the dancing world is like in the D.C. area.  But just in case, I offer the following advice.  (I shall assume that you are a man, but the basic idea will apply if you are a woman.)

    Dancing is the one activity that forces men and women to socialize.  If you were to take up another activity, say, volunteering, you might find that what few women were there would pair up, making it difficult to get to know them.  With dancing, you will immediately find yourself in the arms of one woman after another.

    Avoid dance studios that cost a lot of money.  They will typically play upon your loneliness by having you dance with a beautiful instructor.  The music, the dancing, and the woman will all work together to intoxicate you, at which point you will be vulnerable to all sorts of hustling schemes (contracts, dance contests, etc.), designed to get all the money you have and all you can borrow. And it is all so unnecessary.  With some luck you should be able to find an inexpensive studio with no contracts.

    For social purposes, group lessons are better than private.  Ballroom classes tend to have slightly more women than men; country-western classes, slightly more men than women.  But the studios usually try to have roughly equal numbers of the sexes.  Some private lessons can be useful for styling and technique.

    Although group lessons avoid intimate dancing, the minimal amount of physical contact creates the illusion of familiarity.  You will soon find yourself on easy terms with a lot of women.  Often people form groups to meet at night clubs where everyone pays his or her own way, so it does not have to cost much.

    The best dance to start with is Jitterbug, sometimes called Swing, or even East Coast Swing.

  •  If you are in DC for an internship (8+ / 0-)

    that means you are probably on the younger side of the spectrum.  I would advise that you connect with an ongoing groups at a local church/synagogue/club.  Or involve yourself in the many volunteer opportunities in the city.  DC can be competitive and interns are usually "on the make" for permanent jobs so there is a lot of competition on the surface.

    There is a  Kossack group in DC, if I'm not mistaken.  That is a start.  

    Your bio states that you are a UC Student.  Are you part of Cal in the Capitol?  They should have group activities for you. There must be a Cal Alumni group in DC.  

    An internship can be a springboard for many opportunities.  I hope you will take it in stride and enjoy as much of it as you can.  

    Good luck!

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 08:12:18 PM PST

  •  Head over to meetup.com... (5+ / 0-)

    ...and see if there's something in the DC area that interests you.

  •  I live alone since ... so long, I have forgotten (5+ / 0-)

    when it started.

    If I were young (and I believe you might be), I would move into a house shared by other young professionals, especially one that has several nationalities, so you have something to explore and are less under this kind of "group pressure".

    And if you are interested in political activism and have all the freedoms and time you probably have, I would join a group of your interest and just "get going and volunteer".

    And if I had the time and freedom, I would spend hours in libraries and museums and probably try to work in a good bookstore and read the heck about everything that I always wanted to know and never learned.

    Imagine you didn't have the freedom and time you have right now. Use it. It's not a given you have this luxury all the time in your life.

    And if you can sing, join a choir. Discover "Bus Boys and Poets" and talk your heart out. Don't live alone in an apartment, if you can't find friends at your internship, who would "show you around" in DC and go out with you together.

  •  here is the better link (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla, kat68
  •  Look for the NewDay diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla

    Here every morning and see if there is a group close to you having a meetup.

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 08:34:59 PM PST

  •  ...there are groups of kossacks (as we're known).. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WakeUpNeo, ZenTrainer, Radiowalla

    ...in many places around the country. There was a little meet-up in DC just a few days ago. In the morning there is a diary that posts at 7:30 AM Pacific, 10:30 AM Eastern time. It is called NEW DAY. Look for it and come join us. There you'll see lists of all the kossack groups around the country. It is a great place to meet others and find out who is in your area to meet in person. I think you'll like it.

    Welcome...

    Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

    Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences. -7.38; -3.44

    by paradise50 on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 08:53:39 PM PST

  •  Extroverts Have A Hard Time Being Alone. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZenTrainer, wayoutinthestix, SuWho

    Introverts prefer it.

    Extroverts are energized by being around lots of people.

    Introverts become drained by being around lots of people.

    Just the way personalities are.

    2/3 of population are extroverts.

    1/3 are introverts.

    Of course extroverts are more valued since they are the majority and look upon introverts as loners with something wrong with them cause they just don't act right.  

    In other words they don't demand an audience and to an extrovert that is downright weird.

    In fact extroverts often get so nervous around introverts they begin demanding that they get out of their shell, assume they must be depressed, and their "quietness" means hostility and must be fixed.

    "I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger 2003

    by kerplunk on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 09:21:18 PM PST

  •  I'm an introvert so I never really feel lonely. I (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuWho

    also have pets though. I currently have 1 dog and 3 cats.
    Cats are just good company.

    Dogs can lead you to dog training classes and dog parks where you can meet a lot of people.

    I was looking for a good Tai Chi class and ended up on a meet up list. If I wanted to I could hang with a variety of people doing a lot of different activities (I don't want to.)

    And if you have extra time do volunteer work. I've met life long friends that way.

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature. If I had Bill Gates money, I'd buy Detroit.

    by ZenTrainer on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 09:39:05 PM PST

  •  There should be on line sources for volunteering. (0+ / 0-)

    Usually people who volunteer are nice people.

    Usually the paid people who use volunteers are nice to the volunteers, since they don't have to come back.

    Volunteering helps make you feel good about yourself and gets you out of the house for a usually positive experience.

  •  Volunteering is great, also go to the Smithsonian! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rosaura, Radiowalla, SuWho, hotheadCA

    Try to do something that offers a very different perspective on DC than you gain from your internship. It's a city with a lot of wealth and influence, but also a lot of poverty and homelessness. I volunteer doing intake at a shelter here, through our Friends meeting, and it has been a very enriching experience for me (and very different from my normal life of medical research and teaching.) I like both the Quakers and the guests, most of whom are far nicer than the right-wingers who bad-mouth them as "takers".

    For us California folks, another amazing thing in DC is the Smithsonian. They call it the nation's attic, and there really is something of a jackdaw's-nest quality to the many branches of the museum. The art is incredible! When I lived in Boston for a while, I joined the Museum of Fine Arts so I could go at lunch for 20 min and just see one or two little corners. But the Smithsonian is free; if you love art or history, you can just zip in and out. They also have lots of events, many of them free. The National Zoo is a part of all this, too.

    For a Californian, it's sort of a shock to find yourself someplace so COLD. You get tempted to stay indoors and shiver (or, in summer, stay in AC to avoid the humidity.) Do not do this. Get out and walk a lot! Observe how different tit is - plants, the old bricks of the sidewalks in Georgetown, the architecture, the embassies, the fancy restaurants with people in expensive suits, the monuments and statues everywhere. One day you'll notice the first buds on the cherry trees by the tidal basin, and then all of a sudden, there will be a riot of colors (and a rabble of tourists.) By then you'll know the streets and sights and can help direct the lost tourists, which will make you feel quite at home. And all of a sudden everything else will be in bloom, and then it will be summer and you'll see why people from other countries got hardship pay to serve in DC before AC.  

    It's an internship, no? Just a few months? You are an explorer for that time, a stranger in a strange land. If you haven't kept a journal before, now is a good time to start - and you can post some of your notes here for us!

  •  If you can afford it. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuWho, hotdamn

    Get an Umbrella Cockatoo.  You will never be lonely again.

    They are among the most intelligent creatures on earth, they are hilarious, beautiful and most importantly, they NEED cuddling a couple of hours a day.

    Suggestion for Facebook: 50 free "starter friends" automatically as soon as you sign up.

    by dov12348 on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 08:09:11 AM PST

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