About 4 months ago I packed up in about 2 weeks and moved down here to the Washington DC area in an effort to literally change my life.
I knew going into this that it wasn’t going to be easy. I mean you know what they say about that rock and that hard place…
I expected a lot of the things that have happened, but I’ve also been surprised by some of the outcomes of this drastic move. Leaving the place where I “grew up” in the United States? Yeah I knew that was going to be hard. Switching from small town mode to big city mode? Logically different. I’d know fewer people? Bah who needs human interaction anyway? You get the idea.
When I moved these expected and unexpected situations were kind of pushed underneath somewhat blanket categories but it became apparent that each situation was different. If you asked me what has been the most unexpected situation, my answer wouldn’t be the same every day.
Today I think the thing that’s hitting me the hardest is the fact that for 8 years I built relationships and associations with people — from convenience store employees to seminary teacher(s) to choir/theatre directors and the list goes on. Sure I’m forming connections here, but I sometimes go somewhere and expect a certain reaction from people and when it’s not as meaningful as it used to be, I get a little sad. People don’t quite know the way I joke. I used to make little comments that usually spin off into crazy conversations with my former leaders and now, sometimes I just get nods of assent and the conversation doesn’t go on. Oh and remember in middle school when the boys and girls wouldn’t interact a lot? Well the boys in my Sunday School class in A—————— took a while to warm up to me and my loud ways (what can I say, I can be intimidating). After laying down ground work since the 6th grade, we finally reached a point where we became friends that went to concerts together, hit the movies together, laughed about Spanish teachers together, sang silly songs together, and made 5 hour (round trip) drives together. Now it’s back to sitting divided: boys on one side and girls on the other, and we don’t even know enough of each other’s lives to call each other “friends.”
So I guess it’s back to square one, huh? I knew that I’d miss all the people in my old life, but I didn’t anticipate that it would be so hard to survive the beginning stages of this thing called “making new friends.”