On moving, friendship, and being alone

I knew there would be some challenges to moving back home. But there’s definitely a difference between knowing the general fact of something, and actually acknowledging the reality of it.

I knew I wouldn’t have many friends here in Muncie. While I moved away after graduation, most of my high school friends stayed here — then moved away later. And really, we never really kept in touch after graduation. I was sad at first, but people move on. I sort of knew before graduation that these people and I likely wouldn’t stay life-long friends. And, you know, 12 years later, that’s been fairly true. There’s still a few people that I pseudo keep in touch with, thanks to social media, but it’s not like we’re BFFs.

So being back here, I knew I wouldn’t really have many friends here. And that all seemed fine and dandy. I wasn’t moving for friends. I was moving for school and a career change and a chance to reconnect with my family. Also, well, thanks to some anxiety issues, I’m also somewhat of a hermit. So I figured I’d be ok. I had plenty of friends in Chicago, but not a raging social life because even with those friends I loved like family, I had a hard time dealing with my anxiety enough to hang out with them like I wanted to — like “real” friends ought to. And that was hard. Actually that was pretty devastating for a while. I’m still sort of coming to terms with whatever is in my head that won’t allow me to be the friend I wish I could be, and attempting to work through it.

But I thought I could handle being alone here. That maybe it would give me a chance to not have to deal with that anxiety. That I might find peace with it. But really the distance just makes me feel it more — regret that I couldn’t be more to those friends. That feeling of being trapped behind walls, physical and emotional, is just as strong as it was. Only now I can’t just hop a train or bus and be able to see those friends within a matter of minutes.

I tell myself that I’ll be ok. I tell myself that Muncie is just temporary. I tell myself that I’m strong enough to get through this. You know, it might be — I might be. It’s just making this transition more challenging. But as long as I don’t come out on the other side with 15 cats, I’d say it’s a win.

ohyes_bukowski