Disclaimer: This post is sad. I’m not going to apologize for it. I’m not whining, complaining or about to throw myself into the river. So, no feeling sorry for me. This is just what’s in my heart and head right now.
I moved to Colorado from Southern California almost four months ago. Leaving was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I’ve had cancer and my house burned down, so there’s some perspective for you! I had no idea how hard it would be to drive away from so many that I loved, even though a few of my dearest ones made the drive with me and stayed with me the first few confusing days of “where the crap is my shampoo?”. Putting my last sweet friend on the plane back to California was a solid 7.8 on the gut wrenching scale.
I was sure I would soon make friends and have a good, if not equally wonderful community here. I did all the right things. I joined the Y, went to yoga classes, attended a bible study, Jake and I went to a Mommy and Me swim class and I was generally friendly and kind to everyone I met. I felt confidant and off to a great start when after the first week of being friendly, a group of young mamas assured me that they would embrace me and “take over my life”. I was happy and enthusiastic about the future of friend-dom.
We made coffee dates, planned trips to the zoo and play dates. And you know what? Not one of them worked out. They were cancelled, postponed to a foggy date in the future or I was left hanging out at the entrance to more than one place waiting while no one showed up. After a few weeks of me being too sick to come to one of their events, I was dropped off the invite list. This was totally exasperating! And mystifying. I’ve never, ever, ever had a hard time making friends.
After about a month of this that I had to change my attitude from hopeful and excited to a more pragmatic outlook on friendship. I had a lot of fun hanging out with Greg and Jake and doing whatever I wanted. I have a huge mental list of amazing conversations I’ve had with total strangers and people who I’ll never see again that would have been impossible had I been with other people.
And see this…
And when I get bored this guy is only a few minutes away…
He’s my favorite! 🙂
We bought bikes and Jake and I go on a ride every day. I love getting out into the mountain air and riding beside my favorite river. Not many people get to do that and I know that I’m spoiled in my surroundings. I get to read and write a lot. I take get to see and take pictures of beautiful things. I have a totally different and better relationship with my family and with God and that’s so huge to me. But, I’m lonely. Sometimes, I’m so lonely it freezes me in my tracks and I have to wait until it passes before I can even cry a little until I feel better.
I miss people. I miss sitting on the couch with someone and laughing and talking over a cup of coffee. I miss our house being full of people on Sunday night. I miss long drives that end in hugs, smiling faces and the occasional accidental sleepover. I miss staying up way too late watching “just one more episode” of Stargate or Top Gear. I miss holding the hand of a friend when she is hurting. I miss helping people, cooking for people, making people feel welcome and special in my home. I miss being “home” in someone else’s house.
I took so many thing for granted when I had friends close by. Like the nights when my uncle would come over to smoke cigars and bourbon and discuss everything from Beavis and Butthead to the depths of God’s grace. Or Saturday morning pancakes at IHOP with friends from work. The friendly shouts of “hey!” when lots of people walked in our front door. Watching other people love my son. The last-minute phone call of “Hey, you wanna come hang out?” to rescue me from spending a cranky evening by myself.
And I really have no idea where to go from here. Even though I worry sometimes that the frequently green hair and nose ring are what’s putting people off, I’m not going to change that! I know that I’ve done and will continue to do all the right things.
For now, I’ll continue to read, write, bike, love my surroundings and enjoy my life. And someday soon, I hope that I’ll meet the friend that is only a few miles away.