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Slow Changes.

January 14, 2008

Despite my almost two week hiatus, I haven’t seen much drop in my daily traffic and I even had a spike on the 11th (was I linked somewhere? It was very odd…). The hiatus was nothing intentional, actually, though I have always struggled with coming up with something to write about everyday of the week. Despite my activity in the diabetes community, I actually get quite burned out talking about my own life with diabetes. There have been more pressing worries whirling around in my head and up until this weekend I thought I’d have no respite.

I had pretty intense bout of homesickness this past week, which I think was largely caused with returning from two weeks in Oregon and going right back into my rut routine of long days at work followed by a nonexistent social life.

It was the first time in the seven months since I moved here that I actually thought all of this was a mistake.

And it’s hard to talk about this because I don’t want people to worry about me or ask me a lot of questions or wonder if I’m going to quit my job and move back to Oregon. I’m not, trust me. So I’ve avoided the blog the past ten days because there was nothing else in my head except how sad I was and how much I dread the weekend because it’s so hard.

But slowly (oh so slowly) things are starting to turn around.

For one, I joined Meetup.com, which is a website that helps people find others who share similar interests. I signed up for a New York group for people with type 1, but I haven’t had a chance to go any of the meet-ups because of other obligations. Once New Year’s hit, I signed up for more local groups – a couple groups for young women and a group for people who like to try new restaurants. I’ve only gone to one meet-up so far – a lunch at a Thai restaurant – and I hope to go to more soon.

This past weekend, I worked a bit more on my 101 in 1,001 Days Challenge. On Friday night, I watched Charlie Wilson’s War, which I thought was great, and then on Sunday, Gayle (one of the OC’s many readers) and I went to The Delta Grill in Manhattan for some good New Orleans cooking. Saturday night was Game Night at the practically-waterfront apartment of another friend, with a picture-perfect view of the Manhattan skyline. It was a uniquely busy weekend and a wonderful and much-needed reminder of why I wanted to come here.

But now the week has started again and I’m once again wishing the week would slow down a bit because I have no plans for the weekend other than doing a load of laundry and paying a visit to Trader Joe’s. When people at work would ask me what I did over the weekend, I would reply, “Oh, not much. Did laundry, watched TV. Just hung around.” They would smile and say, “Oh it’s so nice to have quiet weekends.”

I’ve debated over and over again about whether or not I wanted to write about this topic again. It seemed like I had ground the “loneliness” topic into the ground, and this certainly has nothing to do with my diabetes. Diabetes has been rather typical with its up and downs lately and hasn’t really caused any major red alarms in the past couple of weeks. I suppose the relative monotonous drone of diabetes has allowed the loneliness to move into center stage. I almost long for the days when I focused solely on my issues with diabetes.

Well, almost.

I know I’m the one who wanted to move clear across the country, and I am glad that I’m here. I just didn’t realize how hard this was going to be.

14 Comments
  1. geosim23 permalink
    January 15, 2008 2:44 AM

    Meetup is pretty cool. I would love to hear more about your success just meeting those people. I have signed up but have never gone to a meetup.

    and FYI, it sounds like you have a pretty decent social life to me!
    🙂

  2. Allison permalink*
    January 15, 2008 9:11 AM

    George: The reason it sounds like I have a pretty decent social life is mostly because I only write about the weekends when I actually have something planned. Or even when I do have something planned, it will only be for a couple of hours and then I’m back to being by myself again.

  3. January 15, 2008 9:50 AM

    I’m thinking of asking the members of my church to transplant themselves in your neighborhood. At least 600 of the thousand members are 18 to 28 years of age and the most of the pastors (three of them) are late 20’s to early thirties. At 59 I really do feel like grandpa. Actually, many of us from the 60’s generation still think we’re in our thirties. It’s obnoxious and a little weird. Anyhow, I’ll see if they want to move from Southwest Florida to New Jersey.

    You won’t be lonely long. We all want to hang with you.

  4. talesofmy30s permalink
    January 15, 2008 11:53 AM

    I agree with George…you make my life seem boring, quite honestly. We rarely do anything fun on the weekends. (And never really have.)

    But I do know how it is to move far away from friends and family. Yeah, there was Greg and his family and his friends, but I’ve never made non-work (& those friendships always die out after I leave), non-internet friends of my very own here. And again, we just don’t do much exciting things here at home – the occasional sporting event, the occasional dinner out, the occasional day in the mountains.

