Most days–the good days–I am reminded why I am so glad I moved away. Those are the days I accomplish something I would never have done otherwise. When I revise a story, finish a book proposal, start editing my book, make a to-do list that includes writing, and then, with a flourish, cross that off as done and done and then go have a margarita. Some days, though, even when I get stuff done and I am filled with a sense of accomplishment and go-getterism, I cannot shake a sadness that has everything, I think, to do with feeling isolated. Almost everyone I am close to is very far away, and sometimes emails and IMs do not cut it. Sometimes I go a whole day without speaking to another human being.
I have E’s roommates and family, and they are wonderful and I love to spend time with them and I should trust them when they tell me they are happy to have me and it’s great I’m around and woo, let’s be buddies! I’m lucky to count them as friends. But sometimes I feel like I’m crashing a party. They’re very kind to the party crasher, and I am very glad to have crashed the party (the appetizers are divine and the music is rocking). Saturday night, they had a D&D arts and crafts party, and we spray painted swords and made Viking facial hair out of yarn and bracers out of tin foil and shouted huzzah! and ate amazingly delicious food and giggled a lot. I made myself a winged Valkyrie in a tinfoil skirt, and hung out with fellow crazy nerds and was totally happy, and this family I lucked into, it is a goddamn great one.
But they are not mine, not really. Do you know what I mean? I feel like I need a separate existence, outside of my
boyfriend, a space apart, some room to breathe for both of us. It
feels unfair to him, to come in and depend upon him for my social
existence. We are careful to give each other space, as the
relationship parlance goes, and it is wonderful to sit home and work on
projects and watch television and read, but sometimes, I want to go
out. I want people of my own. Do I sound
ungrateful? I don’t mean to be. It’s a long way around of saying I miss
my friends, I guess.
I’m not really sure how to make new ones. Sometimes I think I should
go get a part-time job–you make friends with co-workers, right? When
I’m at the gym, I want to talk to the cute girl who is reading an
interesting-looking book, and suggest we start a book club and be best
friends. When I drive into Salt Lake with E and work in the café all
day, I want to stop women with cool haircuts and ask them where they
got it done, and where did they get their eyebrows done, and where did
they get their awesome shoes, and can we be best friends? I am out of
practice with this. I am so shy.
At the bookstore, I strike up a conversation with the cashier who is
wearing a funky T-shirt, and it is pleasant and nice to have a
conversation, and she and I might have so much in common and I open my
mouth, ready to say “Hey, so–” and I don’t know what comes next and I
shut up and run away before she hates me. “Let’s be best friends!”
always springs up and I am pretty sure they wouldn’t know that I am
kidding. Mostly. I have not yet had security called on me; I don’t want
there to be a first time.
This is something I have to figure out, because feeling isolated is not
good for me. It makes E worry about me, that I am not happy, that he
has no solution. He is not good with not being able to solve a
problem. But mostly, it’s something I have to solve–I don’t want
homesickness to overcome me, unhappiness to overwhelm me. I came out
here to work, but I don’t want this to just be a waypoint, I don’t want
to be just marking time and waiting to not be unhappy. I want to work
for it now, not hope for it in the future. Anyone want to move here
and be my best friend?