This is a word that I feel sometimes, but have a hard time talking about. It can be depressing and almost feels embarrassing to admit.
I have a wonderful boyfriend and 2 fur-babies. I have family close-by. I tell myself there is no reason to feel this way. I tell myself to stop having these feelings, but I still do.
The other day, I learned that I am not alone. Apparently, this is a very common feeling. Its is also always acceptable to feel the emotions we do. They are ours. We feel them for a reason. I spoke with 2 of my closest friends about the topic. These are some things they said when I brought it up:
“I never go anywhere. I never do anything.”
“I watch a lot of television.”
“No, I don’t really have any friends here.”
“Welcome to my life”– this is the one that reminded me that I am not the only person that ever feels alone.
It is very common. Especially for people my age. I am between college and having a family. This makes it hard to meet people! The only people I really meet are co-workers, and I never stay at a job long enough to truly establish a friendship. Not to mention, I am shy and have a hard time making friends to begin with.
Luckily for me, my sister lives relatively close so I am able to visit her on my days off. Just this week during one of my visits, I observed something I once knew but had forgotten: Community.
My niece has made friends with other toddlers and their families in her townhouse development. She was invited to play, so all the parents, friends and children gathered in one of yards. We played, talked and enjoyed one another’s company for awhile.
It was during this moment that I realized that this is what I’ve been searching for. Community. To know my neighbors. To have friends close-by. To establish roots. It seems like people don’t do this as often as they once did. I grew up in such a small community that running next door to borrow something was never a big issue. I knew them and they had probably watched me grow up. Sadly, it seems like this time of neighborly relationship has been lost. We have become driven by technology and diverted from socialization.
So what to do about it?
I don’t have an answer yet.
- I started with stopping my Facebook obsession. It felt like spending so much time each day observing others’ lives was just a distraction from my own. Being away from it has helped.
- I try to spend more time doing active things I enjoy like cooking, reading and playing with my pups.
- I am trying to get back into teaching fitness classes. It is fun and a great way to meet people.
- I have started looking more at meet-up groups.
- I make phone calls more often to my loved ones.
- Maybe I will try to stay in one place for more than a year….
- I am starting to ask others to hang out instead of waiting for them to ask me. Chances are, they are looking for some socialization too
I have moved so frequently for so long that I have never been able to establish myself. I haven’t had time to truly make great friends, but I would like to. In a perfect world, everyone I love would live on the same block. I wish it was possible. I would be the happiest in that place. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to convince anyone to move here, so I will always be missing someone, no matter where I live or how long I stay there.
Eventually, I will find roots somewhere. A house will be bought and a family will be made. In the meantime, my not-frequent-enough phone calls to my friends in Illinois and Ohio keep me going. Now that I have been reminded that they feel what I feel, I will call them more often. I won’t feel like a bother. They need me just as I need them. That’s what friends are for.