  5. January 15, 2008 6:19 PM

    Allison,
    I read your post yesterday and have been thinking about it since then. It’s hard to find new friends and it is certainly a trial and error exercise. When it works though, it’s great. One thought, have you tried attending any near by churches? It would be nice if you could find some “young people” groups that meet near you. If anything, maybe the church bulletin or newsletter (whatever) might list some different activities.
    As an army “brat” who moved many, many times, I know it’s difficult to form new friendships. I also have learned it can be done.
    Finally, just knowing you through your blog has been a delightful experience so I’m sure that when you find some new friends, that they will feel the same way.

  6. Allison permalink*
    January 15, 2008 6:48 PM

    Rich and Colleen: I have spent a lot of time on Google looking for churches around here. I have found a couple of potential churches, but they don’t update their site very often so it’s hard to tell what they really do. So, who knows…

  7. January 15, 2008 6:53 PM

    When you make any sort of big change like moving across the country, regaining a social life is the hardest part. For me it was leaving my traditional high school. I feel lonely quite often, and miss my friends. We try to get together but it’s difficult with busy schedules and none of us driving. I’m sure you will find more ways, including the meet ups to branch out and find your niche in Jersey.

    Ps. I was stalking your Facebook the other night, you work in the same town that my aunt just moved to. So who knows maybe some day you’ll get to meet boring old me!

  8. January 15, 2008 7:46 PM

    I can’t imagine how hard it must be to move across the country without knowing many people. It’s the exact reason I haven’t picked up and moved to NYC myself. (It’s my secret dream)
    I hope the homesickness gets better and you begin to make lots of friends!

  9. January 15, 2008 7:57 PM

    Allison,

    I’m sorry that you’re still finding things hard, although it sound to me like you’re doing a pretty fine job of working out of it and keeping a positive attitude.

    I said this when you posted on this topic before, but a lot of this does sound like the changes of getting older, working and living alone, as much as purely homesickness (although homesickness clearly magnifies everything). Unfortunately the adults who used to go on about us having ‘the best years of your life’ when we were young weren’t so far off the mark after all. A lot of life is darned boring – laundry and housework have to be done, bills have to be paid and filing and accounts need to be done. It sucks! And living alone brings unique challenges because many of these tasks are done alone. Inevitably you will usually be on your own for a significant portion of each week. But there are many upsides to living alone – discovering your own company is one. I never knew I could be such good company until I was the only company I had! It is worth embracing that.

    Equally, there may also come a time when you view those quiet weekends of laundry and housework differently. I know I sound like the people who tell me I’ll be glad I look so much younger than I am once I reach 40 (sure, but it doesn’t help now when I need ID to prove I can buy a lotto ticket!), but things really do turn around. It seems right now that what you want out of your life and what is happening aren’t quite aligning. But you’re taking positive steps to change that, and I’ve no doubt that, with your personality, you will end up exactly where you want to be… until it all changes again! The meetup stuff sounds great. And remember, if you make just one new connection from that it will open up doors into that person’s social circle and things will grown exponentially.

    Keep imagining things the way you want them to end up, and make that the focus of your attention.

    Take care,

    Caro

  10. January 15, 2008 9:41 PM

    Hi Allison,
    Sorry to hear about you being homesick & a little down. I’m sure that will change. It sounds like you’ve got some leads on people to meet & things to do and that’s good! Hang in there.🙂

  11. January 16, 2008 10:34 AM

    Now I’m really sticking my neck out. I don’t know if you’re a Protestant but if you are you might enjoy a Willow Creek style church. They tend to attract a younger crowd. There are 89 Willow Creek churches in NJ. To find one near you, just go to their web site http://www.willowcreek.com and click on Find a Church.

    I appologize if I went too far.

  12. January 18, 2008 9:37 AM

    Allison

    It’s good to see you posting again. It sounds like you’re doing all the right things. And you’ve got such a great personality I know your situation will change for the better. I hope the wait isn’t too difficult, let me know if I can help.

  13. Briana permalink
    January 18, 2008 3:08 PM

    Having lived in Manhattan for 3 years now I can tell you it took me a couple of years to make any real friends. Church is definitely the way I’ve met about 95% of my friends. Now I go to Remnant Westside in Manhattan, but I used to go to the Journey, which now has a church in Jersey City and has a lot of activities going on. Also there is a Monday night meeting for artistically-minded Christians called Haven at a church on 21st & Park that I used to go to when I lived close by. Hope this helps.

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