which way?

which way

Last night I dreamed of being happy. We were living in a house and there were other people around and there was laughter. And I realize that one of the things I need is interaction with other people. I love my partner, and we do have a lot of fun together, but I wish we could make new friends more easily. Of course it’s great to invite my parents over for dinner & scrabble, but that’s not the same. We’ve been in this house now for just over a year, and in Saint John for six months more, but how do you start from scratch when you’ve left your friends in Ontario?

It’s been 20 years since I moved away, and in that time my interests have changed. I have changed. If I meet someone from the “old days”, we are strangers to each other. I know we could make friends more easily if we become involved in something, so we have been trying to figure out where to invest our time, which organizations or clubs to join, what charities to support, and how many events to attend. The local naturalist club might be a good fit, but we haven’t yet made it to a meeting — it’s daunting to walk into a room of people who all know each other well, not knowing if you will like them (and they will like you). For me, an obvious choice is the local photo club which meets monthly, and a group of local Flickr members. But I’m not a joiner unless I can be a participant. I’m not satisfied with just sitting in a chair at a monthly meeting; I want to be part of what’s going on, otherwise I lose interest. So I’m hanging in, hoping to get to know people better.

Looking for a community “match” is darn difficult. It feels like dating again. No wonder we’ve been staying home!

Photo taken on November 1, 2010


10 thoughts on “which way?

  1. While I lived in Quebec, I sometimes thought about this — the fact that I could no longer pick up the phone, call up some friend and have, just a little chitchat about anything. I didn’t make any friends there, but that was due to the language barrier.

    When I think of the real friends [I think there’s a big difference between friends and acquaintances], I must also take into consideration how long time it took me to build up that circle of friends. There weren’t many, but they were good LOL. Still are.

    I know people here, but it’s not like I could call them up in the same manner, or drop them an email … in the way you can do when two people know each other really well.

    In my case, there could also be cultural differences that come into play, that makes me sometimes feel a little uncertain.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Rebekah. I typically only have one or two close friends, but I don’t mind being invited to come along when a circle of acquaintances is heading out on the town. 🙂

  2. I know Ireland is waaaayyyy smaller, but 2 years ago i moved ouside of the city to a commuter town and I know no-one here. I don’t really “live” here. I still work in the city and my family/friends live there. I basically sleep here! I started going to a pilates class near my house and now I know a few people to see when I go for a walk. I’ve also started doing my shopping here on Fridays instead of going into the city on Saturdays. I realise there’s more to this town than I was giving it credit for!
    I don’t know your situation, but here are some ways we meet people in Ireland: join a book club (most book shops have signs up for them), be a volunteer in the local church/old folks home/homeless shelter (coming up to Christmas there’s loads to do) , take a night class (maybe photography?!?!), join a sports club, go to a quiz night/card night (usually in the pub!)
    They’re just some ideas! Have a good day 🙂

    • Thanks for dropping by, Olivia! I’ve been trying to figure out what clubs to join — there are so many choices, and I don’t have endless energy — but I think you are right; that is the best way to meet people. In Saint John, I think people just want to know that you’re around for good, that you’re not here for a short-term job and then moving on to the big city. People are friendly enough to talk with; it’s just getting past the chit-chat into a real conversation!

  3. I totally understand what you are saying. I too get lonely. I need human interaction. I joined a ToastMasters club thinking maybe that would help but I find that no one really is there to get to know each other – everyone just wants to do their speeches and tasks and not really get into each other’s space.

    I’ve joined a book club and hope that will be better. It’s informal and seems like something more social – with books as a kicking off point to some more friendly involvement.

    Like you, most of my friends either live in another state / country or our lives have changed. I have a small handful of close friends but they are not friends with each other (if that makes sense).

    Once again – your post has resonated with me. Sharing it on my Facebook page in case it resonates with others too 🙂

    • Thanks for the kind thoughts, Herby! Let me know how it goes with the book club, and I’ll post a report on the photography club I’ve joined (once I have a chance to participate in a group outing).

  4. The first line of this post would make such a great line for a short story. You take such fantastic pictures, maybe joining the photo club will not only introduce you to new people, but new stories as well to capture with your camera.

    • Ooh, I think you’re right — it would make a good short story (file under Things I Want To Do Some Day). I’m looking forward to getting to know more local photographers, and of course I’m always looking for more images. Thanks for your encouragement, Lisa!

    • It can take time… I think that’s why so many people in Toronto seemed reluctant to really get to know you, because people moved around so much, and friendship is an investment of time and energy. I’m beginning to find some potential friends, and I know I am ready to take the time.

      And I love your interpretation of the sign!

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