Tuesday, May 28, 2013

One is the loneliest number

In theory, I love a good holiday weekend.  I like the anticipation of an extra day without work, the possibility of catching up on some sleep, getting up to something fun.  On the Friday before such a weekend, I feel that sense of excitement and it is like being a little kid again.  Then the actual long weekend alights, and I remember.  There is nothing like a holiday of any kind to make me hyper aware of how on my own I am.  Yes, it makes me feel fiercely single, but it goes beyond that.  It makes me so conscious of the things that are missing in my life.  I've begun to realize more and more lately that being perpetually single has illustrated to me just how much I relied on exes to indulge the activities that I enjoy most.  Why?

As a general rule, I am hard pressed to find friends to engage in the kind of activities that make me happiest.  What puzzles me is that my tastes are not hugely unusual.  I do not have a proclivity for strange hobbies.  That being said, why does no one like to do what I like to do?

Baseball games. 
Amusement parks.
Miniature golf.
Midnight movies.

These are some of my favorite activities, and it is insanely difficult to get people to do them with me.  I do succeed occasionally, but it's a rarity and often requires a great deal of advance planning.  Is there something wrong with me that I would rather do these things than spend my time in a bar?  Or shopping?  Or at home? I can't figure it out.  Most of these seem like pretty normal summer activities.  Sure, they are wholesome and minus the kind of debauchery some enjoy, but come is the American pastime!  And rollercoasters get your adrenaline pumping, and miniature golf is just fun.  Midnight movies?  Not all the time, but come on!

I'm frustrated.  These are all things I used to do on a more consistent basis when I had a boyfriend.  Was it because it was part of a mutual exchange, wherein my ex did something he knew I enjoyed even if it wasn't his thing?  I don't know what it was exactly, but it makes me miss all of my exes even if they wouldn't otherwise merit such consideration.  Blah blah, I'm single hear me roar.  But I'm single and hard pressed to find anyone to do the things that I find fun. 

I want to go to a baseball game at the last minute because I work in DC and can do that.  I want to go to Kings Dominion a couple times over the summer, or road trip to Hershey one weekend.  I want to go miniature golfing at places new and old.  I want to go out for frozen custard, or take a lunch to hang out by the river, or go swimming, and catch the occasional midnight movie.  I want someone to run random errands with me and enjoy it, I want to BBQ summer meals and sit outside and watch fireflies light up the sky, and watch a summer thunderstorm roll in with someone.

I am so fucking tired of being alone.  I am tired of not having the kind of friends that I grew up with to spend time with here.  I miss having that kind of friend where we could just hang out and have fun even if we weren't doing anything.  I have been left behind, and now get togethers require days, if not weeks of advance notice, and people disappear for weeks at a time.  I'm left wondering if I somehow did something wrong without realizing it, or if I am just such a footnote that I truly can be shuffled to the side that way without a second thought. I am so tired of holiday weekends where I just feel lonely and forgotten and so stupidly aware of my solo status in life that it's consuming. 

The problem with this stage of life is that if you don't have good friends at the ready by now, you're kind of screwed.  Once people get spouses and kids your chances of building anything new and strong is severely diminished.  You will get their leftover time at best.  Even some people just in dating relationships will do the same thing.  You will watch them slowly and carefully hand over all of their independence in favor of this embedded twosome.  I know that routine.  I've done it many times, and when things fell apart later, I regretted it so badly. 

Now I'm on the outside, and I'm sad and frustrated and confused about why no one wants to do anything fun anymore.  There are fun things outside of drinking in any number of venues and staying in constantly.  There is fun outside of playdates and book clubs. 

I am so, so grateful that I already have travel planned for my birthday.  Why?  Because I guarantee it would have been another disappointing day for me if I didn't.  I'm desperately trying to find something to do out of town for the 4th of July because I don't want another holiday filled with feeling like crap. 

Lately I find myself romanticizing my hometown where I grew up.  I know it's a naive and inaccurate notion, that if I lived there things would be so much better.  But sometimes I think it's true.  Yes, most of my closest girlfriends live there, but most of them have husbands and children and jobs and lives.  Even though they all live in the same city, they don't see each other constantly.  It requires effort and planning sometimes.

