Bored in Orange County

30 May

I have a new response when people ask me how my transition to Orange County is going. I now complain that I’m bored. While life is at a slower pace than in Oakland, the complaint makes no sense, really. I have a challenging job with a 3-hour daily commute, I volunteer on two nonprofit boards, I’m editor of a bimonthly magazine, and I keep up this blog. I also do all the normal things people do, like go grocery shopping, read the newspaper, obsess over Hunger Games, check Facebook, play on my phone, spend time with friends, go out to dinner, water my plants, and watch movies.

So, it’s not that I’m sitting alone in my apartment at a loss for fun ways to pass the time. It’s not that kind of bored. It’s the “I-have-no-purpose-in-life” sense of boredom. It’s the sense that all I’m doing is passing time, with no greater goal in mind. In Oakland, I had a job and community that I cared deeply for and that centered me. When I moved to OC, I thought my new purpose would be focused on family. I thought I would play the dutiful daughter to my retired parents and would build a new family with my partner and his daughter.

It turns out that my parents don’t really need me. In fact, they don’t ever call me. Sometimes it’s handy to have me around to help my mom use her new smartphone, but that doesn’t really merit “life’s purpose”. My new favorite anecdote is when my aunt was having a birthday party in Los Angeles a few weeks ago and I called my parents to see if they wanted to carpool.
My dad’s response: “You’re invited?”
Me: “Yes, I’m invited! But wouldn’t you tell me anyway? She is my aunt.”
Dad (still surprised apparently): “Ah, I don’t know. I didn’t think you were invited.”
Me: “Anyway, do you want us to drive you there?”
Dad: “No, we’ll drive ourselves.”

Two, probably to no one’s surprise except my own, things between my partner, his daughter, me, and the rest of his family are more complicated than I had expected. What is best for her is paramount, and let’s just say that living in a little apartment with two people who are gone twelve hours a day doesn’t quite compare to a nice house with a pool and full-time caretakers and nearby friends. Nix that plan for now.

What to do? I first thought I would search for a new purpose. But then I quickly realized that, like love, it’s not something you find by looking hard enough. I think all I can do is make sure I’m ready when it finds me.


One Response to “Bored in Orange County”


  1. Finding a Hobby « oakland 2 oc - June 13, 2012

    […] light of my purposeless life , I decided to start a hobby. Something that I can work on, measure progress toward, some kind of […]

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