I seem to have a bored-and-lonely phase going on. I dream of days in other phases where I had too much to do and I fought for those few moments or hours when I got to be by myself.
I actually like being alone, but it’s one of those things that suffers from inflation. When there’s too much of it, it ain’t so fun anymore. So I like the feeling of liking being alone.
Loneliness is not something people like to talk about. I don’t even want to admit to my husband I’m lonely, so I’m sitting here writing it to you.
Just about anyone who knows me would never guess I’d be writing this. Since I’ve lived in the same city for 20 years, I know quite a few people. I run into people I know all the time, say hi and chat. I have a friend who moved here a few years back and she comments on my huge number of friends all the time.
I’ve had phases before in life where I’ve felt friendless. When I first moved to this area to be with the man who is now my husband, I of course had no one. When we moved together to a new city the first time (3 years later), it was for me to do my master’s degree. I jumped into student life and we lived in student family housing and it seems we had an immediate set of friends. When we moved to a new city (here) the second time, I spent 3-4 months at home writing up my thesis. I guess then I must have felt the lack of friends, but that was a short period.
The next summer I got a job at a big international company whose employees had a median age of something ridiculous like 25. Again I got an immediate set of friends and my social life was guaranteed for the next 9 years. Since we had small kids, that meant that I simply chose the few best events I thought it’d be worth fighting through the logistics to attend.
After those 9 years I moved to a new organization on the other side of the company and a traveling job. I spent 5 years being gone so much that I couldn’t have a regular hobby, and I wanted to spend all the free time I could with my family. I had a group of girlfriends from the first organization, we had some good couples friends, and I knew people here and there from the kids’ friends’ families.
I changed to a whole new company in 2007 and I guess it’s been challenging on the friend front ever since. The group of girlfriends had their babies late in life, so when I noticed that hey, my kids are big enough that I can start to do things!, they all had just started their intense small-child phase which kept them firmly at home. 2 of them moved away.
I started up a few hobbies, hoping to find new friends. And I did find acquaintances, but not real friends. I feel like I’m still in that phase – starting new things, hoping to find some big passion and/or people to hang out with on weekends. After 7 years, I can’t help thinking it’s not going anywhere.
2 years ago I changed jobs again, landing my dream job. I got a new friend, a real one. We immediately hit it off, have the same sense of humor, all of that. She is someone I can just call up. Even though I am not a phone chatter, it feels good to know there are a few people I can call up just to chat with.
I recently lost a friend, a good one, through my own actions. But that is another story.