But damn, they have each other if they need each other.  And no matter how long I've been gone, or how infrequently we catch up, I feel like I could stop by and say hi at least for a few minutes with any of them.  There's no one here I feel like I can do that with.  No one.  Eight years here, and what do I have to show for it?   The two girlfriends I've been closest with here are no longer in my life, one being a mutual splitting of interests, and another being a selfish choice by that friend based on her own problems in her life.

Beyond my girlfriends, I think about how if I were in my hometown, I would have my brother and his wife, and my grandfather and my mother and stepdad.  I guarantee that if I lived there I would see my brother a lot, and we would hang out a lot, and I miss that possibility so much sometimes.  I'm trying to rationalize a really expensive plane ticket to get home for the 4th because the idea of another holiday weekend being spent 95% on my own makes me so infinitely sad I can't explain it. 

The summary of my weekend:
Friday I went home from work and I fell asleep from 7-9pm.  I watched some DVR and went back to sleep.
Saturday: Slept until 11 am.  Cleaned the bejesus out of my apartment. Went to gym.  Ran a couple errands.  Went to dinner and midnight movie with a friend. (THANK GOD for one person with some flexibility).
Sunday: Slept in.  Watched a ton of Grey's Anatomy, as I'd decided to go back and watch the season I missed on Hulu.  Ran a couple of errands.  Went to the gym.
Monday: Slept in.  Gym.  Errands.  Grey's Anatomy.

I'm serious.  I listened to neighbors having a good time with friends over upstairs.  I watched other neighborhood residents BBQ in the courtyard, go on walks with their significant others and dogs, come back from trips out of town.  I heard friends speak of parties and baseball games and family events they went to.  I saw pictures of all of these things on Facebook.  All the while I spent most of my weekend in my apartment by myself eating crap food I didn't need, watching hours of a TV show, and mourning the fact that I have no one to celebrate anything with anymore.

I feel very disillusioned sometimes by my life here.  It's weird because sometimes I love it, and I can't imagine not being here.  But others?  I hate it.  I hate how alone it makes me feel.  I hate that it just shines a light on my oneness, and how the days I'm supposed to be having extra fun or celebrating, I end up feeling worse.  I feel like I am less than everyone around me, and I wonder how I got to this point, where I am on the periphery of everything, an afterthought to those who know me.

If something happened to me here, no one would know the difference for days except for my work and my mom, because there is not a single person that I check in with every single day, or even every other day.  I don't matter here.  Even my ex-husband, for a long time the closest thing I had out here to family, doesn't give a shit anymore.  I hear from him once every couple of weeks at best. 

Sometimes I really hate it here.  And I wonder if loving my job is enough.  And I think that maybe the idea of moving back "home" isn't so awful, and that maybe I would be happier in my daily life, and so having a less than perfect job wouldn't matter.  And I wouldn't have to live in a tiny, hugely overpriced apartment, or spend holidays alone. 

I used to think that I loved having left home because my world was so small there. I felt so sheltered and closed in.  But now that I am in a bigger world, I realize that bigger can certainly mean lonelier, and I don't like that anymore.  I can survive on my own, sure...but do I want to?  Do I want to be the only one looking out for me forever?  It's exhausting, and it's sad, and it makes me feel like I don't matter.  That is not a good feeling.  I don't know how to fix it.

Again, thank god for a planned birthday trip.  After that, who knows.  Maybe my idea that DC is where I belong is wrong.  Maybe I don't fit here like I thought after all.


  1. I could have wrote this, seriously!! I live in such a party city, and I used to have a whole bunch of friends to party with and hang out on the beach, etc, etc. Then they all found a sig other and disappeared. I did nothing this weekend, well, actually I had to work F, S, Sun, & Mon. So, that sucked, but I am glad that I did because I know I would have spent the entire time in my apartment, alone.

    My best friends both have moved, and I am just here, all by my lonesome. I never go to new restaurants, or bars. I do enjoy doing things solo, but not like going out to eat. Movies, shopping, yes.

