Saturday, October 08, 2011

Homesickness


Not a book title. A feeling. Of homesickness. It's what I have currently. I don't know if it's because if I was back in Illinois right now, the weather would be brisk and clean, I would be watching the tree in my front yard turn the colors of red, then orange, then yellow. I remember being in my living room, year after year and thinking how it would look if I took a picture of that tree every day of the year -- I loved that tree and how it would change every single day and yet, every year it would turn and change and go from colorful to bare and snow-covered to full and green again.

That doesn't happen here in Arizona.

Also, not happening here in Arizona is the gaggle of girlfriends in my old neighborhood. We'd all stand at the bus stop in our jammies, gloved hands grasping coffee cups. None of us cared that we were in our jammies. It was the joke, who bothered to put on a bra that day? We were a family of sorts. Bundled and huddled together to keep warm while our children laughed and waited for Mr. Pickles, the most awesome bus driver in the world.

The kids would get on the bus, and we'd stand outside for a while longer, as long as we could, and laugh and chat, then be on our way, but we knew we'd talk again. We were a neighborhood family. I knew I would see these women later that morning, either through a walk, or at the gym, or we'd go for coffee, or have lunch we'd run into each other at the grocery store. This group of women had become my family there. It was the midwest. This is how we did things. We were a neighborhood connected. We had bonded, we were a sisterhood. I knew that no matter what, I could comfortably go to any one of their homes, ring the bell, and go flop onto their couch, raid their fridge, fall into their arms and cry if I needed a good cry.

Here. Only two, maybe three people can I do that with. And I've been here almost a year and a half. I need an extended family here. People are different. Or maybe I'm older. People have made their connections. They're busy. They don't have the time. Or maybe I'm not making the effort? I'm not trying hard enough. But it's too hard. No one is close enough. No one is friendly enough. Maybe I'm not friendly enough? Either way, it's exhausting to miss friends this much. It's disheartening to see the people here as I see them. I can see right through them. They're superficial. Not the ones I care about. Not the ones I want to get to know.

And of course, I have no family here. Family these days, are all over the place. It's just how it is. Like in this example, like this woman's choice to move away from her family. I didn't choose this. We had to go. I didn't want to. I don't know where I'll end up. I never thought it would be here, out west. I always thought if anything, we'd be back to the east, where my two younger children were born. I'm glad I have my internet family. Truly. Thank you all for being a part of my daily life. I feel so connected to you all in more ways than you can possibly know. 

OK, enough pouting. Thanks for listening. More books, less whining next week! xo


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12 comments:

Books & Reviews said...

I wish you and I lived closer! I feel the same way. I have not really made any close friends since moving to AZ and I have been here 3 years ! I miss California dearly and I feel pretty lonely out here.

KJ DellAntonia said...

Oh, man...it really is tough moving as an adult. I think it took me three years here to find friends, and even longer to find REAL (as opposed to proximity) friends...but you will get there. Take every opportunity. It's ok. Hang in!

Melisa Wells said...

Illinois misses you too. :(

A Novel Review- Laura Kay said...

I hear you! It's hard moving...we've moved again and again and I've gotten to where I hardly try to find new friends just to leave them again. I miss fall in Illinois it feels like fall is suppose too, sigh.

Ncsuloges said...

I am so sorry! I know it's not the same but I remember a few years back crying my eyes at college graduation. I didnt want to move on and grow up. I loved my safe little world with all my friends, interesting classes, football games, havin time to lay around at the pool. I could go on and on. Its hard moving away. It's just hard when things change. But cliche of cliches, it will get better. Hang in there!

Dani In Chicago said...

What a great neighborhood you lived in. If I ever lived in the burbs that's the kind of neighborhood I'd like to live in. Yes, I do love the fall here in Chicago (although this past week it's been summer). And believe it or not, I love the winter too. I'm the kind of girl that likes the change of seasons.

EBrowning said...

I was just talking to a friend (and former co-worker) of mine the other day about how it seems the older we get the harder it is to make friends. Especially if you work in a job where you don't see alot of people (like we did). When I first met this friend of mine I thought she talked way too much and that there was no way we would ever be friends outside of work. Turns out she has the exact same sense of humor and taste in T.V. shows as me and she has become one of my favorite people to talk to and hang out with. I can't imagine how hard it must be to move across the country and have to make all new friends...but hang in there - at second glance you may find a really great friend where you least expect it! :)

MonaLisa said...

I know exactly what you are saying. Ever since I moved from Virginia to Kentucky I have felt that way. I have my husbands family, but none of my own. Friends have been harder to make and are not the close, lifelong kind. I have asked myself if it's just harder at my age or if people really are different here. I have no answers, just moral support. Take care Manic.

A.C. Morris said...

I'm sorry you're feeling so homesick! I know the feeling well. Making new friends is tough, and great ones are really hard to come by. Our previous duty station was only 10 months long, but we made some of the best friends we've had in years and miss them terribly. We've been here over a year and haven't found anyone that we're that close to yet. I hope things get a little easier soon!

Terri said...

OK. You, me and Holly (the Poty's) need to get together for coffee. Or we can go sit in O'Donoghue's one Friday night when my girls are with their Dad and we can listen to EastonAshe. Nothing cheers you up like cute boys and good music! Seriously, I'm probably like 10 minutes from you, and right now, I'm in between jobs, so my days are free.

Terri M.

Beth C said...

Ok, you made me cry! I am from the midwest and I know exactly what you mean. I don't have any words of wisdom or anything like that. But, I hope it helped you to talk about it a little bit. Hang in there!

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