It’s been a while, and that’s something that I want to change. I originally focused on moving to Hawaii, then on humorous (to me, at least) observations of life here. Right now, I need to get real about what I’m doing with 3+ years under my belt.
2017 was a tumultuous year in many ways, not all of them political. My mom visited me for the first time on her own and stayed in my very own home for one week, and this was glorious. The one year anniversary of my home ownership in Hawaii occurred. I made new friends. My best on-island friend left the island and focused on a life somewhere else, taking not just her physical presence but her emotional one as well. My job changed and I was let go from my employer. I became self-employed, and also collected unemployment because I was so uncertain about my business that I wasn’t working enough hours to support myself. A week with my friends and family in California filled my heart to bursting and I gleefully shopped at Old Navy, Trader Joe’s and Barnes and Noble stores. Working almost exclusively from home, and trying to build my business isolated me from interactions with people even more and I’d go days without using my voice. I turned 44, and got frustrated with myself. The holiday season happened and I spent time with a couple of friends, but mostly read entirely too many hours, while drinking too frequently and not eating enough.
Now it’s 2018, and I’ve got to do better if I want to continue this life that I worked so hard to achieve. It’s completely different from the life I had in California, which is the very point of having it. I just have to figure out how to deal with the setbacks and the disappointments and the loneliness.
Here’s the thing about making (and keeping!) friends as an adult: it’s HARD. All the cool people have partners, families, kids, other friends, jobs, interests… all the things that make them cool and why you want to be friends with them. You may be a perfectly nice person, but they don’t have a lot of time or space to fit in a new friend. Add in: you are on an island, a limited population, a pinch of self-doubt and social anxiety (okay, more like a generous helping) and the number of people you are willing and able to approach – repeatedly – to be friends gets smaller. It can be crippling to be the one always reaching out, “Hey are you available? Do you want to do this thing with me?” If you don’t try though, you spend your time pulling ever more inward, maybe spending more times on your hobbies, or your bad habits, or getting bitter. Frankly, that’s exhausting physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Now, I’m bumming myself out and my neck hurts from the navel-gazing. Yes, it’s hard to adult, but it’s gotta be better than the alternative. Also, these are choices I made for myself (which reminds me of a series of exchanges with a conservative dude about taking responsibility for choices and jeez, I don’t like that guy’s attitude), so it’s time to take responsibility for them, and make different choices if I don’t like the results of them. So, 2018… let’s see if we can thrive together, shall we?
This post brought to you by several bouts of depression, and far too much time on Facebook.