    I also heard my neighbors having a party/BBQ as my apt was filled with that delicious BBQ smell. The bay was filled with sailboats, and I sat at home and watched movies. I had the Bridget Jones scenario of being eaten by wild dogs enter my mind a few times.

    I think that moving back to Utah (where my brother lives) would sometimes be such a relief. But then when I visit, I realize that I can't stand Utah, and I'd rather be alone in San Diego, than move back to that hellhole.

    I dont have any advice on making new friends, or I would have done it already. Besides joining some kind of gym group or something you are always doing group.

    Just so you know, you have an open invite to crash at my place if you ever want to come out to San Diego!

    1. I'm glad to know that others can identify, although I also feel bad saying that because I'm essentially saying I'm glad others feel kind of lonely, too! :/

      I'm with you, I like doing things on my own for sure, but not all the time, and not by default. I like it when it's a choice, you know?

      I'm also probably realistically with you on the moving home thing. I know it's just a rose colored scenario that may not really fix things, and ultimately I do feel like I fit a place like DC better than Omaha, if I could get the friendships and relationships in order. Sometimes I just think that bigger cities are more likely to create more superficial relationships, and less of a sense of permanence. People come and go, and it seems like so many people just accept that.

      I will definitely keep that in mind about visiting, as I love San Diego! I visited last spring and had a great time, so I would certainly be up for a return visit sometime. The same goes for you if you ever want to come visit DC! :)

  2. Totally understand how you feel. I felt that way most of my long weekend, too. Hate the DC area. It's awful for trying to make new friends outside of a bar-type setting. I'm very over feeling alone, too. I hope your bday trip is awesome :)

    1. Yesterday was definitely a rough day. Feeling better today, but I do know I generally feel this way on most holidays now. Hey, if you ever want to meet up for coffee or something, we are in the same city! :)

      Thanks about the b-day trip, I'm super excited! :)

  3. Big hugs, Bluemoon. I completely understand where you're coming from. It's frustrating when everyone else seems to be pairing up or grouping up, and you're the odd one out. Making quality friends as an adult is REALLY HARD! In my 3 years in a new city, I've cycled through friends. There are girls who I thought were keepers that just ditched me for new boyfriends or over silly drama. It gets discouraging to get attached to a new friend only to have them disappear on you.

    Does DC have a big following? It's been my saving grace in SF, where 90% of my friends are from Meetup.

    I also think our society puts a lot of pressure people to have to "do something" for holidays with partners/family/friends, and then makes those of us without plans feel completely inadequate. It's really aggravating. I'm also panicking that the 4th of July is going to be a long weekend and I have absolutely no plans. Meanwhile, Memorial Day is barely over and people are already talking about what "we" are doing over the next long weekend.

    I wish I had better words of consolation, but I really do know how you feel :/

    1. Hey there, thank you. Yes, I've had a couple of good girlfriends here, but for whatever reason they are no longer in my life anymore. I still miss them, even though they essentially did me wrong in the end. I miss that kind of friendship!

      I do participate in occasional meetups, but so many of the activities are happy hour or bar related, or sports related (as in playing), and I'm neither athletic nor into drinking that much. Maybe I need to try to attend more meetups, anyway.

      It's too bad we are all so spread out, I imagine we would be a fun group all collected together. :)

    2. If you ever want to come out to California and do wine country, you know who to call :)

    3. That's an area of CA I've never actually been to! :)

  4. I completely get this feeling. And I even have a nice sized group of what I consider good friends. I just think that as we get older, people get so wrapped up in their own lives that they forget other people need to feel included too. Last summer one of my bff's and I "broke up" and I watched as all of my good friends would go to cookouts and pumpkin patches and I'd be sitting at home hating the world. Eventually I just had to force myself out of my comfort zone and start trying things I had no interest in just to see if I could meet other people. It's worked pretty well, but there are still times where I feel very very much alone and left out.

    And to jump on the reply you left for S - It would be totally cool if we all lived nearer to each other!

    1. Wouldn't that be nice? In the meantime, I did join a new meetup group, and I like it a lot based on the one meetup I've done so far. Looking forward to more events!