Blog Share

I hereby present post sent to me for this year's BlogShare.
For those who don't know....BlogShare is when a group of bloggers submit their names/blogs to write an anonymous entry that will appear as a guest-post on another blog. This was organized by the ever-incredible -R-... she's the only one who knows what blogger's written what... but I will post a list of the participating sites maybe tomorrow. There's about 30 or so.
Tina, Darcy and Megan are also participating, so make sure to check them out too.

I admit, I should have warned y'all about it sooner... but really, it's perfect timing, seeing as I'm still a giant snot-bucket.

So, enjoy:

Normally, I'm an incredibly social person- I have my close circle of long-time friends, and generally have a large number of casual "outer circle" friends that I can count on for a glass of wine or a quick bite to eat.  I enjoy social activities very much, I'm not shy, and I usually can be rallied, even when I'm tired, to get out of the house.  

But…yesterday I realized something that has been creeping up on me for maybe a year or so now:  Due to my weeding out certain people for various valid reasons, losing touch with others (sometimes my fault, sometimes theirs), and not wanting to do a lot of the things I used to, I find that I am actually quite lonely these days.  I recognized that it was happening at points, but I guess that I let other things distract me like family, work, and projects.  It was a slow and deliberate process, yet it completely took me by surprise when I had that "ah-ha!" moment yesterday.  A friend cancelled our plans at the last minute, and when I hung up the phone I realized that I had no one else to call.  No one.   

It hit me like a ton of bricks, and I started to cry.  I'm not a weepy sort, but I think yesterday I just reached a "point".   

My life lately has had a lot of drama in it that I don't want to go into here, and I guess that I had been so preoccupied with things that I forgot to keep cultivating my own life.  My former casual friends don't even think to call anymore, or maybe they assume I'm busy or uninterested (as I have been), yet I'm lucky enough that I get to see their Facebook updates showing me what I missed out on.  Yay.  Me.   

I've never been lonely before- not like this.  I'm not even sure what to do about it.  I don't have time to read lately, so a book club is out of the question.  I can't knit.  My husband and I have a few "couple friends", but other than an occasional dinner that's it for them.   I don't have a dog to walk to dog parks.  I don't have children.  My job isn't exactly a pool of people I'd hang out with. 

I just don't do any of the things or have some of the outlets that thirty-somethings seem to do/have to meet new people these days.   

I think that most of all I worry that it's too late- most of our best friendships are born in our teens and twenties.  I hear people say "I have all the friends I can handle/have time for" all the time.  What if it's too late for me to fit into anyone else's life?  What if now I am reduced to riding the city bus and striking up conversations with strangers?  What if I've done this to myself and…that's it?   

What if I am just going to be lonely? 

What if? 


CityStreams February 17, 2009 at 8:40 PM  

About a year ago, all of my close friend graduated from medical school and moved away (with their MD's). Hubs and I chose to stay in the city that we've grown to love, but it was such a lonely place without my friend base. It took me a few months of grieving before I started making new friends. But it definitely can be done. Here are a few things that I did that really helped. I got involved in church. Started going to the gym for kickboxing classes (attendance is flexible). And I invited some other moms to join a playgroup (you could choose a different kind of group to start though :o)

Sauntering Soul February 17, 2009 at 10:45 PM  

I'm 40 and I feel like the same thing happened to me in my 30's. I just sort of drifted away from my friends. I still call them from time to time but I very rarely go out. I think a lot of it is because we're just all in different places in our lives and don't always have time or make time for one another. Some are married and some aren't. Some have kids and some don't. When you add in work schedules, family obligations, etc. it's sometimes easier to just not put forth the effort to keep friendships going. Some days it bothers me a lot and on other days I realize how much I like my alone time and sadly, I think things are exactly how I want them to be.

Anonymous February 18, 2009 at 9:22 AM  

What is you just said WTF??

Good friends like you and still with you in spite of all your faults/drama/busyness. Real freinds know all about you and like you anyway!!

So....lonely, get out there .......do something. Get physical, contact one person once a week who you would really like to chat with/have lunch with/get drunk with/go for a walk with/attend a play,concert,film..............whatever.

Do it for yourself. Sounds like a poor liitle me thing. I pushed everyone away and now I have no one to play with. Boo hoo.

Life is what ya make it darling.

