You can be lonely even when surrounded by 9 million people. I am grateful for my wife and kids. I am also thankful for phone calls, emails and other exchange with families and friends. Yet, part of moving here is experiencing loneliness. In a world that is more connected than ever, it is increasingly hard to make real personal connections. To be fair, I am little out of practice. While I moved a lot in my early years, I lived in the same city for the last 11 years, 10 of which in the same house. Coming to a new place and putting yourself out there to meet new people was not something I had to do for a long time.
You don’t make friends over night, it takes time. While I don’t regret moving, I do feel the cost of leaving behind the strong social network we had back in the East coast. Now, it is starting from scratch. In the past, I could rely on my wife and her wonderful skills in getting to know people and making herself know. I would befriend her girlfriend’s husbands. Not this time, we are both brand new to this city with little to none existing connections.
I am new to this whole friendship thing. I grew up thinking friendship was good but not essential. It was only in the last years that I started realizing how wrong that thinking was. Friendship interactions are where life happens.
I hesitated writing about this. I don’t like to talk about what is not going well or what I do not do well. Yet I was reading a book, that a friend gave me, that talked about the importance of vulnerability. So here am I, being vulnerable in the cyberspace to tell the world about my struggles. Yes, the last two months have been one of the most exciting times of my life. They have also been one of the most lonely ones as well.
I believe a big part of us coming here is about making connections with people God will put in our path. They just haven’t quite arrived yet. This is good for it gives me time to prepare to meet them. I want this time to be different. I want to take more risks and put myself more out there. I want to make myself known not to show off or because I am anybody important, but because being myself is the best gift I can give those around me.
So, let the journey begin. And please, can it begin this week?