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I am on an island.

In Opinion/Personal, Personal on November 10, 2014 at 11:41 pm

I am on an island.  Not literally, though a vacation would be so nice.  More so theoretically, maybe emotionally, but definitely socially.

I put my relationship first.  For us to have a better future, certain sacrifices needed to be made.  We needed more money.  We needed more space.  We took a bigger house for cheap, which sounds awesome.  For the most part, it is.  But I sacrificed living in the city I’d always wanted to live in to move to a small, druggie youth infested town full of my boyfriend’s old baggage from growing up here.  Granted, it is only a 35-45 minute drive from our old place.  But that 45 minutes may as well be an impassible canyon with me on one side, every friend I have on the other, and a gaping hole full of work and conflicting schedules and an utter disinterest in driving the twisting country roads between the two.

It doesn’t help that my boyfriend works constantly.  Not by his choice, and not with overwhelming enjoyment, but his job keeps him away around 13-14 hours a day usually 6 days a week and he’s on a complete opposite schedule than I am.  When I wake up to start me work day, he’s just barely made it home, eaten, and crawled into bed.

So I developed a new routine.  I wake up.  I work.  Two to three times a week I make the drive into the city for work, meetings or turning in paperwork at my main office.  I generally try to be home by around 1 so I can have lunch and not have to spend way too much money on crap food at a drive-thru.  That also allows me to get about 10 minutes in with my boyfriend as he frantically showers, eats, and gathers all his things to head off to the factory.  I make some quick food (instant noodles or pizza rolls, a microwave breakfast sandwich if we’re feeling fancy) and pack his lunch (always a water, an Ale-8, a sandwich baggie of snacks such as veggies or chips, and some varied combination of bread, cheese, meat, sauce, and banana peppers) while he’s in the shower, then collect all his things (lunch box, walkie talkie, keys, work badge, pen, etc) and place them in a nice pile by the coffee table.  Sometimes he has enough time to sit at the dining table with me and eat before he leaves, but most of the time he throws it in a plastic bowl and takes it with him to eat while he’s rushing to work.  Then I finish my work day, alternating between paperwork/emails/phone calls and doing household chores.  I do the dishes, sometimes twice (we don’t currently have a dishwasher), I sweep and mop to clean up the wreckage of a chew-crazy chiweenie demolishing stuffed animals and an enormous macaw that enjoys throwing peanut shells all over the living room floor.  I do a load of laundry almost daily.  I do the shopping, quick trips between the big grocery trips for things such as milk or bread that you tend to run out of quickly.  I make dinner, putting the leftovers in the fridge for Boyfriend.  I watch Netflix.  Lots of Netflix (because we also don’t have cable right now) and I have scarily in depth conversations with both my dog and my bird.  On Fridays or Saturdays, I sometimes make a late trip to the city to take Boyfriend some lunch around 8 pm.  We sit in my car and eat and chat for about 20 minutes before he has to return to work and I make the 45 minute drive back to the house for more Netflix with our pets.

Boyfriend tells me I should “make friends.”  He’s got a lot of old friends in town that are pretty decent people (which is an accomplishment in this town) and he thinks we’d hit it off perfectly.  The only problem with that is that you have to meet someone first to be able to hit it off, and to meet someone you don’t know you have to be introduced, which is basically impossible since Boyfriend and I only get around 8 hours on Sundays together when we’re both home and awake.  I also have that very typical thought of “everyone is mid to late 20’s.  They already have their group of friends and will have no interest in forming a new group.”  I know that isn’t entirely true, but there is truth in the statement.  I have my regular group of friends that I always do everything with.  I have made different friends and have a few stragglers that are sort of part of that group but sort of like a group of their own, but I mostly stick with my close group as I imagine most people do.  However, my close group of friends is currently going in a million different directions.  Married, newlyweds, engaged, buying houses, moving to bigger cities even further away, new jobs, promotions, planning weddings.  The list goes on.

Most people don’t have the time or desire to drive 45 minutes out of their way to come to a small place with nothing to do just to sit at my house.  I have nothing to offer to people.  No tv, the best nightlife is a sports bar that rarely sees above 20 people at a time unless there is live music.  There’s not even a coffee shop, unless it’s so well hidden that I’ve yet to see it.  And for me, the thought of driving to the city, especially if I’ve already been there and back for work that day, and then driving back to my empty house after dark is so unappealing that it just seems easier to never leave my house at all.  So that’s exactly what I did for probably a month.  I stayed at my house.  I made excuses.  Money is still tight from remodeling and house repairs, so at least that was always a legitimate reason to not participate in plans.  But it started to get to me.  I became emotional and easily agitated.  I felt like I was losing my mind.  I felt like I was all on my own, on my own lonely little island.

Boyfriend says “Go out.”  He assured me that if I went out or made plans with friends while he was working, he would never be upset.  He didn’t like the idea of me sitting at home alone all the time.  By this point, though, I didn’t even want to be around other people.  I didn’t want to leave my little bubble.  I just wanted to wallow there.  But he encouraged me to get out, and so I did.  I made plans with friends, going to get coffee or chatting around a fire pit in their backyard for 2 hours.  I was still able to have my weekend lunch at 8 pm Boyfriend, and got to see my friends afterwards.  The drive did suck, and it was a bit of a let down when I got back home to be alone again, but I was glad I had done it. It still doesn’t happen as often as it used to when we all lived 10 minutes away from each other, but it’s better than nothing at all.  I realized I just needed to figure out a good balance.

And I also realized something else by forcing myself back out of my shell and out of my funk.  I knew from the time I was 14 that I would live in this city.  At 21, I graduated college and moved straight there.  I loved it. Fast forward 5 years and I’m completely jaded without even realizing it.  I didn’t see the beauty I had seen at 14 and 21 anymore.  All I saw was traffic jams, loud noises – sirens, police, ambulances, people in general, nonstop everything all the time.  But driving into the city at 7:30, just as it’s starting to get dark and all the street lights are popping on, all the headlights are switching on, all the stores signs are lighting up, I felt that long lost familiar twinge, that child-like amazement at how beautiful the busy streets were and wondering where all these people were making their way to, what big plans they all had in store for their night.  Moving out of my dream town actually gave me the opportunity to appreciate it again, and this time in a better way I think.  I’m close enough to enjoy it when I want, but I can leave when it starts to become too much for me again.  And it also allowed me to appreciate my new town a little more.  I think I’ve heard 3 sirens in the whole 3 months I’ve been living here.   I can see the stars from my back porch.  Hell, I have a back porch, and a back yard, with a fence!  And I get to share it all with Boyfriend.  Yes, he’s working most of the time, but the fact that he has the ambition to and drive to work and make good money, the fact that he apologizes for working so hard because he “wants us to have nice things”, that makes it all worth it.  “We have a house now,” he tells me.  “Me and you.”  And even without the new found or regained appreciation for the town and the city, that statement alone would make it all worth it.

I am on an island, sort of.  And I am happy.

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  1. I feel you. Not many understand the difference between being alone and being lonely.

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on aarya289 and commented:
    sdasda

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