Moving, Loneliness & The Tipping Point
Last week I finished The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell. I'm challenged to describe this book - it is so thought provoking that just when I have a coherent point to make about it, another often contradictory point overrides the first point and then I'm trying to reconcile them and on and on. Since I just moved, and seem to have just begun to come to terms with that fact, I am understanding the book within the framwork of the "just-moved" personality. As an aside, I think my eyes have actually become physically larger since moving here and taking everything in. There is a point where Gladwell describes the three key personalities involved in creating/disseminating information which leads to social epidemics (think of the way in which a band or restaurant will become an "overnight sensation." One of the personalities he describes is a collector of information like the best place to buy a stereo or where you can find the cheapest candy or something like that. The social currency of this personality is this kind of information. He describes this person as having a lot of magazines. Does this sound like anyone you know? I thought about how I related to Portland, and how so much of my relationship to it was knowing where to go and what to do and that I really liked telling people to go to my favorite places (like Pix or Stumptown) and that one of the reasons I liked it was because it was useful information. I realize that I relate to people in this way. I think this is why I am now having kind of a hard time in this new city. First of all, I don't have a knowledge base to draw on about this city. Just about every time I go somewhere, it is the first time I've been there. So even if I had someone to tell (which I don't) I wouldn't have anything to tell them. Of course, that's not really totally true but generally it is a cause of my lonelieness here. I know that I will eventually make friends, and that it will not be so cold, and that I will be able to recommend something to a new friend and really mean it soon. But right now, I can't deny - it is hard living in a new place.