Life is Busting out ALL Over!

First Impressions

Posted on: January 20, 2009

Three weeks ago tomorrow I moved into my apartment. It seems like a lifetime ago, but I can articulate each day I’ve been here and it doesn’t feel that long. I’m having a hard time keeping up with this blog, which is sort of an oxymoron (my blog doesn’t move) but at times I feel so much change that I have too much to say but when I just try to Keep It Simple, Stupid – it doesn’t feel like I have enough in my life to really even talk about. I know this will change and it will feel easy again, and just like change in this country, I suppose I just don’t want to wait for it.

One of the things that has surprised me most about this move is the loneliness I feel. I say that with confidence because it’s not the loneliness that drives really great writing, or songs, or fills the depth of a character in a good movie. It’s not dramatic. It just is.

What shocks me most about this is that it’s completely unexpected. You’d think when getting a job 1200 miles from home and making a permanent move that you know involves changing your license plate, one might consider that he or she is moving somewhere with no immediate family and friends, no network. But for some reason, I never did.

I’ve always done “alone” really well. I was relatively alone/single for the first 26 years of my life practically sabotaging any romantic relationship that came my way during that time, just to stay that way, because I knew how to do it. I’m one of a handful of women I know who chose to live alone when years of roommates organically moved on. I’m a stubborn son a bitch who would chose living alone moving forward because it suits me and I like my own space, even if that space meant a shoebox or pushing my budget rather than live with roommates again. I traveled alone for a year for a job, I went to grad school alone, and sadly I even spent much of my serious relationship alone, I’d be kidding myself to think there was a true partnership there.

So I get it, I understand it. Why would I worry about it? I didn’t and now I really feel it. I think part of this is just the transition of it all, new job, new city, new everything, and not knowing any of it or understanding simple things like the fact that the proper pronunciation of a word is the best way to point out the fact you are an outsider, because it is not  how the Texans pronounce it (Guadalupe = Guada-LOOP). It’s just growing pains. I am loving my new job but it’s overwhelming, I’ve never done this position before, I’m constantly learning, I’m trying to find my own rhythm, waiting for the months to pass by when one day I wake up and realize, “Hey, I actually know what I’m doing and I don’t have to overthink it”. That can make you feel alone, even if you are fortunate to have the nicest group of co-workers who do things that you wouldn’t even think to do for a new member of the team.

I think I’ve said before, if not here than to others, that I don’t need a new job, a new city and a new group of friends all in one month, I can slow down a little. Slowing down isn’t something I really know how to do. I pick up things fast, I talk fast and almost demand everyone else pick up the pace to keep up with me. I think, in realizing how lucky I am and to not take it for granted, I have become aware of more things that I otherwise would just not pay attention to in my former/still effort to become an expert on everything as quickly as possible.

In this effort, in the smallest of moments, when I remember to give thanks, I also realize that loneliness. I know it’s not going to be there forever, and maybe I’m meant to feel it now because it won’t be there but be replaced by love and community and it will just fade into an ancedote I tell to someone who is feeling that same way someday too.

I also think about how interesting it is that something – to be by myself, to find comfort in not solitude, but being the short straw – is now something that feels uncomfortable.

Tonight I went to a Book Club I joined last week. We are reading a really decent book and I’m enjoying the book far more than I thought. I went to the hostess’ house way, way, way on the other side of town for our meeting and I met 7 women I had never met before. There was an ease into which we all welcomed meeting each other and telling stories and then discussing the book. It wasn’t until after we finished talking about the book that we decided to go around and really introduce ourselves and say what brought us to the Book Club, but also to our city. It was pretty amazing. All of us had moved here within the last year, many of us from outside of Texas, one even from Chicago, like me. And all of us realized that we wanted to branch out a little bit more and find some friends. 4 out of the 8 of us that met tonight are pregnant (NOT drinking any of that water, thank you) and all due within a month of each other.

Off the bat, I don’t really see any of those women becoming a close friend of mine, although they seem like wonderful people and I certainly can see some of them becoming close. But you never know. When I met my best friend in the world, in college, her first impression of me was that I was a bitch. Two months later we were thick as thieves (I’m not sure I like that simile, but I like the way it sounds).

I guess my point is that I don’t know what to make of this unexpected uncomfortableness with being alone, but it was nice to find others who might just find the same way. Maybe this loneliness is just a first impression that won’t hold true at all.


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musings and panic attacks of a Chicago girl embarking on a new life in Texas. Only it's not always June and it's not in song.

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