Sometimes I feel like there is nothing left for me here.
I guess that’s an unnecessarily dramatic way of making this point. What I’m trying to say is that I don’t have a lot of connections left here in the specific suburban community where I currently live. I didn’t grow up here; I moved here in 2006, at age 29. So I don’t have anyone in the area whom I’ve known since childhood, as people who grew up here usually do. At one time, I worked near my house, and I attended church just a couple miles away. These were the job I left in 2014 and the church I left in 2015, respectively. At this point in my life, work is a half hour drive in one direction and most of my social life happens a half hour drive in the opposite direction. The only thing left for me here is my house, and sometimes I wonder if I really belong here anymore. But I have compelling reasons why moving is not the best idea right now either.
Last night, I went to a certain one-step-up-from-fast-food chain restaurant, prompted by a coupon, good for two days only, which I received from their email list. Unsurprisingly, when I got there, I noticed that many other people seemed to have the same idea, as the line was much longer than I have ever seen it. I went in to brave the line anyway, though; I had no other plans the rest of the evening.
About a minute after I got there, I heard someone calling my name. I turned around and saw one of my favorite people, an old friend from many years ago, with two of her children. This was someone I met at church a few months after I moved here, when she was still a teenager (so she is in her late 20s now). She was one of my closer friends for a couple years, but eventually she met her future husband and found another church, right around the same time if I remember right. We just didn’t cross paths much after that, although we have been connected on social media the whole time. It had been a couple years since I had run into her in person, though, and it was good to catch up.
I don’t have much of a social life that takes place in my immediate geographical area. This is true. But I’m not completely isolated yet. I still know people nearby. And I occasionally run into them around town. Most of the people I used to know here who are still here have grown up, getting married and raising children. (I’m not necessarily saying that I haven’t grown up because I don’t have children; the point here is that my local friends from a decade ago have grown up in a different way than I have.) And for those of you who fit this description, even if most of our contact is through Facebook likes and I only see you once every two years when we happen to be grocery shopping at the same time, thank you for staying in contact with me. I appreciate it.