Allie February 18, 2009 at 9:31 AM  

I don't live near many of my friends, and sometimes I get really sad about that. I have people I can call when I'm feeling down, but I never have anyone to say, "Hey, let's go see a movie and grab lunch," to. I don't really know how you meet friends when you aren't in school and don't have kids. I do, however, totally recommend getting a dog. :)

Tess February 18, 2009 at 9:51 AM  

First of all, I think it's never too late to make great friends.

However. The 30s are really tough in this regard. Some of your friends are married, some NOT, some have kids, some DON'T, some may even be divorced, etc. It's hard to keep friends who are at different life stages.

I'm the first of my circle of friends (and hopefully the LAST) to be divorced, and I feel like I don't know anyone who is in my boat right now. The same can happen when you get married, or have kids. It's tough.

lizgwiz February 18, 2009 at 11:00 AM  

It is definitely harder, as you get older, to "replace" the friends who leave your life for one reason or another, suddenly or gradually. It can be done, but you do have to make an effort. And, sadly, I wouldn't say that my current circle of lots and lots of casual friends is quite the same as my younger, smaller circle of closer friends, but...it helps.

abbersnail February 18, 2009 at 1:27 PM  

I hear you on this! I've lived in so many places for the past ten years, and my friends are quite literally all over the country. It hurts my heart when my birthday rolls around every year, and I have to FIND people to come to my birthday gathering. If my friends lived closer, I know I'd have a full roster. I think it gets harder as we get older, because you aren't spending time with your "target friend demographic" as much. But I do think it is possible to make new friends, so just hang in there and realize that it will happen eventually!

Courtney February 18, 2009 at 1:46 PM  

I think loneliness is the worst state a person can be in. I've been lonely plenty of times, so I feel you on this.

The key is just to get out there, start talking to people. You'd be surprised at how many people feel the same way you do.

nonsoccermom February 18, 2009 at 2:04 PM  

I understand that feeling. My good long-term friends and I are all in different life stages, and many of us live far away from each other. I have great friends in town but I have kids and they don't so that makes things a little challenging schedule-wise. The hubby doesn't really care to have "couple" friends (he is a total homebody) so that narrows the options there...I'm not really sure what the solution is but I do feel your pain on this!

Miss Pants February 18, 2009 at 2:37 PM  

Loneliness is the worst. I moved to a new state in my 30s to return to school, hoping for that to be the way to make friends...but that didn't work out so well. I understand how frustrating and hard it can be. Hang in there.

Sra February 18, 2009 at 4:03 PM  

I don't buy the best friends come from your youth thing. Life is a progression from beginning to end and people come in and out of it all along the way. You will forge new friendships, which will fade in their own ways as well. C'est la vie.

NGS February 18, 2009 at 5:09 PM  

A lot of our friends are graduating from grad school and moving on, away from a city we choose to stay at because we love. It's hard making friends, but you have to make an effort.

As I read your post, I noticed you making lots of excuses. I don't have time to (fill in the blank) you wrote. Well, if you don't have friends, what do you do with your free time? Maybe you just need to branch out a little and use your free time to connect with something you're interested in. Maybe then you'd make some friends.

-R- February 18, 2009 at 7:34 PM  

It SUCKS to be lonely. It doesn't matter why you're lonely, it just sucks, and I'm sorry you're feeling down.

Christine February 18, 2009 at 9:41 PM  

I am not the most social person in the world, and I have always found making friends to be difficult. But I've found I've actually gotten better as I've gotten older. Part of it is that through this blog thing I met a really great friend in the same city (and through that, got to mooch off of her friends.) I also got lucky in that I was able to make a few friends at my last two jobs. Now I just have to be better about keeping in touch with them all.

Good luck to you and I'll echo R in saying that it does suck to be lonely. And also, anon, no need to be condescending. Eesh.

newduck February 18, 2009 at 9:45 PM  

I don't think you're going to be lonely. I find that when I make certain life transitions, I transition away from my friends. I know this probably doesn't help, but sometimes we just travel away from our old friends so we can make new ones, and sometimes there's a lag in the middle. And the lag is lonely. Hang in there.

Karan February 18, 2009 at 11:38 PM  

I'm 45 and I get that feeling at least once a year. Ask yourself if you enjoy your own company and if you have a few really good friends. In the end, that is what will sustain you.

Dingo February 21, 2009 at 3:39 PM  

I completely understand. I had a weeding out process of people I thought were my friends several years ago. While it's great that they are gone from my life now, it's made it very difficult for me to trust people and form real friendships. Sometimes it gets lonely. And then sometimes I like not having to make excuses to not to go out on a Saturday night and instead sit in front of my Tivo'd shows in my jammies.