Don’t get me wrong; I’m happy here. I love Beachbumpkinsville, I love my house, I love Himself, but there are a couple of really tricky things I discovered when you move away from a place that’s been home for over a decade – even if it is only 50 miles away.
First, you don’t get to see your family anywhere as much as you used to (and I miss them all, but my tummy hurts from not seeing Little Pea as much as I used to, and is very sad that I may not get the same closeness with Little Wisp…she is just going to have to start full Auntie Pog weekends earlier than Pea did :o) )
And second, the F word: Friends. Some from Bumpkinsville I’ve met up with a few times, some I will meet up with and it will be like we saw each other yesterday, some…I don’t know, but honestly? Really, truly honestly, the last year has involved quite a lot of loneliness. We’ve done the evening classes, I’ve done things on my own, I’ve talked to people randomly when I’ve felt brave, but actually, it’s really hard to make new friends when you are 42, mostly work from home and don’t have children (and are pretty rubbish around new people anyway).
Things are looking up – the people on my diploma seem like a mostly lovely bunch and I practically cried with happiness when one added me as a friend on Facebook. Sad, aren’t I? But this post is about a different F scenario…
A few months back I started thinking about a friend I was at uni with. We’d stayed friends when we both moved to London and every so often we used to meet up and do tourist things, on the basis that when you live in a city, you rarely bother with stuff that can actually be quite cool. I don’t remember exactly when we lost contact, but we did and that was that. Then a few weeks back I thought I’d try to track him down, pretty sure that he’d have moved back up north, but that a few emails to find out what he’d done in the last 12 years or so might be rather lovely.
It took around 10 minutes to find him on facebook. And about 30 seconds to realise that he never used it (12 friends, no photo), but because facebook enables stalking for dummies – no book required – I managed to find his wife and her work email in another 30 seconds. I gave him a week to respond to my message before agreeing with myself that he wasn’t into social media and decided to email his wife. It’s not often you start a mail with:
‘I’ve been looking for a friend from my university days who I think is your husband….’
Miraculously, she forwarded my message and he replied – all in less than an hour. You know what is really weird though? They live in Beachville, a 10 minute drive from Our Towers. A few doors up from the pub himself and I frequented quite a bit in the last year. You couldn’t make this up.
We’ve met up. He’s not changed – other than a wife and a gorgeous little girl who was the reason I provided story time to a random group of kids in a pub garden last weekend (if only it was that easy to make friends with adults). We’re going to meet up again. I have a friend in Beachville. Finally :o)
I’m not sure what the point of this story is. It’s not like there is a moral (Stalking is good? Social media has its benefits? Don’t lose touch with friends in the first place?). I guess there is some sort of message though, that things do change, even if sometimes they take F-ing ages :o)