Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Loneliness & Isolation

“It is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely.”  Albert Einstein

Throughout this blog, I've mentioned friends, family and moving to Nambucca, but what I haven't really touched on, in too much depth, is the isolation I've felt at times.

I've moved around a bit and for the most part I've not had any problems making friends. However, most of them, if not all of them, have been made either through work or through other friends. This time, and during the move back to Vic, I've been self employed and working pretty much solely from home. Making it difficult to get out their and find people I click with.

Too many of my friends and acquaintances I seem outgoing and confident... but I'm actually kind of shy - well I won't approach someone, say ‘Hi’ and strike up a conversation... this needs to be built over time. Or, there needs to be some kind of introduction made prior.

We have been here for 6 months and the only contact I have with anyone local is at the beach (a brief chat while walking the dog) or at the gym (and mostly no one in my age group). It's also much harder to make friends when your my age, in a country town, without children - there aren't many childless couples at my age in regional areas. Being coastal, warm and beautiful also makes it a big retirement settlement - now I might be grey and aging, but I'm far from elderly!

At first, I found this really scary and seriously felt isolated... but when I've needed some social activity, Micko, Billy and I have packed up the car and headed up to Byron. I've no shortage of great people in my life but, unfortunately, they are all either a 3-20 hour drive away. Being married to your best friend is also a great comfort – we actually enjoy spending time together and have lots of fun with just the two of us (and of course, my lovely furry baby Billy)... At some point though, especially when you are as social as I am, you need interaction with others and the phone just doesn’t do it.

I tend not to let friends know how isolated I feel... I don't need people needlessly worrying about me - I'd rather people use their energy on something bigger than me being a little lonely from time to time. I also don't really need to hear answers to the questions, I already know myself. So, when I feel down, I constantly try my hardest to put things into perspective. You know, like things are bad for me right now, but they could be a whole lot worse...then I try to see a positive in the situation. And in this particular scenario it’s easy - it will happen, I just need to give it time.

And it seems that time has come... This past weekend, something changed! One of Micko's Mums friends lives not far from us (like walking distance). They were the next door neighbours of Micko's grandparents and he would spend holidays playing with their kids. I'd been hassling the fuck out of him to make contact... and this weekend, he finally bit the bullet and gave them a buzz.

We headed around their place for an impromptu visit on Saturday arvo (after Micko won $130 on the Cox Plate) for a couple of quiet beers. The only reason we left, was poor old Billy was outside in the dark and was probably freaking out. We could have stayed up till all hours drinking and chatting madly away. Both of us had a great time! D&W are really great people and I'm really looking forward to spending more time with them. In fact, D is coming over for a lunch date today! I'm thinking of having Chicken Thai Green Curry toasted Roti wraps.... might go pick up some banana cake too.

At least now, once the pergola and back deck are done, there is the potential to actually entertain some real life people (other than ourselves) in our super rad backyard!  Besides, the rain has departed and the sun is finally breaking through.. how could you feel sorry for yourself on a day like today!  And In the wise words of the great Paul Kelly:  Roll on, summer, roll on!


jprp said...

wow Karls, what an insight, seriously. It never would have occured to me that 1)you would never be first to strike up a conversation and 2) that you feel isolated. you have always been the outgoing and confident one in my eyes! thank god for blogs and facey to keep us all in contact! when your having your down days, try and remember that your living the dream, you really are! and in the end, there arent any rules, and if after a few years your still feeling isolated, pack up and move! its your life, you can live with your two male besties wherever you want! but in the end, i think it's more of a reality that in several years, you'd have convinced at least a few of us to move to the sunny 'bucc shores! you'll be wishing for isolation!!

Anonymous said...

I love this blog mate. I can totally relate! Jen x

Karls said...

That exactly right Jands... Thats why I don't really ever bring it up. It seems such a miniscule problem in the big scheme of things... and it is. Plus every other aspect of my life is shit hot, so I try not to let it bother me too much. Oh and I've made a couple of friends - 'did lunch' yesterday. Jen... feeling for ya! Hard enough to be away with the ones you love, let alone without them.


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