Get out your Kleenex kids, & don’t say I didn’t warn you. It’s time for a grossly self indulgent super whinge fest from moi.
I don’t have any friends. Here. I do HAVE friends, lovely ones that I miss so much it hurts sometimes, but they are in Sydney or on the Central Coast, and I, am not.
Usually I don’t really mind, the not knowing anybody here business; I am happy taking Punk off to do things, pottering about the house, going to the beach with The Boy, opshopping, crafting, blogging & whatnot… but sometimes, like today, I do mind.
You see when I am at home, or shopping, or beaching, or whatever, my life seems so full & happy that I don’t even realise that I am so far from people that have a little history with me, who like the same things I do, who care about me… but when I venture into a social situation, like I did today, where everybody seems to know everybody else, & even other “new” people have no trouble with chatting & getting to know everyone, I realise that:
a) I suck at small talk and
b) I don’t have any friends.
Dwelling on something like that could get depressing.
I dealt with this feeling before by taking myself out of the depressing situation. The situation being “playgroup”… but Punk’s chronic shyness has seen me return, for her sake, but it isn’t much fun for me. I’m not saying that the other Mums aren’t lovely – they absolutely are, and they have been nice to me, and they would talk to me if I could think of something to talk to them about, but I can’t.
I’ve never been someone that has had a huge circle of friends, I seem to have had several different close friends at different times, but only one or two at a time, my motto being something along the lines of “I don’t like people” (..undoubtedly brought on by moving frequently in my youth, something like “oh yeah… well I don’t NEED any friends, anyway…”). I can’t seem to summon the kind of energy one needs to make friends of people you don’t automatically click with. I know it’s possible, I know it can be done, but I don’t particularly want to do it. Even when I have found someone I like and like to be around, I can be such a homebody that we rarely do anything together anyway (even before Le Punk, I like alone time. A lot.), but it’s nice to know that I could, if I wanted to, go opping with someone, or out for sushi occasionally.
Which makes my situation entirely self induced, & a little bit more depressing.
We’ve been here well over a year now, so “We just moved here…” doesn’t really fly as an excuse for not knowing anyone anymore. I tried all the usual things that one is told to do when moving to a new place – we went to swimming lessons, playgroup… (I actually tried THREE different playgroups… our current group was where I felt most comfortable, Punky would be happy anywhere…) I even volunteered for a “green” workshop a while back which I enjoyed a lot – even had things to talk about with the peeps there – but once the workshop was over, I never saw any of them again.
I don’t know what the exact problem is. Maybe it’s the “Mummy Factor”. Apart from some people that I became quite close with online when I was pregnant, I don’t have any friends who are parents. Lots of woman make friends at their Mothers group for example – I didn’t get one of those. We moved from Sydney to Melbourne in the weeks we should have been starting a Mothers group somewhere… had I gone to one I might feel more comfortable with other Mothers where the favourite topic of conversation is pregnancy, birth or babies. And that is something I at least have one child worth of experience in! The ladies I meet seem to speak another language to me – I catch some references to “careers” or “new cars”, but have nothing of my own to add.
I don’t meet anyone that would rather go to the oppy than Kmart. I don’t meet people that openly make things. I definitely don’t meet any wannabe vegan lapsed vegetarians. ;) I don’t meet people that know what it’s like to not know anybody. I’ve only ever met one person that knew who Richard Brautigan was before they met me.
And it sucks.