I'm not one of those people who effortlessly fits in everywhere. I had a friend in college whose boyfriend (later husband) was a joiner. You know the type. He was on a rugby team, he was in a jazz band, and he fixed up old cars and was therefore a part of some local community of...erm...old-car-fixers. So everywhere they went, it took Lou approximately fifteen seconds before he had a full social calendar.
I'm not that much of a joiner, so I just have one rule when I move to a new place: "Say yes to everything that doesn't sound life-threatening or illegal." It's sort of like the movie "Yes Man," except that my threshold for fear and discomfort is incredibly low--sort of like Sheldon from Big Bang Theory sitting...wait for it...across the room from his spot!
I break the rule every once in a while, but I do really try hard to keep it up for at least the first six months in a new place. So far in San Francisco the only thing I've said no to was going to the opera (I'm fine with the opera, but it was Wagner, and awesome as Ride of the Valkyries is, I'm not all that thrilled with Wagner).
Saying yes to everything on Long Island meant that I went to a LOT of restaurants. I said no to volleyball (because honestly, those of you who remember me in high school know that volleyball is more likely to burn social bridges than build them for me), but I did try to say yes to all manner of things and the results, while fun, were not necessarily varied or groundbreaking.
Saying yes in San Francisco has had me volunteering at a farm, joining a book club, winning (yes, I said winning) a pub quiz, participating in a scavenger hunt, and joining a supper club to try different restaurants around the bay area. It would also have gotten me to a somewhat terrifying alumni happy hour if I hadn't slept straight through it (whoopsie daisy--working east coast hours on the west coast can be tricky). So far this seems like it was a good move--probably one of the best in my very, very long list of moves.
I'm thinking of making the rule more permanent, because I have tried a lot of new things over the past six months and all of them have been a lot of fun. But eventually it will conflict with the rule I've had to institute at work: "Say no when someone asks for your time unless there is a compelling reason to say yes." (Right up there with, "Is this a meeting where we prepare for a meeting? I'm sorry, I'm afraid I can't do those any more. I have a note from my mother.")
Google is RIGHT HERE. So if you ask me to swing by and talk to them about the ads, you never know, I might say yes.