instead of a cry-fest i had a more subdued mental vent that took stock of what im lacking right now. i felt better afterward and mark it as a success to have avoided tears. :)
i laid awake last night thinking about how im doing here. in halifax. yes, everyone is healthy and we have no actual problems as compared to the world at large, but im still allowed to feel down every so often. this particular mental vent came after a helpful venting session to dave about (my) work, so perhaps my brain just wanted to release in all areas. i feel i run pretty even-kiltered (my definition of "even", obviously) most of the time, keeping my irritation cards close to my chest until they stack up too high and i feel the need to lay them all on the table, stare at them, summarize them, agonize over them, and sweep them off the table...to be picked up again at another time.
this time i was lamenting my typical halifax theme of isolation. i just dont belong to any group here. i only feel anchored by dave and X, but they are portable and very much mine, so there is no real connection to life here in halifax. everything is still very temporary feeling, which is mostly my fault i realize, but i still havent figured out how to get beyond it.
i get no social comfort from work. even when i was pregnant i didnt have colleagues or peers, just my boss. i worked part-time and didnt really bump in to people. even when i audited my boss's class, i didnt meet any students that i meshed with. to contrast, ive had really great experiences at all my past jobs with finding really great people in my department (or nearby) to chat with, eat lunch with, vent about work with. i made real friends and really valued those relationships. dave has been able to forge some nice work relationships (isabelle/djordje, janice) but i dont have that luxury.
i am not injected into a sports-type environment. im not interested in playing sports anymore and yoga classes are not a place to meet people. im never really in a chatty mood before or after class anyway. people are there to stretch and unwind and release. or at least i am, im not zipping around trying to make friends. but, dave has joined several ultimate teams and has actually met some very nice people. he gets a great deal out of this sport. and frisbee folks are a very social people, so he can go have drinks with them whenever they organize something, they have parties at each others houses, etc. its been really beneficial for him to have people outside of work to chat with socially. i miss out again.
i also have not found any "in"s to any general social environments here. when we arrived i got pregnant (and thus VERY sick feeling) right away so didnt get a chance to enmesh myself anywhere, with any people who might have similar interests to me. i could have taken a film or photography class. i didnt get a chance to find a book club. we explored almost no music scenes. i met no non-parent-oriented people. and now im just too busy in the parent realm to try to force myself into one of those areas. because ive never actually done any of those things i mentioned, im not finding the time or energy to extend to pushing myself into some experimental situation. this is a point of weakness, i realize.
the mom scene. yeah, we had that prenatal, newborn group. pretty much everyone is living their own life. occasionally we see people at a birthday party or another thing we might get invited to. they are very nice women but most of them are from the province and have friends and lives and families nearby. kids of course make you busy, so there isnt much wiggle room to add new people into your life. ive stagnated in the area of mom friends. there are a couple moms who i think could genuinely handle my personality, but they are in the midst of lots of stressors themselves, about the same things that stress me out (being away from friends and family, trying to raise kids who arent easy going, etc).
on the upside, it is a friendly town. when i see the same people over and over again, there are smiles and "hellos" exchanged. pretty much all the staff at the local library know us. thats a friendly place. and we are friendly with our favorite vendors at the market. but friendly, and having friends are wildly different things. it just feels impossible to find someone to be real with. and then even if i did, id have to nurture that relationship, which i would be willing to do, but the other person would have to meet me halfway.
i know that what i miss is no longer really existent. if i moved back to ann
arbor i couldnt regain this lost life i seem to mourn. some of my family
is no longer in michigan, many of my friends are no longer in michigan,
many co-worker friends and acquaintances have dispersed. those who are
still around have been moving forward with their lives just like me and
are changing and adapting to their roles as spouse, parent, career people, etc. life is moving on for everyone, duh.
i guess what i mourn the most, is me. ive had some life experiences that require a changed mind. but, the laughing, the feeling like i can say what i feel, being understood (for the most part), keeping up on peoples day-to-day lives/stresses/random happenings, even just the rhythm of exchanging a generic conversation on a regular basis. THAT would be nice. im just really concerned that my sense of humor is withering and that my "essence" is fading. i mean, if it werent for daves occasional pointed efforts, i wouldnt even remember what its like to get all razzed and riled up about something inconsequential and have fun watching myself spazz out.
perhaps other people feel a form of this shift too? perhaps this is normal? perhaps this is what freaks people out and causes mid-life crises? im not near one of those, but i do sense something much larger than a "college is over, what now" or "wow, im married, what does that mean?" type of feeling. it just crept in and from no apparent instigation, i feel it upon me. if i am forced to reinvent myself, then i want to put a good effort in. i realize i cant sit and mourn or do the "if only" or "what if" game. but what to do? im sure i'll figure it out.
in the end, after an hour or so of precious sleep not being had, i did drift off and actually had a dream (a rare thing these days). i wound up dreaming about familiar faces (friends, family, and others from the past) reuniting in halifax (i remember thinking the word "reunion" in the dream, as if i were the reason all the people came together). every street i walked, every corner i stopped at pedestrians were friends, cars were filled with familiar faces, libraries, markets, cafes were full with people who knew me. i felt a smile on my face, a warm happiness in my chest, and a sense of wonder in my brain. it was nice to feel that "what if" scenario, if only in a dream (it was so nice to see you all!). if nothing else it was a step in the direction of connecting comfort and happiness with halifax. perhaps there is hope. :)
endnote: while editing this last night, i accidentally pushed "publish" but then undid that action. i guess it still published an excerpt in the blogger feed which prompted two friends to message me that they have had similar feelings about life. i thank you for reaching out and it reminds me that this blog is therapeutic and beneficial in so many ways. a hearty best wishes to everyone on their lifes journey!