City Life: I Spent The Day Walking Around Aimlessly

Going out by myself is hard for me. Really hard.

Not that I don’t have friends for going out. I do. But I’ve noticed as I try to make more friends that it’s really one of the most difficult things for me in my adult life. And living in a city, there’s no excuse as to why I don’t have more friends. I used to think it was related to just how awkward and introverted I am. Now I just think it’s hard because making friends is not as easy as eating or playing video games or watching movies. I want to get my city life going. People who live in cities on TV have friends. Like in Friends. There’s 6 of them. I know Louisville is no New York, but it’s still a city. There are more people in cities, so I should be able to meet more people and have more friends.

Since I’m working a traditional job a lot less and am my own boss in my blogging life a little more, it would be nice to meet some new people who I could hang out with a little earlier in the day so that I’m not doing my daily outgoing activities all by my introverted-lonesome-self.

I moved to a new neighborhood recently and there’s so much stuff to do.

So since I’m off from the coffee shop today, it’s my goal to get out and make a new friend.

My few friends are usually busy when I’m not so busy, at least most of the time. It makes coordinating days and times to do things an extra challenge. I love my few friends that I do have here in Louisville, but I’m definitely in the market for a few more. Not too many. Don’t get carried away.  Preferably some that like writing and blogging. No blogging about blogging bloggers though. Just kidding, kind of.

With my mind made up to do this today, I sent out a few texts. I knew I probably wouldn’t get a response so early. When my phone battery hit 100%, I gave up on getting replies and went out.

My first opportunity at making a new friend was at the bus stop with a guy who asked me if we missed the bus already. This inclusive “we” really pulled me in. He asked when the next bus came. I was planning to walk down an extra block to Frankfort Avenue, the cool and hip road of my new neighborhood. I accidentally told him the time for the Frankfort Avenue bus. Then I apologized, got out my phone, and told him the bad news: that he missed the #15 about 5 minutes ago. Then my brain farted and I walked on down to Frankfort Avenue and got on the bus, for some reason. I guess it was because I was thinking about the bus.

So I ended up Downtown, like a real city life blogger.

I’ve lived in Louisville for 3 years, so I guess I’ve actually had a city life for a while. I already know the Downtown Louisville area pretty well. So, my attempt at exploring my new neighborhood was a complete failure. That’s okay, though, because the real goal all along was to make a new friend.

The bus dropped me off at a coffee shop. I can get free coffee at this location anytime because I work at the same coffee shop in another location. The barista who I can’t remember the name of because I’m terrible at looking at name tags gave me my coffee. I take my coffee with a little sugar and some half & half. There were tables outside the coffee shop window. I sat near a statue of a horse, waited for text responses, and sipped my coffee. My coffee wasn’t sugary enough, but I kept sipping.

horse statue in front of 4th Street Live

No responses. That’s okay. I have a P.O. Box across from the coffee shop in the post office inside of 4th Street Live. Empty, except for the bill for the box. Not that I expect anything; the only people who have the address are anyone who visits my contact page. It’s fine, though. I better get at least a few Christmas cards in December, though, you guys. Just kidding, kind of.

Still no responses, just people and the smell of smoke, for some reason. After I was tired of the smell of not-quite-barbecue, I left the 4th Street Live venue.

Queue walking around aimlessly.

The waterfront is gorgeous today. Very calm. There were plenty of people walking along The Belvedere. There was a really hot shirtless guy with dark hair sitting on the edge of one of the fountains. He had his shirt draped over his shoulders like a towel. His hair looked wet. Then there was this other middle aged guy dressed for business near the Ohio River, boat watching.

guy watching boat

I’d say nothing has really changed in Downtown Louisville in forever, but there’s construction for an expansion of the International Convention Center. There’s also a new hotel going up on 2nd Street, and there were some food trucks by the PNC building that I’ve not seen before but have probably been around.

food trucks and water fountain

When I get my life together and get money, I’m going to have to try this Traveling Kitchen place, assuming they’re still around by the time I start making any ad revenue or other income with this blog.

Many hours and no text responses later, the bus took me back home.

So how do I learn from this? Well, I guess this is another one of those “get back on the horse” things. Yeah, going out and walking around for hours by myself is super boring. But, it was also kinda nice to get out and do what I wanted in the city. I got caught up on reading some submissions for the literary magazine while I ate a sandwich at Jimmy John’s and I got to write a blog post about how I got out of the house. Even though I’ve been in Louisville for 3 years, I haven’t really enjoyed the city life any. I’d like to do this more. I’ll try the making-friends thing again sometime, although it may just turn into an excuse to take Instagram selfies and write blog posts about my city life.

How are you at walking around in your neighborhood or city by yourself? Do you have a city life or do you live in a smaller town? What kinds of things do you do? Leave me some tips for how to go about it next time in the comments below. I No lie, it’s hard for me to go out by myself. But, I think once I’m out, I’m better off by myself since I’m so socially awkward.

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selfie

I originally thought this was one of my better selfies, but after looking at it on my monitor when I got back home, never mind.

Author: Eric

Eric Shay Howard is a writer living in Louisville, KY. He has a BA in English from the University of Louisville. He is the editor of Likely Red, a literary magazine.

2 thoughts on “City Life: I Spent The Day Walking Around Aimlessly”

  1. Eric! Fear Not!! It is tough going out alone … I’ve had to do it for many years, and I too am awkward in social situations. What I find really helps me is I pick some place / event that appeals to me … or when I read about a new outdoor place to visit in my area … And I make a Plan and GO. I have no expectation … I find I meet interesting people when I go there imagining I will be there alone. If I feel uncomfortable or awkward at any moment, I start to look for things that would interest me. I too am awkward when people start to speak to me that I don’t know … but I find if I look them in the eye while they’re talking and when I’m talking back … I can feel if there is any kind of connection for a friend. I don’t know if Louisville has something like this … but I go to the William Way Center in Philadelphia … LGBT place with events, with some people that are as awkward as I am, so we get along. Also to Camp Rehoboth in Rehoboth Beach, DE, which is very similar. Both are very welcoming to all! These are just some suggestions for you to contimplate! I do know my neighborhood … I live in a medium size city … but in the residential end. I do walk the neighborhood every day … primarily for exercise, but I will say Hello and Nice Night to everyone I pass on the streets. … I also went away on vacation for a week … myself … and had a ball. I forced myself to go out to the theatre, music shows, restaurants, etc. I hope this helps you and know that someone goes through the same things you do. Keep Smiling, my friend!!

  2. That’s a good routine for me to steal from you, I think, Pete! I wonder if that’s a good trick to dealing with being anxious out in public: busying your mind with something else, like looking for something interesting. Also, I have been attempting to say hello to people that I pass on the street, but it usually comes out really quiet and I doubt half of them hear me, lol. I do tend to add more of a physical “bro nod” to the greeting in an attempt to really seal the deal there.

Something to say?