Could it be just about friends? Or feeling a lack thereof?
Lately I’ve felt untethered to my hometown. I feel as if I’ve drifted from my local friends. Most of my best friends, the ones that know everything about me and love me as I am (and vice versa) all live far away.
I don’t feel like I have anything in common with the other parents at my daughter’s school. I’ve not been loving south Tampa’s hyper-Republican (it’s fine, just not for me), non-artsy vibe. Kind of a general feeling of not belonging, loneliness, post-post-post-teenage angst?
I realize this sounds like a whiny, self-pity party but stick with me for a minute, I promise that I have a point.
I have already taken steps to improve how I feel about where I live. I choose to focus on the friendly parents I’ve recently met at my daughter’s bus stop. I choose to make plans to spend time with the amazing friends that I do have here in Tampa (Maura, Devo, Courtney, and Kim, I’m talking about you—you rock). And I am choosing to seek out art and places that I feel inspired in. (Like Café Hey and the awesome new Oxford Exchange).
Still, as I wrote in my post last week, I headed to Atlanta last week uber excited to see some of my friends from college and head back to a city I had loved.
And it was wonderful to see them, good for my soul and all that stuff. But guess what? As I talked with my friends over the weekend, I discovered that they have been feeling the same way, friend and location-wise.
M and W live in a beautiful suburb with the best schools in the Atlanta area, but they too feel like the only Democrats lost in a sea of Republicans…and boy does their neighborhood have the yard signs to prove it! They mentioned the idea of moving somewhere that felt more like “home” to them.
H confided that she feels like she doesn’t have any friends there anymore and would consider moving back to Denver if she wasn’t tied to her job in Georgia.
You see? It’s not just me. And, honestly, none of us are whiny people on the norm. I swear!
So we decided that it must be our age. We range from 38-41. Perfect midlife crisis ages, right? I have always pictured midlife crisis as the stereotypical 40-something man leaving his wife, buying a sports car and starting to wear an ill-advised gold chain, but perhaps there are varied and subtler shades of this age-old phenomenon?
It turns out that the Atlanta I had been romanticizing isn’t really even there anymore. It was more about a time and an age than a place. And I am okay. What I feel is okay and possibly even “normal”, whatever that is. I feel a weight lifted from my shoulders as I accept that life changes and it is beautiful and the people who I love and who love me back will always be there, no matter where they are.
If you are older than me or around the same age, did you ever feel this way, or are you feeling this way now? Talk to me.
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