On Moving and Loneliness

Moving away from Brooklyn was hard for me in many ways.  I left the place I had lived for the past five years, I left the city I had grown to love and think of as home, I left a job that I loved and was passionate about, and, the most significant, I left my closest friends who all lived (for the most part) within a 40 minute (or less) subway ride away.

When people ask me if I miss Brooklyn, I can’t help but emphatically impart on them just how much I miss it.  But if you dug a bit deeper, it’s not the place; it’s the people.  Brooklyn is wonderful; I loved my time there, the experiences I gained there, and the adventures I lived through.  But I don’t miss the city — I miss my friends.  I miss the people I spent my time with, who I shared those experiences with, and who I dragged on those adventures with me.

I look forward to the time when I have people like that in my new home.  I hope to have a friend I can call and see if they are interested in grabbing coffee in…10 minutes.  Another couple who will come over and eat the food that I cooked for four people, even though only two live in my house.  I want someone who will come to my house in their pjs and stay on the couch with me all day without shame.

Meeting new people is never easy, and when I think back on times in my life when I’ve had to meet new friends, it always takes me awhile.  I didn’t meet the majority of my closest friends from college until our second semester of college, I didn’t connect strongly with anyone from law school until the end of our first year, and there haven’t been many other times in my life where I’ve been forced to start from scratch.

Sometimes, it’s lonely.  I’ve tried a few times to go to different events or meet ups to find new friends, but it’s hard to not compare them to the friends you left behind, the ones you wish you still lived 40 minutes away from.  There is no built in community for me here; no fellow students, no co-workers, just me, my husband and my dog.  And I’ll tell you, there are moments where I wish there were just a few more of us.

The time will come when we will have a house full of guests, friends we’ve made along the way, laughing, drinking and eating with us, weeks when we are desperate for a night free of plans, and the friends we have who will become like family.  I do look forward to it, but for now, I’m enjoying the quieter moments, and embracing the loneliness the best I can.  When life does get wild and crazy, I can look back at the quiet times and smile – I got to enjoy the best of both worlds out of this move.

Have you made a big move as a “grown-up”?  What did you do to make friends?

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