The first question people in CT tend to have when they find out I have moved from Arkansas is "wow was this like a huge culture shock!?". It is kind of funny to get that question, as if I traveled to a foreign country or something. Although it is a great distance and there definitely is a cultural difference I always wonder why they think it is a "culture shock". But generally I think it is a result of the fact that most people up here are pretty much clueless about everything that goes on south of..New England.. I don't know, it even might be MORE of a "shock" to them finding out that there actually are something things happinin below the Mason-Dixon line..
Honestly the biggest "culture shock" for me..other than the traffic..is more to my way of life than to the scene around me. The intent of leaving my hometown, somewhat on a whim, was really to push me into new places, get me to experience new things and hopefully grow as a person given the challenges..open doors for future possibilities..so forth and so on. In doing so it has really been a humbling experience. I have to tell myself quite frequently that it is only the beginning and their is no failing only challenges along the path of life. Socially things are by far different. One becomes used to relying on somewhat continual access to social encounters, available buddies and fellow "partners in crime". It becomes a new challenge to rely on your own self for entertainment and possibly going outside of your comfort zone.
There is one thing that always bugs me though. I am all about exploration and having new experiences and I'm not afraid to go outside of my comfort zone to try something but I find the social perception of a solitary explorer to be kind of frustrating. I know I am certainly not the only single, unattached person in the world..there are many out there like us..perhaps in a new place or just without a large source of companions but as I start to get out and do things to entertain myself I can't help but start to pick up on the taboo nature of a lone person partaking in public activities. Why do people tend to feel sorry for the person who is out and about by themselves? Perhaps eating alone at a restaurant, going on a hike or singularly signing up for a group activity...it seems like people tend to find this person sad or lonely... But honestly, is it not more sad and lonely to be sitting at home by yourself? Perhaps this social outlook is what keeps many lonely people lonely and afraid to try new things? Are we singular people supposed to stay hidden and tucked away where no one can publicly see that we have no companion? Is it not a far greater act to be actively partaking in the world than to sit at home and wait for the right group to partake along with you? Honestly, I am not afraid to go to a restaurant, hike, bike, farmers market, cafe, concert etc by myself but yet I get the feeling I'm supposed to feel embarrassed for myself when I do. I haven't tried going to a movie alone yet..for some reason that does seem like a big feat. But I would if I had the desire to go sit and watch a movie..
Honestly, it is a little bit of a challenge. And it's frustrating. And what is really frustrating is thinking of the large number of people who are effected by this and afraid to venture out by themselves. I know it is not ideal, but the insanity of being stuck indoors at home to me is a far worse situation. Maybe it's just my nature that makes me require the need to fill time with activity...although I have definitely learned some new habits of a more relaxing/lazy manner which I wasn't so good at before..either way..life is definitely different. I am happy to get out and see so many new things..but still held back from much just because of this singular person taboo..