If you’ve ever lived in the Bay Area, you know that Bay Area natives are rare species! The majority of the population here are people from outside the Bay Area, California or even the US. People who work together everyday and very hard to keep the wheels of innovation running.
Because of this diversity, there are many opportunities to meet new interesting people everyday. However, finding and building a true friendship or relationship, those you can really rely on, is not always as easy. A friend once said: ” maybe we keep ourselves busy doing “things” to compensate for the care and love that we left behind, and can’t find here.”
Different nationalities, backgrounds, cultures and religions in the Bay Area have learned to live in harmony. Well, as harmonically as possible, like other human beings, we too have our moments of disagreement. In those moments, just like any other human being, we either lightheartedly joke about it and let it pass, keep quiet while thinking: “what a bozo!”, change the subject and roll our eyes when the other person is not looking, or give them a piece of our mind (most likely in a very chill and polite way, Californian way. 😉
We are known for being strong believers in liberalism, recycling, healthy eating, lots of outdoor and indoor exercise, and of course, innovation, which is true for the most part. However, pioneering technological advances has its own price, like a fast paced lifestyle that stops for nothing, stress, loneliness and anxiety. This is one of the reasons why some of us are obsessed with exercise. We need to get the adrenaline pumping and endorphins flowing to block the pain signals, release the stress and be able to go back to our desks and continue our fight for the victory of yet another WOW product.
Due to the unique and complex circumstances of our environment, many of us, especially the single ones, have shaped our lives around some physical activities like biking, dancing, movies or our individual interests such as learning a language rather than connecting with another human being in a deeper and personal level. Sure, we do lots of different activities, party and build things together but prefer to limit our conversations to safe topics like talking about those activities, our work or who stole the neighbor’s cat, and exchange all these pleasantries with a smile and polite attitude but no true curiosity or emotions. Are we scared of a deeper connection because it might mean extra commitment and responsibility, something that we don’t know how to handle? Are we afraid of failure? or just overwhelmed with our everyday demanding life?
I opened a fortune cookie today and it said: ” Nothing is so much to be feared as fear itself.” Maybe I’m walking on eggshells myself and it’s time to break out of it to see what happens. Maybe I should go the extra mile the next time I meet someone new and talk about things that really matter to me instead of sticking to small talks. Maybe it’s time to cancel my yoga class and instead go see a friend who needs my company right now. Who knows maybe what my friend needs today is life changing. What if tomorrow is too late?
Life is ever-changing and a mix of good and bad, no matter where we live. Bay Area is my home. It’s complex, fast-changing and even unforgiving at times but it’s also one of the most beautiful places on earth with magnificent landscapes and opportunities to match.
“Hotel California” is lingering in my mind “you can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave!” I’m going to call a friend and see how they’re doing.